Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Occupy Keji!

Kejimkujik National Park
Jan. 19, 2013

Here's a shot of a band of skiers at Keji out for a tour during the Occupy Winter/Keji event on January 19th. I tagged along with them until we reached the turn off to Big Dam Lake. If you squint, you can see two additional skiers in the background.

The 'event' was part of a national campaign to have people participating in winter events at national parks across Canada. These parks are all affected by the Conservative cuts to the department, cuts which have closed all but 3 national parks for the winter season.

These park closures are extremely disappointing to those who enjoy using the parks throughout the year, including our 4th season.

Turnout was excellent, organizers tallied ~120 visitors on Saturday and ~100 on Sunday, despite the warm and rainy conditions.

Participants came from all over the Western end of the province, including Halifax, Digby, Yarmouth, Shelburne and various communities through the Annapolis Valley and South Shore.

Ski conditions on Saturday were near perfect, with temperatures hovering around the freezing mark and fresh snow falling for most of the morning and early afternoon.

The atmosphere in the Mill Falls picnic shelter was jovial as skiers and snowshoe'rs stomped inside to dry off and warm up. Rick Swain entertained with tall tales and a local painter read poetry to the attentive crowd.

It was heartening to see Eric LeBel, park superintendent, in attendance. He was chatting up the visitors and also helped supply the firewood for the wood stoves in the shelter. Park staff helped make the event possible by plowing the road to the shelter as well as unlocking it so the participants had a place to gather and stay warm.

More pics to follow from a great day of enjoying winter and showing support for our national parks system.

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