Do we plan, adapt, and improvise? No, we are rather going to plan “C” which was in the cards. We should cover a slightly greater distance today if the weather allows it and if the spring floods had not wiped out the beaches that we had targeted for today. But, well, as you will read, we are on an adventure…

Routine sets in and some initiatives have already been taken. This Thursday morning, the barrels are filling up more quickly and as we must remember to wash our hands before breakfast, we know exactly how to do it. Mathew takes control of the nozzle and helps everyone in their hand-washing.

Today’s groups are called out, and Kara will be my teammate for the day. The flotilla is more tightly grouped today. We go from front to back quickly depending on who we want to talk to. The most successful game is Contact. You call out a letter, someone gives a category and everyone who thinks they guessed calls Contact and says the word simultaneously. It’s much more interesting to participate in it than to try to explain it.

The sky is cloudy all day and the river has lost its meanders, and we are starting to see cottages here and there on the bank. We land on an island and while waiting for lunch. Two groups are formed: one who will make bracelets with cords and the other who plays Frisbee; quickly a round of Ultimate is organized. Unfortunately, the winners will never be known because lunch is served by the guide team.

After lunch, Catherine begins a conversation about personal experiences with cancer, emphasizing that participation is completely voluntary. One of the participants points out that they have already had such conversations on an individual basis. Some share their experience and the consequences on their lives, even in remission. After having ended this discussion and eaten the cookies and the chocolate for the dessert, we leave again. We are more and more effective as a group, it’s beautiful to see.

The singers of the group go from canoe to canoe and despite the grey weather, the atmosphere is very joyful. We arrive quite early where we should camp but … the spring flood was particularly violent this year and the water is still high. So, our intended site is reduced to a sandbar. Gilles, the chief guide, and his son Neal will explore further down the river to spot another site usually acceptable and always available. While waiting, Catherine sets up a chicken fighting tournament which creates very funny confrontations. I won’t tell you more, you will have to question the people who are taking part in this expedition yourself.

Plan “B” does not work either, so we fall back on plan “C”, a site that is behind us. No need to give a definition, what has just occurred is part of the adventure. Mother Nature also teases us, but just at the right moment, we finish setting up the tents and then four or five showers follow one after the other, interrupted by sunny periods. That too is adventure.

Last surprise of the day, Raphaël caught a good size pike, all those who want to taste a freshly caught fish can. The weather is getting cooler, everyone is wearing their fleece sweater or down jacket and a tuque.

It’s time for dinner, I leave you to enjoy the appetizer, “pike on Triscuit” and “grilled haloumi cheese and rusk” followed by the salmon risotto. I almost forgot, we previously had mushroom soup. This too is an adventure.


– – Louis-Étienne Prévost, Blogger and Photographer for the On the Tip of the Toes Foundation