September 1, 2008
On the day after a hot air balloon ride, Jas and I drove to Gatineau Park (Parc de la Gatineau). It is a 363 km² park, about 4.5 times larger than Guelph.
We weren’t sure what we could do there, but went anyway to check it out.
Coming from Orléans, we crossed into Quebec on Macdonald-Cartier Bridge, along Autoroute de la Gatineau and got off at Chermin Old Chelsea, near the city of Chelsea. Right then there were signs that the park was a good place to hang out as the road was lined with cars.
We went to the visitor centre and got a map. The guide pointed out a good place to photograph at Champlain lookout point. We drove up, a bit confusingly, along Promenade Lac Fortune and got there without giving any cyclists too hard a time.
It was already 3:30pm. We had to get back to Ottawa by 5pm. We planned a route down Gatineau Park along Promenade Champlain that passed by Lac Pink. When we got there, the first viewing platform offered a teaser.
One can walk around the lake, but we didn’t have enough time. I decided to climb up as far as I could in ten minutes, passing by the Gatineau safari…
The second lookout platform was the one featured on the map the guide gave us.
Looking out, I inadvertently took a series of photographs to create a panorama.
It was getting late. I ran down all the way…
We have to come back again in the fall. The number and density of trees along the lakes and mountains will make for some beautiful autumn pictures.
Interesting bits about the lake
(Paraphrased from the info panels at the main lookout platform:)
- The lake was once a saltwater lake. A species of fish common to saltwater still lives in it.
- Oxygen is totally absent below 13 metres. One of Earth’s earliest life forms lives here.
- Cliffs all around the lake shelters it from winds that trigger mixing of water. The deepest water has not been in contact with the air for the past 10,000 years.
- Large amounts of algae are present in the lake in the summer, making it green.
- No, it's not pink at any time of the year. Pink Lake is named after a family of Irish settlers who, in 1826 cleared a farm in the area. [from Wikipedia]