Monday, August 16, 2010

Hicking to Lac Mohawk and back to the Jewish General Hospital

Last week-end (August 13 to 15) we wanted to go back to Parc National du Mont-Tremblant, but rain was announced for Saturday and Sunday.

So instead, Saturday was spent in Montreal, first driving Nedy (V's boyfriend) to the airport, and then hiking up the Mont-Royal (the closest to an escape in nature in downtown Montreal), hitting Santropol for a soup and finally watching the "Curious Case of Benjamin Button" comfortably at home. The previous night (Friday) we had brought V at the Jewish General Hospital for her tonsillitis, so we had gone to bed at around 4:30 AM, something I am having trouble with nowadays, especially when I still wake-up early the morning after. A chill night was needed Saturday night, and that is what I got.

Sunday, Car. (P's French girl friend) was still down for doing some hiking (originally we planned to meet up with her to hike-up Mont Tremblant on Sunday). To avoid the rain, she suggested going to the Eastern Townships instead. P and I were in, and at 11:15 AM we had left our apartment and were on the road to Sutton.

At around 12:30 AM we were at the base chalet of the Sutton Ski slopes. We paid the 5$ charge per person to the Parc Sutton organization, spent another 5$ on a trail map and started hiking up the ski slopes.

At first, I thought we might do a monster of a hike: a full loop to one of the tops of the mountain and then turn down to Lac Mohawk and loop back to the base chalet. But after a painful 30 minutes up the steep ski slopes themselves, exposed to the sun in the middle of the wide slopes, the girls discovered that I was actually taking them the long way around, confiscated the map from me and said that they wanted to go the straight way to Lac Mohawk.

To correct the situation I found a way which I thought was connecting to the trail for the lake. It was another ski slope, but now we were going down. Fear and doubt crept-up in my mind: what if we were just going back down to the base chalet, the girls would kill me. After a while going down and the suspicions growing to fear in my mind, we were saved as we found the trail going directly to the lake.

This time we were really on a good hike: this was a real small trail (not a ski slope), going not too steeply up, right through the beautiful woods of the Sutton region. Bright green ferns on the ground, moss covered rocks, little streams and brooks, rotting tree trunks, small multicolored mushrooms (orange and red and plain gray) and tall lively trees.

The hike was still long and somewhat difficult; at least it was tiring. Unfortunately, we still had cell phone reception, so our escape from civilization wasn't complete. To top it all, V called us from Montreal to say that her tonsillitis was back in strength and getting rapidly worse.

We eventually reached Lac Mohawk, where we picnicked on a large flat rock, entering into the lake from the sore. P and I had a tasty chiabata bread with tomatoes and cream of Boursin. The Boursin cream was a whole incident on it own, because P thought it was going to be real Boursin cheese (a tasty French hard cheese), whereas what we ended-up eating was a cream of Boursin, something that is supposed to be used for cooking. It was very similar in taste and consistency to cream-cheese, except that I liked it better than cream-cheese.

After having amazingly sweet Quebec strawberries for dessert while sitting on a rock and bathing my feet in the cold water, we took off, back on the same trail we came from. The way back was much quicker and easier; I couldn't believe how ward it was to cover that trail on the way to the lake, as it now seemed easy and short.

On the way back, V called again, feeling even worse. P told her to call a taxi and go to the hospital without us, which V did.

We hurried back to Montreal after a quick pit stop at Le Cafetier in Sutton. We went to the hospital, whee V was already admitted in the emergency Red Zone. The doctor drained the puss from her tonsils, gave her IV medications and then some drugs to relieve the pain. She spent the night in the corridor, relaxing and we picked her up this morning before heading to work.

I was really impressed by the work that the people from Parc Sutton do. While hiking I imagined that all the land we were going though was owned by the park and was protected. Today I learned on the Parc Sutton website that this is actually just a group that manages the trails and the park, which is actually not a real park but a collection of (probably) protected land and private land. So unfortunately, my dream that the whole area we went through was protected is now vanished, but I am still very happy with the work if these great people. Congrats to them.

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