NHS Final Major Day of Exploring

We started our morning with a long drive out to Manor-Papineau NHS. Louis-Joseph Papineau was a 19th century Canadian politician. HIs house was amazing and restored to near likeness of then his family lived there. The house had some impractical designs like the family living quarters were on the ground floor and the visitors rooms were all upstairs facing the river.


The house even had a dumbwaiter! This was amazing for the time period. During this time the bottle would prepare the plates for Mr. and Mrs. Papineau and then Mr Papineau would serve all of his guests. He entertained regularly.


We explore the gardens and fields of the estate. In the storage house we did a puzzle and built towers out of paper.




Our hike around the property was about 3km. We were amazed by all the 200+ year old trees and the cool mushrooms we found growing all over.


Next we visited Coteau du Lac NHS. This NHS boasts the FIRST lock in North America. It was a rather short lock to avoid a section of rapids and was only used for a brief amount of time. During the war in 1812 Canada fortified the rivers in preparation for Americans  trying to take the land.



The blockhouse still stands and is currently being renovated. We were able to tour inside but no photos were allowed.


In the visitors center we got to play archeologist and also try our hands at steel and flintstone.


We built a model of the blockhouse with the help of a little girl.


We explored the old canal from above and below.


Our next and last site of the day was Battle of the Chateauguay NHS. This site was historical because of a battle that took place in 1813 when the Americans, with 3700 troops, tried to attack the Canadian’s, with 300 troops. The Americans gave up and were defeated. This was the last time that the American’s attempted to take Canadian land in the area. We learned how they made musket cartridges. We made ours from paper, string, a gumball and sour powder.


We had fun doing our Xplorer books and learning about the site.


Lachine Canal and Exploring

Today we drove back to downtown in search of two more Parks Canada National Historic Sites. We eventually found the Fur Trade at Lachine NHS. It was formerly a trade warehouse and now a NHS. We explored different pelts and learned about the business of trade that took place here. We learned that the first people had to portage canoes and supplies that weighed 90lbs a bushel.


It was neat to learn about the term “As Mad as a hatter”.


We practices rowing the canoe. We were no where near as fast as the 60 strokes per minute that the natives maintained for 16 hours a day!


Next we drove down the river to the Lachine Canal lock #3. We had seen lock #5 next to the Fur Trade Site. A boat takes 3-5 hours to pass through the locks. We were off to complete of Xplorer books.


We stopped for some free Parks Canada air brush tattoos.


Exploring lock #3. E found a dime! We watched a seagull catch a fish and then drop it. He found it eventually and had his snack. We learned how to tie some knots and about how the canal was used in the past and it’s uses today. They have installed bridges and footpaths over the canal during the time when it wasn’t in use. So now the height clearance is much lower not to mention that the swing bridges don’t operate either.


We headed back towards a shopping area about 20 minutes from the campsite. We had ice cream at Chocolate Favoris again and then stopped in at a unique pet shop. It was called Safari and each location has a different theme. This one was pirates. They had cats, dogs, fish, birds and SO much more.


This is the sales floor!


And a photo from the second story of the store. They also had a huge pirate ship that was used for birthday parties, in a pet store!



We came back and went swimming. We wonder what the beachballs did wrong?



Thunder boomed and the pool closed early. We got showered and stuck at the bathhouse until the rain died down.

A Day of National Historic Sites

After fruit picking we headed out to Fort Lennox NHS. We had to take a boat out to the island. Again, i think this proves we are somewhat hitting the off season. The place was very quiet.




We were able to catch a tour of the fort in English. We were the only 4 on the tour so had lots of time for questions. The young man that was our guide was very knowledgable of the fort and history. We learned bout the casemates and ow they served as both food storage and kitchens. They all had curved roofs to help deflect cannonballs if ever attacked. The building to the right in the photo has gun loopholes that were aesthetic and not functional. They aimed right at the casemates!


We toured some rooms that were only available via the tour. The barracks house the soldiers. The beds either slept two soldiers head to foot to avoid the spread of lice or the bed could house an entire family! This fort was unique as they allowed more than the standard 6% of soldiers to be married. The guide told us that 30% were married. This was to help fend of deserters. The barracks were locked at night to make sure people didn’t try to desert. Boys who turned 14 either had to leave the fort or joint army. Girls at 14 were web to soldiers or had to leave. The soldiers made about 1 shilling a day.


We learned the duties of the guards and practiced our abbreviated 50 pace watch.


We loaded and fired cannons. (pretend)


Up next was Canal Chambly NHS. This site is new to the Parcs Canada Explorer program and did not have books of dog tags yet. It was really neat to watch the boats go through the locks. This was much faster than the previous locks we saw.


It was all done by hand crank to open the overflows and then the gates.


To travel through this lock currently it is $1.50 a foot length of your vessel.


We went down the road to Fort Chambly. The fort was nearly completely deteriorated and they rebuilt a structure on the site and preserved a few areas within the new walls of the old fort. The place was crowded. It was more of a city park and people were picnicking and relaxing. The Xplorer program was hurried due to the crowds and we only had to do the first activity. We opted to do more so we could learn more about the fort. Below is the old bread oven.


The Latrines.


Back at the bread oven again. You can see the modern building around the ruins.



We wrapped up quickly and headed back towards the cornfield we are camping in. We are enjoying being on the outskirts of town. May as well enjoy the peace and quiet when we can. The campground is very fancy and mostly seasonal with really nice motorhomes and 5th wheels.

We stopped along the way home and picked up fresh sweet corn for dinner. It was YUMMY on the grill.

Fruit Picking Fun

We had to get up really early today and Mom and Dad were hush hush about where we were going. We drove a little over an hour to the middle of nowhere cornfield land. We arrived at a u-pick fruit farm. We were all extremely excited to pick. We got our instructions and buckets and were out to pick raspberries first.


They were all so ripe and juicy! YUM YUM! I love raspberries.


Soon we were professional pickers.





Our bucket filled quickly with 4 people picking. It was a LOT of raspberries.


Up next were blueberries.


Unlike the Florida blueberry plants these were packed full of yummy looking berries. You barely had to touch the plant and they fell off in your hand.



We opted for a larger bucket for blueberries.


Now that is a LOT of blueberries.


Finally, APPLES. We picked a bag of Paula Red apples. They are so sweet and tiny.



Boy are they delicious. I ate three before we even got out of the parking lot.



So 20lbs of apples, the large bucket of blueberries and the medium raspberry bucket we came to a total of $32 Canadian! That is roughly $25 US.

They also sold cider and honey.

We have plans for yummy cobblers, pancakes, fresh fruit with homemade whip cream and more.



La Mauricie NP and Maple Trees

Today was overcast and dreary but we headed to La Mauricie National Park anyway. We arrive at the park and were treated with a ton of construction. The roads were empty and the parking lots and trails deserted. I think we have finally hit the off season. We look a long hike along the Cascades trail. Many of the other trails were closed due to bears.


The Cascades Trail led to a spectacular waterfall that had a very low angle and was extremely long. In the summer people can play in the many pools that are created along the waterfalls. The lower pool was completely closed off due to the bears.



We hiked, or rather RAN, from the lowest to the highest points.


The dense forest had some very cool looking trees. Many had double trunks and bent all which ways looking for sunlight.


This is Lake Wapizagonka. It stretches a massive 16 kilometers and is only 500meters wide. It looks like a river but it is really a lake. It runs between two mountains in the Laurentian Mountain range here in Quebec.


We still haven’t been able to figure out what the fox says.


After the 63km road in La Mauricie we headed back towards Three rivers. Breighton had seen a brochure for the Sugar Shack. With a little research we found the location and went to visit. It is a maple grove where they harvest syrup.


We toured the educational center and learned about modern tree tapping.




We explored part of the grove and saw some examples of the old ways to harvest that let in all the bugs and other impurities.


As we were leaving we saw a man with a tray of ice come outside under a tent. We went to explore and he was making fresh maple toffee for a tour group that was coming. He let us each try some. It was DELICIOUS!



Back at the campground and the rain is threatening again. We stopped by to see the little petting zoo the campground has. We also went swimming and got a load of laundry done.





Tomorrow we roll towards Montreal and fetch Dad at the airport.