This past weekend, Kayley and I had the pleasure of having her Mom, Carol and Step-Dad, Dennis come visit us in Ottawa before we bid farewell to the city. After coming to check out our place of rest on Thursday night, they decided to spend the weekend camping up at Lac Philippe in Gatineau Park with their very cool camper truck! Since Kay and I had never officially camped out in the park we thought it would be an awesome way to spend our weekend. We arrived at their site late Friday night, pitched the tent, enjoyed a couple beers (even though they aren’t allowed in the park, but who follows rules anyways…haha), caught up, and roasted up a fire.
The following morning we decided to take a hike along Lac Philippe toward the Lusk Caves. Luckily the heat held off for the majority of the first half of the adventure and we arrived at the caves just before the masses started appearing.
The cave exploration starts up at this deep dark mouth, head lamps are a must if you want to get that truly rad experience! Once you begin to enter the mouth the cave you can feel the cool air take over and the refreshing water soaking your feet, if you weren’t already awake, at this point you for sure are now!
Once inside, the first half of the cave is quite open with little light pouring in, feeling like you are in some other world. The water at this point in history is very low but you can clearly see how the water shaped most of the cave after the glaciers melted away around 10,000 years ago, really giving you an idea of how insane nature can be.
At one point you think you’ve come to a dead end, the natural light inside is officially gone and you begin to wonder if it’s time to head back but luckily Kay and I had done this before. We guided Dennis and Carol through this interesting section where the water is much higher (around waist height) and the ceiling much lower, leaving you to duck and maneuver through, also did I mention it’s pitch black!! Once out the other side you come to the half-way point of the cave which is this open fish bowl basin, giving you a moment to recoup, take a drink and get ready for round two!
The second half of the cave is a bit gnarlier than the first section, it’s a lot darker, larger obstacles, and faster rushing water, but hey, the challenge is what makes it worth it!
It was much harder to take pictures in this half, a bit too dark and other things to worry about such as not falling down a waterfall haha. Once making our way down, we come across a similar but a bit more brave hearted situation as the one before. To reach the end of the cave, we had to practically swim under the low, stalactite riddled ceiling (I’d say it’s a good test for those scared of the dark and/or claustrophobic), probably the coolest way to end a cave adventure in any of my experiences.
It was time for a break! We all munched on some granola bars as a reward, high-fived and got back on our feet to hike back to camp and grab some well-deserved lunch! The rest of the hike is pretty mellow, filled with awesome natural scenery, and over-growth that provided much needed shade in the blistering heat.
The rest of the day we lounged, the girls took their needed naps, Dennis and I biked around the park, drank some beers, had a great feast for dinner, Kay and I checked out the beach during sunset, went star gazing and finally hit the hay after a jam-packed day!
The next morning, we had quick breakfast, fuelled up on some coffee, and said our good-byes. Carol and Dennis continued onto their next adventure and Kay and I headed home since I had to work at 11am Sunday Morning. All in all it was an another rad weekend, thanks Carol/Dennis for letting us invade your campsite, good times per usual!