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A Bike Race in the Dead of Winter I’ll Never Forget

With my love of adventure, I'll usually say yes to most things saner people would avoid. A bike race in the dead of winter across Lac Saint-Jean in Quebec is one such adventure. The brainchild of David Lecointre, La Traversée du Lac Saint-Jean à Vélo is a 32 kilometre bike race from Peribonka to Roberval across the vast expanse of white, frozen Lac Saint-Jean. I never planned to do this as a bike race; for me it…

Do You Have What it Takes to be a Coureur des Bois?

The Canadian Ski Marathon (CSM) is the longest Nordic ski event (160 kilometres over two days) in North America. It's also the oldest. This year it celebrated its 50th birthday and I had an opportunity to participate - in the Tourer category. But at the end of the first day, about 4:30 in mid-February, I also had a chance to go behind the scenes and visit Gold Camp - the home for the night of a group of amazing men and…

An Easy Escape to Beautiful Baie St. Paul in Quebec’s Charlevoix Region

Over the years I've read the odd Globe and Mail article about the Charlevoix region of Quebec. I'd heard about the foodie scene and knew that the former Hôtel La Ferme along with Le Massif Ski Resort was the brainchild of Cirque du Soleil co-founder Daniel Gauthier. And recently I'd seen a photo on Instagram of Baie St. Paul at sunrise so I had more than an inkling that the area would be beautiful. But…

Is it Worth the Splurge to Stay at the Fairmont Montebello?

I've stayed at a few Fairmont properties over the years (all on my own dime) including the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, Fairmont Banff Springs and the Fairmont Norfolk Hotel in Nairobi. All have delivered wonderful stays and experiences - but at a price - as you would expect from a hotel chain of this caliber. Almost a year ago I was asked if I'd consider coming to the Outaouais Region to participate in the 50th…

Le Massif Delivers Views & Vertical on the Edge of the St. Lawrence River

Have you heard of Le Massif de Charlevoix? Virtually unknown outside of Quebec and southern Ontario, this mountain delivers long ski runs with phenomenal in your face St. Lawrence River views. Boasting the biggest vertical drop (770 m) east of the Rockies, this is a ski hill you'll want to try. John and I had the opportunity to ski here last week while on a short visit to the spectacular Baie St. Paul area - just 20 minutes away. (And you'll want a few days here…

What It’s Like When You’re the Entertainment for a Wolf Pack

I'm excited and also a little nervous. For the first time in my life I, along with 11 others on a Saguenay - Lac Saint-Jean press trip, are going to be the entertainment for a pack of five wolves. It sounds unusual but once you've read the backend of the story you'll understand why. And as it turns out - it's one of the most uplifting experiences of my life. The Parc Mahikan Wolves The wolves we…

10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Quebec City

I'm curious by nature and it's one of the reasons I love to travel. On every trip I learn something - whether it's the history that was never taught in school or the lay of the land you only get by exploring on foot. Here are 10 things I didn't know about Quebec City before my latest visit. Quebec City's Winter Carnival has been around in one form or another since 1894 (a few years were…

Where I Lost My Poutine Virginity – Twice in an Hour

You'd think as a Canadian who has been on this planet for well in excess of five decades that I would have eaten poutine by now - especially growing up in Ottawa, just across the border from Quebec. For the first few decades I can blame it on my mother. She was a health nut and French fries were verboten - as was gravy except over turkey at Christmas. In the ensuing decades the blame…

Why You’ll Want to Visit Quebec City in December

December is not traditionally a time for tourists in Quebec City and as such it's a great time to go. Prices are lower, there's lots to do both inside and out and there's a real magic to the city - especially with so many Christmas lights and beautiful decorations. Over a weekend you could easily fit in a visit to all of the following places. Park you car for everything but the aquarium. Quebec City is a…

Trilliums and Ruins: A Spring Hike in Gatineau Park

This is THE time to be hiking in Gatineau Park. With the forest carpeted with trilliums and birds singing their hearts out, it's a place that will feed your soul. A Hike to the Thomas Carbide Willson Ruins I was lucky to be part of a group that had signed up for a nature tour while at an Ottawa conference. One full day was set aside to visit Ottawa's fabulous Canadian Museum of Nature, followed…

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