Fall colours along Highway 323


Highway 323 is a well-travelled route for Ottawans wanting to get to Mont-Tremblant and beyond in the Laurentian Mountains.  It passes through several villages along the way, and the rolling hills are dotted with farms and their livestock, offering wonderful vistas with every twist in the road.

Cars tend to cluster together as they head in either direction, but few feel the need to pass other motorists – the cottage will still be there when they arrive…

Despite having to concentrate on my driving while being caught within one of these clusters, I did happen to see a small scale sugar shack (or Cabane à sucre as it is known in Quebec) as we approached a bend in the road.  It is in moments like these that the trappings of city life (“gotta get there on time”) collide with rural thinking (“in due time”, or “we’ll get there when we get there”).  It took a couple of minutes for me to eventually land on “it’s ok if I arrive 15 minutes later than planned”, and I gave myself permission to take my time to find an appropriate place to safely make a U-turn.

This abandoned sugar shack, like a broken timepiece, captures an era of maple syrup making, at least until Mother Nature completely reclaims the property, or a developer has other uses for it.  Despite the constant sound of vehicles passing nearby, my vantage point on the shoulder of the road allowed me to soak in all of the details before me: from the lichen covered rocks, to weather-worn timbers, to rusted sheet metal roofing and broken glass.  All that was missing from this scene were the sounds and smells of human activity – boiling maple tree sap, the sounds of children laughing and enjoying maple sugar toffee on a stick…

Categories: QuebecTags: , , ,

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