Ottawa, ON to Drummondville, QC – Dec 2

We left our comfortable little studio apartment at 11 am and headed south out of Ottawa.  Our destination for the day is Drummondville, Québec, which is about 300 km away.  We planned to do some geocaching between the road section south of Ottawa and Hawksbury.  After that the rest of the trip is divided highway.  It was a lovely sunny day and we did not even have to put our coats on to go find the caches.  We located 16 of them before we arrived at the freeway portion of the drive.

Our goal on this mini-10-day road trip is to reach 4000 geocache finds and to find a cache in the provinces of New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.  They are the only two provinces of Canada that we have not yet found a geocache.  We would have liked to fly up to the territory of Nunavet while in Ottawa because that is the only one of Canada’s three territories we have not logged a geocache find as well.  But the three-hour flight from Ottawa to Iqualuit costs $1,600 per person and we would only be there for 24 hours so we decided to pass (for now).

We checked the Maritime weather before we left Ottawa and there are supposed to be four winter storms coming one after another with ice rain, ice pellets and 60 kph winds in southern New Brunswick and up to 20 cm (over a foot) of snow in northern New Brunswick over the majority of the upcoming week.  Us being us, or rather John being John, that did not change our plans.  Yet.  We will keep an eye on things and perhaps have an earlier return to Ottawa than planned. That would be okay as well  since there are lots of places to see and things to do in Canada’s capital city and we could amuse ourselves nicely until our flight home to BC on Dec, 12.

Our first stop was a little roadside park called Barnett Park on the outskirts of Cumberland.  There was some nice ice pools near the shore of the Ottawa River.

Across the highway from Barnett Park is Quigley Road and we drove along it into Cumberland and Rockland finding several caches.This nice little birdhouse cache was hidden in a hollow at the back of a large tree.

Another cache was located at the far end of the Cumberland Cemetery. (Cemeteries are popular geocache hiding spots.)  While John was off signing the log I checked out the lovely silk flower arrangements in handy over-the-top-of-the-headstone holders. Much of today’s drive was through farm country and we were surprised at how much corn was still standing in the fields.  We saw several combines working to harvest it and it looked like the farmers had cut some earlier in the fall and then left sections of the fields until later.  We are not sure that is what they do or whether the weather was too wet to harvest earlier, but it was interesting to see crops coming off in early December. We took a few short detours into small communities to find a few of the geocaches.  One of them was L’Original where we found a cache hidden under the edge of the Mill Creek Bridge.Also in L’Original is an old jail.  It was open and I think guided tours were still available even though it is the off season, but we had not traveled very far by this point and had over 200 km to go so we decided not to check it out. Much of our freeway travel was skirting Montreal and the sun was setting by the time we were passing the community of Bossard and heading toward Drummondville.  It was also rush hour for those getting off work in the city and heading home. We were happy to be going east instead of west; although the traffic in our lanes was quite thicks we had very few slow sections unlike the opposite lanes which were crawling. I did not see the sign for this ski resort but it certainly would not take long to reach the bottom of the runs.  The hills at home are three times as high as this.I remember from my long ago geography classes that the central and eastern parts of Canada are much older than the west.  The ‘mountains’ out here have had many more centuries to round-off and wear down.  Unlike the western Rockies and Coast mountains, which are relatively young and therefore very high and rugged.  The short length of the range below was by far the highest land we saw all day.We checked into our hotel in Drummondville at 5:30 and headed to the restaurant for some dinner.  It was a much more pleasant winter geocaching day than I was expecting to have.  And, if the weather man is correct, it may be the only one we get.

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