Visiting La Baie McLaurin With a Dog – Quebec, Canada

As I look out the window on this cold January day in Ottawa and all I see is snow and bare trees; I long for the wonderful discovery Mom and I made this past October.  And I want to share this beauty with you Dear Reader. I want to bring a little colour to your day.

Sometimes the universe plays its hand in mysterious ways.  For the last 2 years we have had occasion to go the Marina Leblanc on the Quebec side of the Ottawa river.  This is where we put our sailboat in dry-dock.  Every spring we go for the big clean-up and put “her” in the water and then every fall, we go in reverse and take “her” out, give “her” a good clean and wrap the sailboat up tight for the winter.  It’s mostly Dad’s job.  I go to play in the sand pit and for the long walks along the river’s edge with Mom while Dad works away on his “man toy” as mom calls the sailboat.

Visiting La Baie McLaurin With a Dog - Quebec, Canada

There “she” is!

 

This process takes several afternoons on each end. So the area is rather well known to us.

I love the old abandoned barn…

Visiting La Baie McLaurin With a Dog - Quebec, Canada

Very Canadiana!

And the aqua-planes parked in the big field that doubles as my private off leash dog park when we visit.

Visiting La Baie McLaurin With a Dog - Quebec, Canada

They fly, They float … They Rock!

Visiting La Baie McLaurin With a Dog - Quebec, Canada

This one will do…

The river is wide and beautiful and although the road really needs a sidewalk – it’s a wonderful little jaunt that can take a good hour at a leisurely pace.   Mom and I will sometimes ask a local if we can use their floating docks to sit a while and they always say yes … the people are friendly.

Visiting La Baie McLaurin With a Dog - Quebec, Canada

Only thing missing is a sidewalk!

On my last walk there (fall of 2013) I came across a secret the area and its locals had been keeping from us. And what a secret it was!!  Imagine our surprise when Mom crossed the street to go read a sign she had only just noticed and discovered that there is a huge shallow lake, that is a water bird reserve and only accessible by a lovely woodland path!  All this time we had been walking on the road side (local traffic only) when a reserve a … a park …was RIGHT THERE!

Visiting La Baie McLaurin With a Dog - Quebec, Canada

What is this?

Visiting La Baie McLaurin With a Dog - Quebec, Canada

wait… WHAT??? No way!! (Vous etes ici = You are here)

Needless to say Mom sent a quick txt message to Dad letting him know she was taking me in to explore further.  And what we found was a little corner of heaven.

The path started off with a lovely cool, woodland area …

Visiting La Baie McLaurin With a Dog - Quebec, Canada

Let’s GO!

Visiting La Baie McLaurin With a Dog - Quebec, Canada

Ok Mom – seriously — Zoom Zoom!

Then the space between the trees got more airy and the trees taller …

Visiting La Baie McLaurin With a Dog - Quebec, Canada

Love the light here!

And then we found a really solid and well-built viewing tower …

Visiting La Baie McLaurin With a Dog - Quebec, Canada

Can we go up? eh? eh? Mom? Can we?

We climbed up and saw … the lake!

Visiting La Baie McLaurin With a Dog - Quebec, Canada

Ooooooooh!!!

Visiting La Baie McLaurin With a Dog - Quebec, Canada

Aaaaaaaah!

Continuing along, the path had fun wooden mini bridges over … nothing.  It shows that in the spring it must get muddy and flooded; that made sense since we were now in a more marsh like environment.   Then we turned a corner and found the quirkiest bridge spanning the lake.

Visiting La Baie McLaurin With a Dog - Quebec, Canada

Yep! It’s getting marshy!

Visiting La Baie McLaurin With a Dog - Quebec, Canada

Well Jiminy Cricket look at that!

Made up of several floating docks stringed together …

Visiting La Baie McLaurin With a Dog - Quebec, Canada

It moves when we walk on it! Eeeeek!

Over a lake no more than 2 to 5 feet deep …

Visiting La Baie McLaurin With a Dog - Quebec, Canada

See the bottom?

 

Visiting La Baie McLaurin With a Dog - Quebec, Canada

Reflects like a mirror!

 

From where we started to the end of the trail and then straight back – walking at a brisk walk – it took us about 45 minutes.  We saw a few other folks walking their dogs and you could tell they were locals; they were surprised to see us and a little jealous of our having discovered their hide-out.  We also bumped into a group of ladies on a photography class.  By the time we returned to Dad at the dry dock we’d been away for over 2 hours. We were happy, comfortably tired, our lungs full of fresh air and our spirit high!

So why did the universe wait so long to show us this gem?

I have a theory.

I think the reserve is a little shy or perhaps narcissistic and it wanted us to see it for the first time at its best, so we would fall in love with it in a moment. That meant waiting for the perfect day.  And that day was October 13, 2013.  The sun was shining, the sky that crazy shade of blue you only see here, the fall foliage was spectacular in a way it can only be mid-October.  The bugs were all gone since we’d had our first frost after the hot muggy summer; for a marshy area I am guessing that is a good thing. The God’s know how much mosquitoes and black flies love Mom.  In the spring it’s likely a mud bath … but right then – on that day? It was stunningly … perfect.

Visiting La Baie McLaurin With a Dog - Quebec, Canada

Serene Perfection!

 

Have you ever discovered a new place or trail and thought “HOW did I NOT KNOW this was HERE all this TIME?”  If so … share with us in the comments below!

6 Comments on “Visiting La Baie McLaurin With a Dog – Quebec, Canada

  1. Oooooh, such lovely memories… Last fall was the first fall in about 20 years that I spent home, in the Ottawa region, and I remember all the lovely trips we took into the country, ooooh-ing and aaah-ing at the glorious colours. Thanks, Monte, for the cheer-up… xox

    • I think we will brave the muck and try and see it in the spring time … when all that new life is starting. We are told that there are a lot of rare plants there that bloom and the bird sanctuary part is really evident then!

    • They really are the best! in this case we now will get as happy about going to the dry dock as Dad does! for totally different reasons but still … we will add any photos as an album to this post and any updates as we discover them. :)

      Not as cool as Cambodia or Thailand where you are right now Suzanne … lucky you!

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