Photo Essay: Ice Fishing on Baie des Ha! Ha!

by Rachel Staggs
( June 1st, 2015 )

ice fishing on baie des ha! ha!

The Québecois have created a multitude of ways to enjoy winter. Ice fishing can be as posh or basic as you wish. Although there is no getting around the duty of drilling fishing holes into the fjord.

The lovely lady in the middle of the photo above showed us how to drill the ice fishing holes with a drill the size of a small person. She was tough! I’m certain I wouldn’t be able to drill with such ease.

baie des ha! ha! fishing cabin.1

I enjoyed exploring this particular fishing village with my LC-A+ and cross process 35mm film.

baie des ha! ha! fishing cabin

After drilling, cabins are placed on top of and around the fishing holes.

It truly is a stunning place to get comfortable and wait for the fish to bite.

ice fishing baie des ha! ha!

Some cabins have toilets inside and some have outhouses. Wood burning stoves often keep the cabins warm and convertible sofas are popular decor.

It’s not common to stay the night in these small cabins and there are some rules to follow when ice fishing, but it’s quite easy to join the fun. For more information visit Tourisme Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean.

baie des ha! ha! fishing village

Yes, Baie des Ha! Ha! really includes exclamation marks!

May your journey be your muse,

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Some or all of this experience was sponsored which may include travel and other costs. All opinions are my own.

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Saguenay, Québec: Snowmobiling with Évasion Sport

by Rachel Staggs
( May 15th, 2015 )

saguenay snowmobile and gear

When planning your winter in Québec, I encourage you to explore snowmobile riding in the Saguenay Lac-Saint-John region. There are over 2,000 miles of trails.

We stayed at Chalets et Spa Lac Saint-Jean in Chambord. The buildings are perfectly designed for families or groups of people, but also quite private. My room had a full kitchen, a full bath (in which I soaked in Epsom salt after the ride), patio, and dining areas both inside and out on the patio.

A sauna and hot tub are also available on the property for those who desire the Nordic spa experience. I was too cold to partake. I just couldn’t imagine being in a bathing suit in -17 F for even a second! My Texas roots run ten generations deep, so I’m not sure my body could handle it without more acclimation.

saguenay chalets et spa lac saint jean

This was the view from my room and just through the trees lies Lac Saint-Jean. We rode snowmobiles out onto the frozen lake!

saguenay lac saint jean

I was sore from holding on tight, but it was exhilarating. We sped through gorgeous aspen trees and sunny, snowy paths during our 2 hour ride.

I’d love to go again at my own pace. I was with a group and knew I wouldn’t be able to keep up with my Canadian counterparts, so I rode on the back of our guide’s snowmobile. Denis, from Évasion Sport, had my life in his hands. We got up to speeds of 50 miles per hour in negative zero temeratures! He was a total professional and I felt looked after.

Denis let me take one for a spin on my own after our trail ride. It was so much fun and I was a natural.

saguenay snowmobile

Fair warning: I had a migraine the next day and my medication did not work the way it usually does. I did a bit of googling and it seems sudden changes in temperature can affect the serotonin levels in the brain and cause some people to develop migraines.

May your journey be your muse,

Don’t miss my real time travels…follow me on Twitter and Instagram!


Some or all of this experience was sponsored which may include travel and other costs. All opinions are my own.


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Saguenay, Québec: The Little White House

by Rachel Staggs
( April 22nd, 2015 )

little white house saguenay

While driving from Monts-Valin National Park to La Baie in Québec, Canada we passed The Little White House.

It is now a museum after surviving a flood that wiped out all of the surrounding homes in the biggest flood of Canada’s 20th century.

After weeks of steady precipitation, the Chicoutimi district received 11 inches of rain in just a few hours on July 19, 1996.

More than 8 feet of water passed through areas of Chicoutimi and La Baie, completely leveling the Basin neighborhood. Over 16,000 people had to be evacuated and 488 homes were swept away.

The survival of The Little White House became a landmark of local steadfastness for Saguenay’s residents.

You can visit it today and explore the interior while listing to an audio guide that describes the tragic events.

When I travel, I take note of stories like these. It’s a reminder that everything we have is fleeting.

May your journey be your muse,


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