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The Winter Resolution series: Bush party! (shhhh … pass it on)

When I was a teenager, every so often word would spread that a “bush party” was going to take place on the weekend. Unlike the “house party” which took place at some poor unsuspecting parent’s home while they were away, a “bush party” involved no house, just a location in the woods somewhere.

The two types of parties still shared some commonalities — no parents, underage drinking and police showing up. The last item on the list being why the location of the bush party was to be a secret, passed by word of mouth on to friends. (Imagine how twitter has changed the world of teenage parties?!)

Last night, I feel like I stumbled upon the adult version of a bush party.

At about 4:40 in the afternoon, we headed out on the same trail I told you about here to have a cross-country ski outing. And in case this post makes you think that I’ve magically overturned years of winter hate in one season, such is not my life. Although I went out, I went out grudgingly.

As we started the ski, the sun was setting. It was beautiful and the outline of the trees against the shadow of the lake was a peaceful sight. But I couldn’t concentrate long enough to feel peaceful. My right knee was aching (old rugby injury), my neck was stiff (old car accident injury) and my dear daughter did not stop talking the entire time. It’s not that she was being annoying, it’s just that, for me the feeling of peace generally comes with quiet instead of knock-knock jokes.

We finally did reach the turn-off for the Shilly Shally. But instead, we decided to have our Saturday-night meal at a cabin called Keogan. The stars were out, but the path there was still dark.

Keogan cabin, Gatineau Park

Keogan cabin, Gatineau Park

We arrive to see that we are not alone here in the forest. Stacks of skiis and snow-shoes were outside. And through the windows, we could see candle-light and hear laughter.

As we enter, I see rows of wooden tables and smiles and cheer all around. On the tables were no peanut-butter and jam sandwiches, but fondue pots of cheese and chocolate, beautiful fresh breads and bottles of wine.  In the middle of a dark forest, a Saturday night bush party!

We unpacked our goodies and enjoyed a delicious picnic that hubby had packed, complete with red wine that’d been stowed in a Sigg bottle. The kids were in heaven. And so was I.

Julie in Keogan cabin, Gatineau Park

Catching a quiet moment (despite the non-stop movement of my toddler in the corner of the shot!)

So, dear friends:  Bush party at Keogan! shhh… pass it on ….

Note from Julie on November 15, 2015: Hey, are you curious to see how this whole Winter Resolution thing has been working out? Check out this post for an update: “What I’ve Learned from Saying “Yes” to Winter.”


  1. Wine in a Sigg? I like your style. You must be excellent skiers…the trail sounds really tough (it say’s “challenging”).

  2. That sounds simply delightful. I’m envious!

  3. Now even I would cross Country ski if it meant I could stop at that cabin for wine and fondue! That is my kind of skiing.


  1. […] late afternoon ski and dinner described at the blog Coffee with Julie. (Includes incriminating […]

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