Caving Tripping With the Forever Cool In-Laws!

17 Aug

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.

My stoked adventurer :)

My stoked adventurer 🙂


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!

Here goes nothing!


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.

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Thank you nature for giving us a rad place to adventure!


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!

Everyone ready for section two!!

Everyone ready for section two!!


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.

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We made it!

We made it!


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.

Blame the beavers for this stellar scene!

Blame the beavers for this stellar scene!


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!

Smoke on the water....

Smoke on the water….


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!

-Chris

Deer-crossing!

Deer-crossing!


 

A foggy ride.

A foggy ride.

 

Civic Day Wanderings

4 Aug

Since Kayley and I both had the privilege of having Holiday Monday free from the constraints of employment, we decided to get out of the house and do a little adventuring.

Our first stop was at the Bonnechere Caves in Eganville, Ontario.

That's the smile of FEAR!

That’s the smile of FEAR!


I have always had this weird obsession with cave exploration, it’s most likely a result of my parents introducing me to many of the famous caves along the east coast as a child, or the feeling of exploring the unknown, either way, they are cool as hell!!

The tour starts out quite mellow, there are nice wooden steps, it’s wide and bright inside, not really what I was expecting but it provided Kayley some initial comfort (She’s claustrophobic, and you be might asking yourself, why would a claustrophobic girl explore a cave? Well, she’s a badass, duhhh).

The plunge into darkness.

The plunge into darkness.

I made her go first! haha

I made her go first! haha


Unfortunately, most of the cave was barely lit, so taking photos was a challenge in itself. All the cave walls were dripping wet, the cold air down below was a nice change from the humid weather outside, there were giant spiders all above us and the walls started caving (see what I did there) in the farther you got. Now this was the kind of cave adventuring I was hoping for!

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At one point, we had the chance to crawl through this corridor that was so tight we legitimately had to crawl on our hands and knees through cave water. It was crazy to think the original explorers in the early 1900’s had done this with virtually no light and direction!

A Bat's paradise...

A Bat’s paradise…

That light

That picture you see above, it was Kayley tucking herself away in this little crevasse, but immediately after I took the photo, that light went out, leaving us practically in pure darkness, coincidence, I think not. Probably the house ghost playing with our emotions….haha.

The tour was over before it started. We both had this expectation that it would be a lot gnarlier than it was, but then again, it was 10 bucks each, so all in all it was worth it.

Fern Gully.

Fern Gully.


On the way back to Ottawa, we decided to make a couple necessary stops. I had the urge to scope out this fishing spot I’ve been eyeing down for some time now just outside Calabogie. Not only did it look like a jackpot spot but the view was just as sweet, this area of the Ottawa Valley never fails to impress.

Caught hard in thought thinking about the heaps of fish I'm going to snag.

Caught hard in thought thinking about the heaps of fish I’m going to snag.


To top of the day, we met up with our good homie Arija in her hometown of Arnprior to grab a pint, which turned into its own adventure. Everything was CLOSED!! Our search for a cold pint was growing thin, but then Arija luckily remembered the golf course she’s gainfully employed at was open till 6pm and my Jeep’s clock read 4:56pm, PERFECT! We rushed over, sat down, and got what we were longing for. Nothing like a great beer, chatting about tattoos, camping, life dreams and just whatever to end an awesome day!

-Chris

Whistling Paddler from Whitewater Brewery, it's highly recommended!

Whistling Paddler from Whitewater Brewery, it’s highly recommended!