Vero went to Mont Tremblant with her sister so that left Sierra and I all alone for the weekend. This took a lot of mental energy. Not to handle the situation, but to ensure it was the greatest weekend she has ever experienced in her life! Much preparation is needed for such an event. I can’t just have her hang around the house all day long and consider that a ‘super fun time weekend with Dad’.
First stop, Larose Forest! Google Maps led us astray a little bit and I ended up on a road which is closed during the winter. I only clued in when I ended up on what can only be described as an ATV trail. Luckily, my parental senses took over and made me realize I should just backtrack and go check out the parking lot with a giant P7 sign. Sure enough, we found a lot with three entrances…one for a hiking trail, one for cross country skiing and another up the road for dog sledding. There wasn’t even any need for the snowshoes that I packed which was a bonus!
The first part of our trek was underwhelming. But about 300 metres down the path, the actual forest appears and it was like something out of Middle-Earth. This wasn’t some Vars cemetary path riddled with birch trees…this was something else! What a fantastic path.
We only encountered two cyclists during our trek for an hour through the woods. Luckily there are some signs which pointed me towards a lone picnic table in the woods. Sierra is unfortunately in a tight squeeze on the backpack so it was good to get her out of it and take a break (read: 30 pounds on my back is quite heavy!). Here Sierra is enjoying a snack while getting really excited any time she heard a bird chirping.
After our break she still wanted to walk around. We ended up encountering a bridge which she thought was quite incredible. She ran up and down the bridge a few times. Then I realized our trek out of the woods would take us about 6 hours if I let her stare at every branch we encountered so I put her back into the backpack.
I like this picture. It only took 40 tries.
When we exited the path and were walking up to our car, we heard quite the chatter down the road. After listening for a few seconds I realized it could only be the sounds of many dogs barking! There must be some dog sleds up ahead! We walked down the road and sure enough, we encountered about a dozen vehicles with dog sleds next to them. I had never seen that many dog sleds in my life. Sierra was having the time of her life. I ended up chatting with one of the women there. Turns out that they pay a membership fee to have the trails groomed and so they go every weekend they can to train the dogs on these trails. Must be a really interesting group to be part of. Sierra was not too happy when I decided to head back to the car. I’m pretty sure I found teeth marks on the security straps of the backpack as she was trying to chew her way back to seeing all those dogs.
Luckily I found something else to distract her with.
If Vero notices some tree sap on Sierra’s jacket, this is where it originated from.
Sierra trying to get one last look at the dog sleds before leaving. All in all, the Larose Forest was a great success and I can’t believe it’s been there all this time and I only went to visit now!
After lunch and an afternoon nap we headed to the St. Laurent mall so I could look at some frames to hold some comic artwork in. Unfortunately they didn’t have any in stock so I decided the only way to salvage the situation was to bring Sierra to Toys R Us. My favourite part was when she found a house set that she already has back at home. I managed to snap this photo in the split second that the box decided to jump out at her.
Toys R Us…the ultimate daycare?
The next morning our plans for visiting Ethan and Ellie for a morning music session fell apart so I had to rack my brain for something else to do. It was a beautiful morning once again and the sun was out so we decided to go for another walk. This time we went back to the Vars cemetary path. There’s no picnic table in the middle to have a snack at, but it’s a nice path nonetheless. I didn’t need the snowshoes which was a bonus.
Another great snack in the woods.
When we got off the path, I knew I needed a break in a few hours (aka, I needed Sierra to nap) and the only way to do that is to make sure she expels some energy! She walked most of the way home. However, as any true adventurer knows, you don’t have a time limit when there are wonders around. Here is Sierra taking a look at an eaves trough making some noise.
One driveway later she encountered a mud puddle! There was no shortage of things to discover in the span of 20 meters. It was going to be a long walk home!
My favourite part of the walk home was that at one point, she looks at me, proceeds to sit down on the pavement in the middle of the street and then lie on her back. I had a good laugh at her. Clearly she was pooched! I threw her back into the backpack and we headed home.
In the afternoon I was racking my brain for what we could do, but I saw that it was sunny out and hovering around zero degrees so we decided to have a campfire. It was a great idea until two minutes into it when she wasn’t having any of it. I brought her around on her sled for a few laps and when she finally convinced me to leave and go inside, Vero, Andreane and Danielle had arrived home. The super fun time weekend with Dad had officially closed! I hope she had fun. I sure did.