Winter wonders: frost flowers

Winter is here again, and the only way to enjoy it is to embrace it! What a better way than exploring the surrounding countryside, where every unexpected corner can offer many surprises; this time the rare and stunning frost flowers.

Frost flowers
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Happy Earth Day!

“We don’t inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.” – Chief Seattle

As the days become longer, and the skies sunnier, we see and hear the birds more often, building nests and calling for a mating partner. It’s the spring time, again, with small flowers emerging through the last layers of snow, with birds singing happily around. The spring that brings everything alive, and never fails to bring us joy! Except maybe for some late snow falls, known under different names, such as “Onion snow”, “Robin snow”, or “Lambing snow”. Nevertheless, the spring is here😊

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Ice carvers wanted – no experience necessary

February is the month when Canadians have most of their winter fun, as lots of events and festivals take place across the country. Indoor, and especially outdoor activities highlight Canada’s cultural, artistic, and culinary diversity, and most of them are free and take place everywhere.

Before the ice age month will come to an end, we decided to go for a drive in the country side, enjoying another sunny and beautiful day.

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A quick guide to visiting a lesser-known tourist attraction: Pointe-au-Père Maritime Historic Site

Located on the shores of St. Lawrence River, 11 km from Rimouski, Pointe-au-Père Lighthouse was designated a National Historic Site in 1974. The treacherous shore enveloped in a dense mist was a sufficient proof for us that the lighthouses were much-needed at the mouth of the river, and along Route 132 of Gaspé Peninsula.

Our drive around Beautiful Gaspesié did not include originally this visit, but the grey and rainy morning we woke up with in Rimouski made us change our plans quickly, and here we are, learning about local history, and the dangers of the waterway.

Pointe-au-Père lighthouse, Rimouski
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White River suspension bridge trail – Pukaskwa National Park

Out of the hundreds of hiking possibilities in Northern Ontario, the trail going to the White River suspension bridge is the one you won’t want to miss. If you like hiking, you love nature, and suspension bridges, then this is the trail you must have on your list.

Being on the road already for few days, on our West to Northwest Road Trip, we planned carefully a full day on this rather difficult trail.

Pukaskwa National Park - White river suspension bridge trail
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Fort William of 1816 – The height of the fur trade in North America

One of the largest living history attractions in North America, Fort William offers a vivid image of the fur trade life. Re-enactment of the old days was our main reason we chose to visit the fort, as we very much enjoyed the cheerful animators from Fortress of Louisbourg, Nova Scotia. Although the park staff was very limited after the big lockdown from the beginning of the year, we considered lucky to be able to visit it, as the park re-opened mid-summer.

The story of the North West Company and its rendezvous place at Fort William covers but a brief span of history. Between the American Revolution (1776-1783), the war of 1812, and later the Pemmican War, then until its own absorption by the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1821, the North West Company exercised a virtual monopoly of all trade into the northwest directed from Montreal. As the company’s inland headquarters, Fort William became the pivotal point in a vast fur trading empire, in a peaceful time before the several changes of what will later become Canada, such as 1869 when Hudson Bay Company turned over the governance to the new nation of Canada who decided the future of the North West territories. Anyway, Fort William remains an eloquent proof of peaceful trading times, frozen in time at the height of the fur trade in North America, as it was in 1816.

Hope you will enjoy the little movie, and the cheerful animators of Fort William!

Tip(s) of the day:

  • Ask as many questions as you want, all the staff looks knowledgeable, and willing to take extra time to answer all your questions;
  • Wear comfortable shoes and clothing, as the site is quite big, and not much shade between the buildings;
  • Take water and sunscreen with you, especially during the summer months;
  • Admission was $5.00 as of August 2021, for hours of operation and more info you can read here.

~ visited in August 2021