a peek inside the fishbowl

17 Sep, 2018

A fishing expedition to beat all, part 1

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Sponsored posts|travel talk

Before this past weekend, I’d never really been fishing before. Our daughters have fished under Mark’s supervision a handful of times during summer camping trips, but I was always on the sidelines or having a nap back at our tent.

I am very grateful to Mark, because he taught the girls some basic fishing skills (worm goes on the hook/hook goes in water/hook is removed from fish/repeat) but more importantly, he taught them that worms aren’t gross (along with toads, frogs, snakes, and all manner of creepy-crawlies) and that fishing is cool and fun and interesting.

I now have a whole new view of fishing: Fishing is very quiet and relaxing up to the moment it is breathless and exciting.

I need to backtrack a moment and describe the reason behind this epiphany. Ford Canada invited me and a few other media types for a little adventure this past weekend that included (a) a major test drive of the Ford Expedition (b) an outing on the water with some experienced anglers and (c) an overnight at Chateau Montebello. I knew this was something I had to do!*

First, the vehicle. We sure travelled in style, didn’t we?

Our Ford Expedition was the best vehicle for our trip!

The Ford Expedition was the perfect vehicle for this kind of adventure. We were, after all, a big group, with lots of stuff, going to a remote location. We all met at Campbell Ford and we divvied ourselves among three Expeditions… one of which had massaging seats but I didn’t get to try that out. With multiple passengers, flexible cargo space (fishing rods! duffel bags! suitcases! snacks!), it had lots of room in all of the right places. I called shotgun so I was truly able to sink into the comfort of my (air-conditioned!) seat and play with the stereo and nav console. I joked with Mark later that it was like a couch on wheels, but that’s not entirely accurate. This is what I imagine a first class seat on the Concord must have been like.

Our destination was Kenauk Nature, just north of Montebello. The location was already added to our GPS so after a quick farewell we were soon on our way. (More about Kenauk later.)

We were on autoroute 50 when I saw some tall grasses waving wildly in the ditch separating the highways. Then I saw a black-topped head. What is that guy doing in the ditch? I had just finished thinking that single thought when the “guy” turned into a bear and rambled out on to the highway! There was one other car between us and the poor bear. The driver, Tori, was amazingly alert and we swerved a bit but there was no harm done. (Thank you Tori!) We couldn’t tell if the bear was hit, he may have been side-swiped a bit, but I saw him running in the other direction so I assumed he was ok. What certainly helped was my elevated position in the Expedition, and the quick response of the driver, of course.

It was a bit of shock. We didn’t even spot a bear at this close distanCe in Banff! After that, I became the (self-designated) Wildlife Watcher. And there was more wildlife to come! We arrived at Kenauk without further incident, although we did spot a porcupine and some kind of giant hawk clutching a snake.

How to explain Kenauk? Kenauk Nature is wilderness retreat. You can book fishing trips to stocked lakes (which is what we did) and there are also a wide variety of accommodations available. (I’m secretly hoping Mark wants to go glamping with me in the fall.) I had never heard of this place before, so I was very excited to visit.

It was a smooth drive down the highway pretty much until we met at the front gates of Kenauk. From there, it was a bumpy, hilly, ride along a dirt road that was punctuated with rocks and the occasional pothole. Our Expedition coasted over everything, no problem. Tori often exclaimed how well it handled over the rough terrain (“See, you didn’t even feel that pothole, did you?”) while I exclaimed how well the cushy seats absorbed the impact.

This photo does not do it justice, but I will say, I felt extremely safe as we motored along these narrow roads:

Rough road

We were treated to lunch at our first stop, which overlooked lovely Lac Poisson Blanc. This is also where the Kenauk fish hatchery is located.

Check out this view, would ya?

Kenauk Nature

This was part of our lunch; it was amazing:

Smoked salmon

… I hope my tablemates weren’t dismayed by my lack of conversation. I was too darn distracted by the view. This was the view from the covered picnic area.

Fishing Expedition

Our group was given a special demonstration of Ford’s parallel park assist feature. I’d done this before, but I tried it again. If you’re not already familiar with this feature, imagine a car that calculates the size of a parking spot for you, then slowly guides you in. At the press of a button, it takes over the steering while you control the gas and brake. It’s pretty amazing, although I had to fight the urge to grab the steering wheel. This is a feature I could definitely use. AND, it doesn’t just get you in a tight spot, it can also get you out!

Anyway, I have more to tell about our trip! In my next post, I’ll tell you about the fish that DID NOT get away. (And spoiler alert, it tasted pretty good too.)

*In the interest of 100% transparency it’s important that you know that I attended this overnighter at the invitation of Ford Canada but my thoughts are entirely my own.


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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark. We have two daughters: Emma (19) and Sarah (17). I am the managing editor of our community newspaper, the Kitchissippi Times. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger, and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999... which makes me either a total dinosaur or a veteran, I'm not sure which! The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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