This trip was taken in March 2020, just before the pandemic started. Read on and see why, when travel is safe, for snowmobilers, there's no place like Hearst.
But from January to May, when things get crazy busy with Monster Truck competitions and TV filming, finding some space for this thrill-seeker to clear her head is crucial. “My way to relax during my off time is to burn fuel in Northern Ontario,” she says. It's become a tradition.
The best snowmobiling destination
Gauthier already knew Ontario—at least the southern part. As a child, her father would bring her to attend motocross races, and she'd been camping at Wasaga Beach.
Later, she competed in provincial and national motocross competitions in the Toronto and Ottawa areas. Now, Monster Jam gives her the chance to discover the world. But nothing compares to home. “When I have a few days of vacation, I love to discover Canada. Our country is so diverse,” she says. “We’re lucky.”
Northern Ontario is a recent revelation for her. Gauthier realized early in her Northern Ontario escapades that motorsports are part of the local vibe. “There, you learn to snowmobile and play hockey before you learn to walk,” says the world traveller, laughing.
French cousins in Hearst
In recent years she's visited Cochrane and Temiskaming Shores with Jessi Combs, an adrenaline enthusiast (the world's fastest woman, who died in August 2019 while breaking a speed record). She also accompanied country singer Larry Berrio on an ATV-quad adventure in Elliot Lake. Then, in March 2020, Hearst—where French is the predominant language, and the trails are like snowmobile highways—was calling her.