Emily et Lucie

The storm is behind us, but last night the gusts didn’t want to let off. I wasn’t feeling too brave in my tent when I heard the trees being bullied by the wind. I was reassured to know that the location of our shelter was specifically chosen because it was away from dead trees…


Thunder in the middle of the night? No, it’s the wind plunging under the tarpaulin serving as a double roof. The rivets didn’t hold up. Congratulations to those who went out in the middle of the night to secure everything!

The storm left a fair number of traces, according to the information that filtered down to us. A couple that was camping on an island not far from here seem to have lost their boat during the night (moral of the story: do like us and secure the canoe).   Further south, trees have fallen, roads have been cut, including the one we have to take on Sunday to get home by bus. But we are reassured that everything should be in order by then. Personally, I am sadder than reassured. It would be too cool to stay an extra day or two to further explore the reservoir!

This morning, the sky was decidedly blue and the air was much cooler than other days. On the shore, Isabelle, the journalist from La Presse, took time to interview Adélie. She is discreet, but I feel that she is looking at the world with great sensitivity.

A few songs with Nadir and his ukulele and we are finally in our rabaskas for a real day dedicated to paddling! We have to work hard, because we are facing the wind from the north. At least the return will be easier. Finally, that is what we were saying to encourage ourselves. Had I known that he was going to turn in the middle of the day…

I really feel that I am on an expedition. That is why I came here. At times, my arms hurt from paddling, but at least I can take breaks. And then to see the other ten that continue valiantly, it gives me courage. I didn’t think I could make that effort. Over the course of the day, we’ve travelled, I think, close to 15 kilometres.

After lunch break, on one of the reservoir islands, I went to explore with a few other participants. It was great to talk together, discovering the hidden corners of this great island.

  • Where is the rest of the group?

We walked a long time without asking ourselves too many questions. I started to be a little afraid that I had ventured too far. Fortunately, we finally heard from the others who were calling us. Yes, I was relieved to join others, and I was also a little ashamed. We nonetheless got in trouble. Madeline impressed me quite a bit:

  • We should not have gone that far and we should have told you where we were going. We apologize to have worried you unnecessarily.

She took full responsibility for her actions and apologized. I just had the strength to make myself as small as possible so that I could be forgotten. But I am learning from this mini-mishap: in a group, we are all interdependent and our actions affect all others. I didn’t realize how important that was.

We discovered the Paroi Elephantat the reservoir, a rock wall that plunges into the water, where, with a little imagination, you can see the profile of an elephant in search of boreal forests. We even decided together to push a little further north to visit the green lagoon. It is a small lake in the heart of one of the reservoir islands. We let out our primal scream, which made us appreciate our daily minute of silence differently. In fact, I intend to adopt this practice that is this minute of silence in my daily life. It does a lot of good.

The return to the camp was too fast. Despite the headwind and fatigue, I would have paddled longer.

Around the campfire, we share the word that best symbolizes our expedition. It is strange, but the words of each participant also resonate a little in me:

Challenging, friendship, spontaneous, fun, enlightening, sharing, meeting, collaboration, inspiring, teamwork, unforeseen, memorable, different, special, exploration, space, beauty, signature, empowerment, love, recognition.

Once again, in our end-of-day sharing circles, William won the bilingualism prize, coast to coast.

What? Tomorrow is already the last day? If only a wind gust could knock a couple of trees down on the road (not on our tents!) We could extend the fun for a day or two. …

For the time being, I will continue to sing around the fire with the others. It doesn’t seem to bother anyone I sing out of tune!