This week’s photos are brought to you by the letter “V”, for “Val David”.
(Weekly Photo – Week #22, May 28, 2014)
Something different this week – a photo trip down memory lane. The town of Val David is located in the Quebec Laurentian Mountains, about an hour drive north of Montreal, Quebec. The areas of Val David that I remember the most are the town, Eagle Rock, La Sapinière and Golden Lake. When I was a young child my parents purchased some land near Golden Lake and it became our summer, and sometimes winter home until I was in my late teens. I stopped visiting there when I was in my late teens. During the summer of 2005 I visited the area and I spent a day exploring some of my old childhood haunts. But I wasn’t satisfied; something was missing. Again in 2010 I visited the town and the Golden Lake area with my friends A&E. I left frustrated, and it took me a while to understand why.
When I visited I was expecting the place to look like it was when I was a youth. Well it wasn’t! Things had changed, and in some cases the changes were quite dramatic. With this in mind, I visited again in the fall of 2011 with my close friend E. We stayed at a beautiful B&B and spent three days exploring all the places of my youth. My expectations were more realistic, and so what I experienced was the remembrance of wonderful childhood memories. And I made some new memories with my friends A&E.
These photos were taken during my visits in 2005, 2010 and 2011.
Eagle Rock … this piece of granite looks like a large eagle from a distance, hence its name. Today the trail to the top of the rock is closed off and you need to climb a fence if you want to hike up the trail to the top. The cliff face at the top now has signs and ropes to prevent people from getting too close to the edge. As a child we spent many, many days clambering over the rocks, climbing up the cliff face, sitting on the edge of the cliff while eating our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and hiking on the trails around the rock.
Golden Lake … or Lac d’Oré as it is now called, is a spring-fed closed lake in the shape of an hour glass with a mix of private water-front properties and private beaches. The beaches are closed to the public and you must own property in the area to gain access to the beach. As a child the public beaches were open to just about anyone. As children we would think nothing of swimming across the lake and back, without supervision. None of us ever drowned, and in fact, I don’t remember anyone ever drowning in this lake. In the spring, after the ice melted, the water would be at the top of the walls on the private property, and in the fall you could walk around the lake at the water’s edge. Today, it is almost impossible to see the lake from the road that surrounds the lake – there are so many private homes now.
La Sapinière – This hotel goes back to the 1930’s and it has been visited by many celebrities and has been the home of some great events such as a G7 conference and NATO meetings. As a child, my friends and I used to ride our bikes to Lac La Sapinière where we would sometimes see some of the Montreal Canadian hockey players.
The remainder of these photos represent some nice memories for me …