I love my job, I really do. One month ago I was invited to the Daaquam Outfitters & Resort which is located at only 115km South Est from Quebec city, in the Appalachian Regional park. Why there? Because this is the only place in Canada where you can enjoy Dog Sledding… by night! A trip in the cold, under the stars with no light except the one above us, how do you call that big round thing again? Oh, yeah, the moon.
It was my first experience of dog sledding ever. For a lot of people from Québec, this is typically a tourist activity, not to say a cliché. Anyway, the cliché may be real in the day light but when you shut the light off, you turn it into something completely different: an adventure.
Max Vidal made it possible. He’s the owner of the Daaquam Outfitters & Resort, a passionate man that has been literally building this 100 km web since 1993. You can not do this night trip all winter long though, only during certain periods. «La Magie des Astres», the name of this incredible excursion, can be done only on particular nights because you have to get the sunset, the moonrise and a full moon to make the magic happen withing 4h.
So here I am, entering the forest as the sun go down behind the trees who seemed to be on fire by the way. I first remained inside the sled or on I don’t really knows, sitting comfortably to take some pictures while there was still some light, then I drove this secular wooden vehicle to experience the feeling. I immediately noticed there was no gas pedal, I just had to release the brakes and the six husky dogs rushed forward like crazy. Piece of advice: don’t forget to help the dogs in the curves by putting your weight on the right or the left otherwise… well, I confirm the snow is pretty tasty in the Appalachian Regional park.
The trip lasted 4 hours, temperature: -15 degrees but thanks to Max who gave me an outfit that was designed for such cold, I was OK and enjoyed the magnificence of the landscapes instead of thinking « I’m cold, I’m cold…. ».
It was like being in a planetarium, but in real, with Nature around. The most incredible thing is that we never really had to use any sort of light. We could see the path thanks to the stars and the moon. Well, we used some light when we stopped to have… dinner! Max had prepared an exquisite meal: hot soup, salmon sandwiches, terrine, dessert AND a great glass of Ice Cider. Unforgettable moment.
On the way back we crossed a peat bog and that was the climax of this beautiful trip. No trees anymore to block the view, infinity in front of us, the quietness of great spaces, Lady Moon and her million friends… as George Clooney could have said. What else?
If you wanna go beyond the cliché: book the trip: March 2012 6th, 7th, 8th. You won’t regret it.
Daaquam Outfitters & resort www.daaquam.qc.ca
47, Rue des Moulins Saint-Just-de-Bretenières, QC G0R 3H0