Our dog sledding adventure in Québec
The past 4 months have been chock full of new experiences for us as we have been learning just what a real winter is like. Now with the season nearing its end (hopefully!), I think I can safely say that we have survived our first Québec winter. The rest of the year should be a piece of cake, weather-wise, and I’m looking forward to seeing Québec in a color other than white. Out of all the new things we’ve tried here, dog sledding is my favorite so far. I loved it so much that I’ve spent the recent weeks trying to convince Mathieu to buy a sled and adopt some dogs so we can enjoy this new hobby during the next 6 months of winter. It will begin soon, so we should hurry!
We chose Chenil la Poursuite for our inaugural dog sled adventure. The location, about a 15 minute drive from Québec City, was very convenient, but what really sold me was the dog sled plus brunch deal. After spending the morning speeding through the snowy forest, it was extremely satisfying to eat a huge plate of pancakes and bacon drowned in my favorite condiment ever, maple syrup. This being Québec, the syrup is produced in the adjoining cabane à sucre, of course. After eating, we went back for some bonus play time with the puppies and sled dogs. We skipped the snow shoes this time, but there were trails available for that as well.
Driving the sled was not as difficult as I feared since the dogs are quite used to running this loop, and they tend to follow the leader anyways. Our group included about 5 sleds, each pulled by 5 or 6 dogs. Mathieu and I had our own sled. A guide explained the basic principles of driving the sled and then he led the group on a one hour loop through the forest. We stopped frequently so he could switch around the dogs who were either pulling too much or too little, and then halfway through we switched drivers. I enjoyed both driving and riding, but the driving is a lot more exciting. It’s also quite a workout as you need to often run up the hills to help out the dogs. We both managed to keep the sled upright the entire time, although there were some sharp turns that almost threw us. Needless to say, we were feeling quite proud of ourselves at the finish! In case you haven’t already just skipped ahead to the dog photos, here’s a small sample of our day.