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Whatchamacallit 99: Parcs Québec Hat

Parcs Québec hat

Last fall I took a week off to explore and hike throughout The Gaspésie peninsula of Québec, Canada.

I extolled the virtues of my vacation last November – about a month after I got home. Even now, some 9 months after I was there, I miss that particular trip. My analysis of it in November remains true today: “I think that I played the trip almost perfectly.”

One of my (very) minor mistakes happened at the beginning: I was exhausted my first day in Montreal, having woken up early in Berlin and flown via Vienna. My desired afternoon agenda comprised six stops; due to exhaustion, only four actually happened.

First, I bought a Montreal Canadiens hoodie from their shop attached to their training facilities – this became my day-to-day wear for cooler weather. Second, I stopped by a supermarket and picked up a variety of things one needs on this kind of trip: water and healthy snacks. Third, I stopped by MEC – Mountain Equipment Co-operative; think REI but Canadian – to buy a slightly heavier winter jacket; I ended up buying a couple of wool sweatshirts. The fourth stop was a restaurant, Toujours Mike, which was chosen because it was on the right hand side of the road between MEC and my hotel – I ate poutine.

I then returned to my hotel and promptly fell asleep – sleeping a solid 9 or 10 hours, waking at about 6am, ready for breakfast and to hit the road.

Notice that I did not buy a hat at MEC. That – and a pair of gloves – represents a minor mistake.

It wasn’t an issue until I got to Gîte du Mont-Albert in Gaspesie National Park, where it was snowing and genuinely cold out. I got out my new winter jacket, put it on, and quickly realized that I needed a hat and gloves if I was going to comfortably hike in the national park.

So I popped over to the park’s gift shop, where I picked up a pair of gloves and this hat.

The hat served me quite well over the next two days – I took several amazing hikes, saw moose in the wild, and generally enjoyed myself.

The hat was, this past winter, my favorite – thanks to its cute pattern and its ability to instantly remind me of that fabulous vacation.


During the Covid-19 crisis, I am going to try and make a point of writing a blog post about an object in my home.

We’ll see how long this lasts.

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