The (Snow) Dog Whisperer: Outaouais, Day Four


Today was a pretty huge day as far as my bucket list goes.  I got to check off not just one, but TWO things: dog-sledding and ice fishing.  And although “Eating a ton of artisanal chocolate” was not technically on my list, I did that, too.  When in Canada, one makes exceptions!

We went to Chiens Traineaus Petite-Nation for dog-sledding.  Right on cue, the snow started to fall, adding to the winter wonderland experience.  Everyone had a choice of driving the sled or riding in it, and while most of my fellow travel writers chose to take the role of the musher, I gladly snuggled into the sleigh and called out voice commands to my pups.  “Hup-hup” for go, “Whoa!” for stop, and “Merci chien!” for thanks dog.  Upon returning back from the hour and a half run, I went up to each of my ten pooches, giving a scratch on the belly and a “Merci chien” kiss on the head.  The last guy, the leader of the pack, returned the favor by lifting his leg and tinkling all over my snow pants and boots.  I guess it was his way of saying, “Welcome to the family”.


My dog team!

My favorite pooch, Zeuk!

Melt my heart into a million pieces...

Half-way through the race...exhausted!

For lunch we overdosed on chocolate at ChocoMotive.  The chef and owner, Gaetan Tessier, gave us a tour of the adorable shop, complete with tastings of all his artisanal chocolates.  My favorite was the salted carmel.  Oh, bliss!


ChocoMotive Chef Gaetan Tessier

We arrived at the gorgeous Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello just in time for ice fishing.  As I said before, ice fishing has always been on my bucket list…not so much the fishing part cause of the vegetarian in me, but the idea of standing out in the middle of a frozen lake, drilling holes into thirty inches of ice, throwing back a few brewskies while getting (coldly) in touch with nature has always fascinated me.  So I helped the guide drill holes, while taking pictures of my fellow travelers fishing.  If you catch something, the Fairmont will cook it up for you for dinner, but to my relief, nobody got more than a nibble.


The hole!

Travel writers turned ice-fishers!

Dinner was at Aux Chantignoles.  The Executive Chef, Serge Jost, did a splendid job incorporating the traditions of fine Eurpoean cooking with regional influence.  Veggie samosas, warm apple pie, and maple syrup creme brulee.  After all, I had to make sure to replenish all those calories after a day of dogsledding, ice fishing, and chocolate eating.


Maple syrup creme brulee

My room at the Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello

By: Jessica Tiare Bowen



  • Jody says:

    Wish I could be doing that with you again!

    • Used York City says:

      Hey Jody! Me too! I will never forget the dogs looking back at you saying, “Whatcha gonna do, Jody?” Ahh, Outaouais memories!

  • Wow, not sure how I missed this post last week. Looks like you had an absolutely wonderful time in Quebec. Dog sledding is also on my bucket list. I had never seen it done in real life until last winter in New Hampshire. Great post!

    • Used York City says:

      It was so much fun…it felt like something straight out of a movie! Definitely give it a try when you get the opportunity!

      Thanks for reading!:-)

  • Bella says:

    all the pictures are beautiful, the dogs are so cute.. I can now see that you will become a winter fan… :)…

    • Used York City says:

      The pooches were SO adorable, and they just got so happy when it was time to take off! When they would get thirsty, they took a break to eat the snow;-)

  • Lauren says:

    Omg the dogs are adorable!! That looks like so much fun!!!! That Creme Brulee looks to die for! Omg…

    • Used York City says:

      They are so cute, right?! I was in puppy love!;-)

      And the creme brulee was simply amazing! The Canadians really know their food!

  • Cathy S. says:

    Those dogs are so cute! Was the dogsledding difficult? Would children be able to do it? I have a 10 year old son who would love to do something like this. Thanks for the vacation idea!

    • Used York City says:

      Hey Cathy! Most of the time I rode in the sled, but I did drive a bit at the end. I wouldn’t say it was “difficult”, but definitely a good workout! I’m sure your son would love it, and the mushers that will be following along are pros, and are more than happy to help you out at anytime!

      Hope you get to go up to Outaouais soon!

  • Kelly says:

    I love the hotel room, so charmingly rustic!

    • Used York City says:

      The entire hotel was just like this! Largest log cabin hotel in Canada, I believe! From the fireplaces to the plaid throw blankets, it absolutely had that glamorous lodge feel!

  • Robin says:

    I’ve lived in Outaouais my entire life and never tried the dog sledding. After seeing the video and your pictures, I may just add it onto my “bucket list”.

    Glad you are enjoying your time in our beautiful region!


    • Used York City says:

      Hey Robin! You ABSOLUTELY should try the dog-sledding! The folks at Chiens Traineaux Petite-Nation are experts, and treat their dogs with lots of love! I’m already looking forward to my next trip to Outaouais!:-)

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