GRAND EXPEDITION SUMMER 2019 (14-18) – DAY 10 – Dusk

According to the electricity needs, the water level in the Manicouagan Reservoir is kept higher or lower to have enough reserve of energy to feed the Manic-V dam. From what I understood, the level could go up to six metres more. By observing the forest at the edge of the water, the demarcation is obvious. Below, there are young hardwoods such as birch while darker spruce trees dominate the heights.

On the small paradise island, which we have just left after a two-day stay, there was no sign of campsites when we arrived. I felt as if we were the first to occupy the place, and that might very well be true. And we could also be the last ones if the water level rises again. The waves would then erase the rare traces of our passage here.

But I will not forget the unique moments that I experienced there.

This place where I felt like a god. But by inflating my ego with my super powers, nature has sent us some strong trials so that we keep a little humility anyway.

We paddled some 18 km today, our longest day. In addition, we had a headwind a good part of the way, with waves of at least two or three feet. Sometimes, I had the impression that the canoes were like corks carried away by the currents. During breaks and when we arrived at the last camp, we received strong showers that cooled us down. And if I thought I knew what a cloud of black flies was, well I was wrong. Here, we eat, we breathe flies. They are everywhere. Even Mario took out his mosquito net!

What in the world am I writing here?

Our LAST CAMP? Already? Here we are a few metres from the road by which we will leave the reservoir. It’s strange to hear cars and trucks passing through the forest near us. I feel ambivalent. Part of me would continue the adventure another week. We could go around the all the way around the reservoir!

On the other hand, I think of you who are waiting for me at home. Have you thought of me during these days? I did not have much time to miss you, I must confess, but I still thought of you every day. I cannot wait to be dry after a hot bath and dive into my bed!

At dusk, around the campfire, we each have our turn summarizing our adventure: truth, connection, unexpected, good experience, friendship, meetings, mutual help, resistance, strength, together, disconnection from normal life, well-being, Manic rhythm, pampered, wealth, privilege, perseverance, teamwork, inspiring, amazed, achievement, endless possibilities, challenges. It gives you an idea of the magnitude of what you have just experienced!

It may be the end of canoeing; the adventure is not over yet. Tomorrow, we hit the road south and spend the night at Pointe-aux-Outardes, near Baie-Comeau, after a visit to Manic-V dam. I’m thankful for it. This magnificent playground that we have just explored, it is to it that we owe it.