GRAND EXPEDITION WINTER 2019 (19-29) – DAY 6 – Getting our Bearings Right

Today, Thursday, was the perfect day to take the time. Take time to live and enjoy our winter village, take time to breathe the fresh air and aromas of the forest, take time to watch the sunset. Take the time.

We had a relaxed morning in the camp. Catherine and Marie-Michelle woke us up gently to the sound of the ukulele. A burrito breakfast and the sun that warms us up more and more. We had a very sunny spring day.

In the morning, Charles and Isabelle gave us a great orientation workshop. It is important, when in the forest, to be able to find our way around with maps and compasses. So, we learn the basics of mapping, how to find our bearing, the three north, and the use of a compass. We were then able to put our knowledge into practice later in the afternoon. I’ll come back to that, because before that, Korine had prepared something for us as well: Spider Web game. This game consists of passing through a web of ropes in turn, each in a different space and without touching the ropes. So, we had to use strategies, work together, and build on each other’s strengths. Once we had met our challenge and we had all crossed the web, it was already lunch time.

Because of the beautiful day we had, we ate outside under the sun. It was nice, we were in good company. Alexandra came out with her ukulele and we sang some popular tunes. Just like this morning, a break to relax, enjoy and live to the fullest.

And then, so it was time to practise what we had learned. For the first time of the week, we separated into two teams, mainly because finding our bearings included a lot of technical terms and it was easier to make a francophone team and an anglophone team. And so, the French toasts team and the English muffins team were formed.

Each team went in a different direction to avoid following each other. With maps and compasses in hand, we had to find our way through the forest to Lac Perez. We walked in the forest on heavy, wet snow because of the warm weather today. We found our way and moved forward step by step through the trees. Looking at the map, Gerald realized that it would be simpler and more logical to go down the road. But of course, that was not the purpose of the activity. Therefore, we walked through the forest.

Both teams made their way through the forest successfully, alternating roles to use the compass. They reached the goal without getting lost and found their way back to the camp.
This was our last trek of the expedition in forest. As if nature wanted to congratulate us on our efforts this week, we were treated to a warm, soft and colourful end-of-day light. We could hardly take our eyes off this magnificent performance.

Tonight is our last night camping. Tomorrow, Friday, we will dismantle and leave our village and return to Matane. Tonight, we will have an evening of discussion in our dome and a final night of winter camping.

Chantale Lecours, Photographer and Blogger for On the Tips of the Toes Foundation.

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