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.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Our own Fall Rhapsody

Every October, the National Capital Commission encourages Ottawa's citizens to get out of town and admire the nearby scenery, as if it weren't a recommended thing to do at any other time of year. The NCC grandly calls the Gatineau Hills experience Fall Rhapsody and both tourists and local people take up the suggestion in their thousands. Chris and I tend to avoid the Gatineau Park at this time of year because, especially at weekends, the roads and stopping places get so crowded. In any case, October's coloured trees aren't limited to one area and nor is the range of our little aeroplane.

11th October, the Tuesday following the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, was another of Chris' semi-demi-retirement days –– he now stays off work for five out of 20 working days –– which we were lucky enough to spend flying to Kingston (CYGK) and back, so that we could appreciate the colours from above, under a sunny, blue sky. There were startling pockets of red and gold among the stretches of muskeg and beside the lakes. The views southwest of Perth were particularly splendid.

On the ground at Kingston we chose to walk to a restaurant we didn't know existed until I'd found its advert on the internet: Days on Front, it is called, a stylish place on Front Road. I can heartily recommend their asparagus soup and their grilled cheese sandwich isn't a common or garden one; it has brie, "apple butter" and pears in it. Chris ordered their equivalent of a BLT, containing "grilled peameal + roasted garlic dijon aioli + butter lettuce" with the tomato. During our walk back to the airport where ultralight flying is now in vogue, we stopped to clamber down to lake level by the golden willow trees and watch the wavelets breaking on the shore.

A week later, the trees are even more spectacular.

Yesterday, Monday 17th, being another off-work day for Chris, we went flying again, for the same purpose, this time following the Gatineau River north and returning in an easterly loop, over the Val-des-Monts region. Early morning patches of low cloud were just beginning to lift and break up above the valleys. What a magical sight.

Once north of the more populated part of the hills, we realise that the colour spreads for miles and miles. We must enjoy it while it lasts. We circled Lac Chevreuil to take seasonal photos for our friends who have a cottage there. Those autumn uplands will turn grey before long, and then white.

Lac Chevreuil in the fall

"Weh mir, wo nehm’ ich, wenn
Es Winter ist [...]
Den Sonnenschein,
Und Schatten der Erde?"

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