Hello friends! I have two more days of adventures to share from Canada. Welcome to the second to last installment! If you missed the first two recaps, check those out first:
As I mentioned in my earlier posts, I was in Canada on a press trip on behalf of the Outaouais and Quebec tourism bureaus. A big thank you to them for having me and covering the trip expenses!
Day 3 of our trip started bright and early: Julie and I decided to go for a run! Even though I’m training for a marathon right now, I decided I could afford one week where I took it easy on training, especially since the trip was bookended by a 19 mile run and a 20 mile run. That said, I knew day 3 of our trip wouldn’t be super active so I wanted to get up and get some movement in! I was happy Julie was down to join me.
We left for the run shortly after 6 a.m. so it was still pitch black outside when we started. We ran over to Gatineau Park, which was only about a mile away from where we were staying at Nordik Spa-Nature, but by the time we made it over there it was still pretty dim out. We figured out would be best to avoid the trails (and animals) and stick to the roads instead.
Julie and I decided to tackle 4 miles and chatted away nonstop the whole time. She was a great running buddy – I wish we lived closer to each other! By the time we came back to our lodge and conquered a big hill, we were treated to a beautiful sunrise as our reward.
Early morning run win!
4 miles – check!
After our workout, we quickly showered, had breakfast, and then our group hit the road for our next adventure: dog carting at Timberland Tours!
This was one of the things I was most excited about when I first saw our itinerary. What’s dog carting, you ask? It’s dog sledding, but without snow!
Timberland Tours, which is located about 45 minutes from downtown Ottawa in Bristol, Quebec, is owned by a man named Denis Rozen who has been racing sled dogs for the past 40 years. He opened Timberland Tours in 2008, and they have been offering year round adventures ever since!
Timberland Tours has 40 dogs on site. They are beautiful – very healthy looking and happy! They all went crazy with excitement when we arrived.
The dogs are all a special mix called Euro Dogs, which is a combination of German Pointer, Greyhound, and Alaskan Husky. This mix creates some of the fastest sled dogs on the planet!
Once everyone had a chance to say hello to the dogs, we got ready for dog carting! I got to help bring one of the smaller and calmer female dogs over to the cart. She was little and sweet but man was she strong!
Getting ready to go!
And then we were off! For dog carting, you are on a cart with wheels and the dogs pull you around a hard packed dirt course. It was so fun and the dogs obviously LOVED it!
After the adventure, we congratulated the dogs on their strength and thanked them for the fun ride.
We also got to hear more from Denis, the owner! Mushing is his absolute passion and you can tell he really loves the dogs. Once they are past their racing prime, he keeps them on to do dog carting and sledding with tourists.
Naturally, being a Registered Dietitian, I was curious about what the dogs ate. He said that each dog gets the following per day:
- 1 pound raw meat
- 1/2 cup rice
- 1/2 cup kibble
- 1 Tbsp. fish oil
- 1 tsp. kelp
Stellar diet, right?! Apparently in winter they also each get some hot soup in the morning. Adorable. And obviously treating the dogs so well has paid off – check out all those trophies he has accrued from racing!
Timberland is named in memory of his favorite dog (and best racer), an Alaskan Husky named Timber. Timber sadly died 3 years ago – he was 13 years old and still running until about the last 2 months of his life! Pretty amazing. A bunch of Timber’s offspring are now keeping his legacy alive at Timberland.
It was such a fun morning and unique experience. I would love to come back when it’s snowy for the sledding!
After our dog carting adventures, we all headed to lunch at a cute place named Café 349 in Shawville.
I enjoyed their soup of the day to start, which was a delicious lentil beef vegetable.
For my main course, I enjoyed the sweet potato black bean quesadillas, which were as great as they look!
It also came with a side salad. I shared some of the quesadillas – they were huge – and still didn’t finish!
After lunch, we headed to the nearby Coronation Hall Cider Mills for one final adventure before heading to our hotel for the evening.
Mmmm… fall apples are the best!
We got to enjoy some of their delicious baked goods and homemade cider while learning more about the mill. I was still pretty full from lunch so I just had a few tastes, but everything was delicious.
The only thing missing was cider donuts! Those are the BEST. I guess they are just a New England thing!
Sampling some of the hard cider – yum!
They also had all sorts of fun homemade jams for sale – I purchased some apple butter and raspberry jam to bring home with me.
There was a lot of fun history behind Coronation Hall – apparently it used to be a big hot spot back in the 1930’s for town dances! Nowadays they host all sorts of fun events there.
Stay tuned – one final recap is coming up tomorrow!
Have you ever been dog carting or sledding? If not, would you try it?