I went into the office smiling and left 7 hours later with the same grin on my face. You might ask what I do for work or what on earth might be wrong with me… but, it was Friday, the beginning of my cottage weekend.

Leaving the office, contentedly, I decided to grab some essential ingredients for any successful cottage weekend.  I first stopped at Brauwerk Hoffman Brewery in Campbell’s Bay to pick up my favorite German-style IPA, to ensure my family and I stay hydrated in the summer sun. I then stopped at Karl’s Bakery located in Chapeau, on l’Isle-aux-Allumettes, to get dessert for our family BBQ. Finally, I met my family at our river property located on the Ottawa River.

Saturday morning we decided to hike the Oiseau Rock trail. Once through the ZEC St-Patrice entrance, we made our way to the trail access to begin our 4.5-kilometer hike to the Oiseau Rock lookout. On our journey, through the well-groomed trails, we stopped at the several lookouts to admire the breathtaking views of the Ottawa Valley and the Ottawa River. What was once the Champlain Sea is now a sea of trees, a view that must be even more spectacular in the fall.  Additionally, on our journey through the secluded wilderness, we stop at interpretive panels to learn about the history and culture of the Algonquin people. Arriving at the clear water lake, we took a very refreshing swim, cooling off before our picnic lunch. After much fun spent at the rope swing located on the lake, we decided it was time to pack up and head home.  

The afternoon was spent relaxing from our journey by the water until it was time for our BBQ dinner. We summed up the afternoon with beers and s’ mores until the crackling of the campfire came to an end.

The next day we spent by the Ottawa river going for boat rides and taking turns water skiing. The bulk of the day was spent periodically swimming to escape the heat of the beating sun. We decided to have a washers tournament (a game involving throwing washers in a box with holes) as we enjoy some friendly competition, to make things interesting we had a $3.00 buy-in, winner takes all.

I went home Sunday afternoon calmed and relaxed. A certain tranquility resulting from the absence of cell reception and wifi, escaping the busy world we live in today. Carefree and fifteen dollars richer, I can say with ease that I had an amazing weekend in the Pontiac.

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