I spent the night, half asleep, thinking of all the incredible moments that I just lived during the expedition. It comes back to me in mixed flashes: Lily’s celestial opera, the rocky wall as scenery; Madeline comparing Samuel to an unreachable cub while he is listening in the tent next door, Simon fishing pike with all the seriousness he is capable of; Florence who was wondering what the meaning of the “F hashtag” was on the music score; Blake, happy to have won the rock-paper-chisel tournaments, Zachery and Ina, feeding the fire in the little bay; Elijah practising the acrobatic crutch; Sarah Eve performing the Big Fat Pony dance, Adélie and Jack singing happily around the campfire in the evening; Fabricio who took intensive French lessons with French frogs, and Lucas who was flying in the water more than he was swimming!
Before going up the coast towards the road one last time, we all gathered on the Manicouagan Reservoir shore for a final tribute. Will I come back here some day?
I was not so excited about getting on the bus waiting for us on the side of the road. I still remembered the endless four hours, the many curves, in the boreal forest, between the Reservoir and Baie-Comeau. Hello again, motion sickness! But this time, surrounded by my new group, it was so much more enjoyable! We ended it by singing together, “Take me home, country roads.”
Fortunately, we took a break at the Manic-V dam to visit Hydro-Québec’s facilities. When I saw the dam on my way to the Reservoir, I must admit that I found it more impressive in the photo than in real life. But once at the foot of the gigantic concrete arch, I still had a little shiver going up my spine.
Mariane, our sprightly guide, answered all the questions about Manic V. Of the tons of figures, I remembered that the dam is 1.3 km wide, that it took 13 years to some 3,000 workers to build it, that Daniel Johnson, Prime Minister of Quebec at the time, died on the site, the day before the scheduled date for its inauguration and that the dam is made of enough concrete (27 metres thick!) to build a sidewalk that would connect the North Pole to the South Pole. Ah, and it could also contain the tower of the Montreal Olympic Stadium into the main arch of the dam.
We could even send a postcard of the dam anywhere in the world for free. When you receive mine, there is a good chance that I will be there to read it myself!
Now, we are Pointe-aux-Outardes, near Baie-Comeau, to spend our last night in the birdhouses. I’m with the others in the bank swallow birdhouses. To go to bed, you must go through a hole, as would swallows digging their nests in the cliffs along the river.
Tomorrow, I will be home! I cannot wait to tell you my entire adventure in detail!