Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Montreal Day 3 - More Carrots, Please

[Composed 8/15/2019]

Today's adventure is what I can only describe as a sort of Canadian Safari. It took us about an an hour and half to head West from the city to Parc Omega. Once there, we made our way to the visitor center and bought a 4 bags of carrots. Like any good safari, we'd be seeing the wildlife from the vantage point of our car. Unlike most safaris, however, we'd be feeding the animals along the way!

As we approached the park entrance, there was a mob of deer looking for a handout. The kids, each with a bag of carrots, were excited to oblige. Shira carefully pulled into the crowd of animals and partially lowered the windows. The deer knew exactly what to do, smooshing their heads into the car. Ever so carefully, each girl fed a deer their first carrot. I don't blame the kids of being apprehensive; these were big mouths looking to get a snack. But all three kids fed a deer and all three kids thought it was pure awesomeness! Shira gently pulled forward and rolled up the windows. No animals or children had been harmed. Phew.

And thus we had our first of many Parc Omega wildlife encounters. My whole life I'd been taught: don't feed wildlife. And here we were at a park with the express mission of doing just this.

As we made our way through the park we fed different species of deer, wild boar, elk and even a couple ibexes. From a distance we saw wolves, foxes, bears and even a muskox! We took a delightful hike around the First Nations Trail which was dotted with totem poles. The kids would run to the next totem pole, where we'd all congregate and try to decipher the animals represented in the artwork. Then it was back in the car to see and feed more animals. We stopped for a picnic and watched a birds-of-prey show at the land of pioneers. The kids enjoyed hanging bridges that were setup in nearby woods. The bridges were just high enough off the ground, and had just enough jiggle in them to make walking them feel like a real adventure.

So often the promises of a place like Parc Omega fall short. But in this case, the location totally delivered. It was a treat for both kid and adult alike. How they have thousands of families go through this park and no little ones lose digits or animals get flattened is beyond me. It's crazy that it works, but it does.

This day is going to be hard to top!

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