blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit

blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit
By Alison Hobbs, blending a mixture of thoughts and experiences for friends, relations and kindred spirits.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Gatineau's mountain

Summit of King Mountain
The Gatineau Hills are not mountains although one of them is designated as such. We climbed King Mountain, named in honour either of WF King, Canada's Chief Astronomer of the 1890s, or Prime Minister William Lyon MacKenzie King (I'm not sure), on Monday. This was a Civic Holiday: Simcoe Day –– after John Graves Simcoe, who helped to start the anti-slavery movement in Canada –– or Emancipation Day in Toronto, Colonel By Day in Ottawa, Joseph Brant Day in Burlington, John Galt Day in Guelph, Natal Day in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, Regatta Day in Newfoundland, or British Columbia Day in British Columbia. Anyhow, it meant that three of our friends had the chance to came along too.

Black Lake
The King Mountain Trail starts down some steps through the pines from the parking lot and picnic tables to a small lake (Black Lake) with reeds, turtles, and a beavers' lodge. Thence you start to climb, first through a north-facing shady hemlock forest where the air feels relatively cool, and then on towards the cliffs of the 300m high Eardley Escarpment, the scarp slope of the Canadian Shield. There are numerous interpretation panels and lookouts. From the smooth, pink, granite rocks at the top, the views of the Ottawa River Valley are splendid.

Ascent through the hemlock forest

At (almost) the highest point along the trail is a stone trig point, as the British would call it, at the location of the copper bolt that marked Canada's first "geodetic station". says that "it was here that commenced the triangulation system of the Geodetic Survey of Canada, the basis of surveys for all purposes, topographical, engineering, and cadastral":
In 1888, the Association of Dominion Land Surveyors increased activities aimed at setting up a geodetic service in Canada. After years of research by Director William Frederick King and others, the first geodetic surveys were carried out in Canada, beginning in June 1905 at Kingsmere, in the National Capital Region. The first geodetic point (or geodetic station), named King MTN, was installed approximately 14 kilometres from Ottawa. The point was selected because it is the most visible from the federal observatory at the Central Experimental Farm. This geodetic point would not be long used because its visibility is unsatisfactory. A second point, called an “eccentric station” was selected in September 1909. This second point is located at an elevation 64 metres (211 feet) lower than the original station, and it became the point of reference. It is located at 45º 29' 20.56787" N, 75º 51' 45.26354" W. 
Beyond the summit, the trail winds back down flights of wooden steps through the trees to the stream and then up again, completing the loop.

August 1st should have been called Hot Day, since the weather was so steamy and the sun so fierce. The walk is only short, but we were all in dire need of rehydration at the end of it. We found a table for drinks and supper at the Chelsea Pub.

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