Strawberry Picking & Meech Lake

Last week, I had a random Wednesday off from work in honor of Saint-Jean Baptiste day which worked out perfectly as Lee was also off.

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To make things even better, the local farm where we go every summer to pick Strawberries opened that day for the first time this season.

AudreeLeeBlog - Strawberry picking & Meech Lake 02Lee and I picked 4 baskets worth of strawberries, we gave one to my mom and grandma, one to my dad and kept the last two for ourselves. We saved a small amount to be eaten right away and pitted/froze the rest to use for smoothies and other recipes.

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Then, Lee told me about these ruins near a lake, someone from work had told her about. She couldn’t remember the exact name of the place, so we had a bit of research to do but found it very easily: Meech Lake, which is located in the Gatineau Park. We grabbed our cameras and water bottles, and headed there.

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There is a beach with public access but we didn’t make it there, instead, we took the trail leading to the ruins also know as the Wilson “Carbide” Mill Trail.

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The trail is multi-use, being used by both pedestrians and cyclists and is well taken care of just like every other one in the Gatineau Park.

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It took us about 2.5 hours to get there and back, walking at a leisurely pace and stopping for pictures fairly often.

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The ruins are breathtaking, surrounded by a waterfall and lush greenery, tucked away in the middle of the woods. They are of a fertilizer plant built by Thomas “Carbide” Wilson during the early 1907 making it over 100 years old!

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The concrete base you see on the left of the picture above is all that is left of what used to be an acid condensation tower. I took the picture below while standing in the middle of the tower’s base.

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The area where the ruins are located is so peaceful, in the middle of the woods, with the sound of the water rushing down the waterfalls. We stuck around enjoying the sounds and the nature for a little while, taking picture of the small details surrounding us.

Details such as this small pipe (which was about 1″ in diameter) in which a tiny plant was growing, the metal fence blocking the entrance of this metal pipe through which the waterfalls used to go, this post wrapped in metal wiring at the entrance of the acid condensation tower….

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… the moss growing on the metal mullions of what used to be the house’s windows and bolts sticking out of the concrete bridge/dam which is now in ruins, just above the waterfall.

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I found a picture (here) of what the house looked like back on July 13th, 1917.

Super-phosphate plant at Meech Lake in 1917 (73KB JPG image)

It is crazy to see the differences between now and then.

On our walk we also saw a bunch of wildlife: old knotty trees…

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…many dragonflies, in all sorts of pretty colors…

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…chipmunks, gross spiders….

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… and the most gorgeous butterflies.

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We will definitely go back! Next time, though, we will make sure to bring mosquito repellent as we got quite a few bite along the way.

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