Sue North

From one adventure to the next ...

Category: Miscellaneous

Dog Friendly Adventures in Ontario

Sorry all – we took another hiatus from the blog!\. Our hands have been a little fuller than usual the past few months. Introducing the culprit who’s stolen our attention since March – the newest member of our family – Theodore aka Teddy Handfield!

Teddy @ 16 weeks
A rare calm moment in the backyard

Over Christmas, Antoine and I decided we were ready to welcome a dog into our new home. We settled on the whoodle breed – a mix between his favourite poodle and my ideal wheaten terrier. We spent the start of 2019 puppy proofing our new home in preparation for his arrival in the spring. From mid-March onwards, we were wrapped around his little paw, trying to train our little bundle of fur to be an upstanding canine citizen. Positive reinforcement, visits with friends and other dogs, puppy kindergarten classes, and the book Training the Best Dog Ever helped us immensely with this!

Treats in the canoe – check!

We also socialized Teddy in our canoe, following the instructions in an aptly released new video by one of our favourite outdoorsman Joe Robinet. Teddy learned that the canoe was fun and safe on dry land in our backyard, before taking him on the water for the first time at Meech Lake in mid-May.

A big part of Teddy’s training has been introducing him to fun, new experiences. We hoped that Teddy would become our hiking, canoeing, road tripping companion, and this meant we needed to bring him along on all kinds of adventures. We started small, with daily drives around town and visits to friends’ homes. Once Teddy was fully vaccinated, we were able to introduce him to the world of hiking, taking forest walks in the ravine behind our home, trekking Green’s Creek Conservation Area and jogging along the Ottawa River parkway.

Strolls along the Ottawa River Parkway

His love for the outdoors led to more adventures! We’ve been pleasantly surprised to find that most parks and trails in Ontario are pet-friendly, so long as dogs are on a leash. Teddy also does really well off-leash, so finding spots like Conroy Pit in Ottawa or off-the-beaten trail hikes are a plus. Here’s a quick overview of some of the spots we’ve camped and visited with Teddy in May and June.

Thousand Islands National Park

Teddy testing the waters @ Thousand Islands National Park – May 2019

On May long weekend, we camped with a group of 8 at sites #7 and #8 on Aubrey Island in Thousand Islands National Park. Aubrey Island is approximately 5 kms from the Gananoque marina. It was an easy paddle through cottage country along the St. Lawrence River. We lucked out in terms of bugs; the cool spring temperatures meant they hadn’t hatched yet and didn’t plague us as per usual for past May long weekends. But unfortunately the weather did not fully cooperate; we had to cut our trip short after one night due to severe thunderstorm warnings.

Teddy’s first time in a tent @ Thousand Islands National Park

Teddy did so well on his first big canoe trip; even dipping his toes into the chilly St. Lawrence. We were so excited to introduce him to the world of swimming next!

Driftwood Provincial Park

Teddy breaking rules on the beach at Driftwood Provincial Park

For Father’s Day 2019, we decided to take our first long roadtrip with Teddy to Sault Ste. Marie. Since it was Teddy’s first lengthy car ride, we chose to break the drive up into two with a night at Driftwood Provincial Park. Approximately 3.5 hours from Ottawa, we’d driven by this provincial park countless times en route to the Sault, but had never stopped. We stayed at site #42, directly on the beach, in the middle of monsoon rains. My hand hovered over the “book” button on a hotel in North Bay numerous times on the drive, but in the end we’re happy we stayed and discovered what a nice park this is. The downpour let up for about an hour which allowed us to set up our tent and take Teddy for a walk along the Ottawa River and through the forest. He got his beach zoomies out, and even went for a swim. Mmm how we love wet dog in a tent!

The beach at Driftwood Provincial Park is not open to dogs, but the place was empty due to the weather and our Thursday night arrival. We took advantage, but realize it would be less fun for Teddy should we return in the future. Driftwood looks like a great option for embarking on a canoe trip down the Ottawa River. Next time perhaps!

Chutes Provincial Park

Dog beach at Chutes Provincial Park

On our way to the Sault, we happened to stop in at Chutes Provincial Park in Massey, Ontario as Teddy was in dire need of a potty break. Who knew this little gem of a park existed?! The park is home to gorgeous falls, well treed campsites, a dog friendly beach and fenced exercise area for pooches. We decided we’d extend our return trip by a day to break up the drive back to Ottawa, and planned a stay at Chutes for one night. We chose campsite #91 which offered ample privacy and sounds of the falls. Teddy was becoming a big fan of camping in the tent!

Crown Land Canoeing – White Lake and Ottie Lake

In June, we also snuck in two canoeing adventures on White Lake and Ottie Lake once the weather warmed up. These lakes are approximately 1.5 hours from Ottawa and have crown land islands and shoreline, so we were able to swim and enjoy a picnic lunch. By this time, Teddy had become really comfortable in the canoe, and he’s turned into quite the water dog. We love being able to get away for quick day trips to nearby lakes.

If anyone has suggestions for canoeing or hiking spots near Ottawa, let us know in the comments! 🙂

In July, we’re on the road again for three weeks of vacation. We’ll be back blogging about those adventures soon! Thanks for following along.

Liz, Antoine & Teddy

Sorry for the hiatus! We bought a house :)

Hi everyone!

Thanks for your patience while we took an unexpected mini hiatus from the blog. It all went awry on September 12th, 2018 – two days after we returned from our five week vacation to the Yukon. While we were on our trip, we had to put house hunting on the backburner; but on our final 9 hour drive back to Ottawa, I immersed myself in the latest house listings and eagerly set up 3 showings for our first week back.

 

The first two showings were rather disappointing, but the third one exceeded our expectations. Before we knew it, only 3 days after returning home, we put in our first offer on a home. Two days later, our offer was accepted! Flash forward 3 weeks, and we were moving into our first home with the help of our incredible group of friends. Thanksgiving weekend was spent hurriedly unpacking so we could host Friendsgiving dinner in our new dining room.

 

The past two months have been quite the whirlwind, and inevitably that meant our blog has been neglected. For a period of time it actually wasn’t even live – this is what happens when you host your own website and have to move the server with you, or when you lose power and Antoine the webmaster is not home to fix it!
We apologize for the hiatus, but promise to have new content up soon including photos and stories from our recent trip to the UK.

 

In the interim, here are a few house photos of our two favourite rooms! 🙂

 

Liz & Antoine

Introducing Sue’s crew and the blog!

Hello world! That’s how you’re supposed to begin a blog site right?

As you can likely tell, we’re new to this stuff. We’ve decided to start on this “blogging” adventure to share our travel experiences, projects and lessons learned along the way. “We” is comprised of Liz and Antoine – a mid-20s couple from Ottawa, Ontario. By day, we are office workers – one  a computer scientist and the other a librarian (I’ll let you guess which one is which!). By night (and weekend ;), we are outdoors enthusiasts who love sports, canoeing, hiking, camping, and motorcycling.

Canoeing the Mattawa River

We also love to travel, and to get off the beaten path when we are doing so. When preparing for a trip, whether it be a quick canoe camping adventure or a long distance road trip across the country, we are constantly turning to the internet to find out the who, what, where, when and why in an effort to find the elusive road less traveled. At times it can be tricky to find information and develop our plans, so we always end a trip with new insights and reflections that we can apply to our next adventure. We want to use this platform to redistribute our knowledge, including the “oh I wish I’d known that” or “why didn’t I think of this?” experiences we inevitably encounter while traveling.

This summer, we will be embarking on our biggest adventure yet – a 6,800km trip (one way!) to the Yukon and Northwest Territories. We’ll be travelling in Sue, our new(-ish?) Subaru Outback that we are steadily outfitting for the trek. As we gear up and get ready, we’ll share our plans, projects and ideas in hopes they inspire someone else to consider an epic journey to Canada’s North. We’ll be sharing photos and experiences along the way as well, so our friends and family can follow our trips. Let’s be real, it’s mostly for them! They need to keep tabs on us somehow 😉

Sue the Subaru!

We’ll also be looking for your feedback along the way! We are constantly referring to forums, review sites and blogs when preparing for our trips, so we hope this blog will become a space for others to share their travel ideas and insight. When we post about our preparations to get Sue geared up for the big trip, let us know if you think we’re forgetting something crucial! And if we post a list of must-see spots in a location, tell us what we’ve missed or what to watch out for. We’re eager to hear from readers, so please leave comments and questions on our posts or reach out to us on social media.

We hope to have more content up soon, with a road trip to South Carolina in the coming weeks and plans taking shape for the Yukon. Stay tuned!!

Liz & Antoine

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