Monday, August 02, 2010

Outdoor week-ends: Mont-Tremblant and the Abercorn Climb

This past week-end (July 31st - August 1st) we went canoe-camping at le Parc National du Mont-Tremblant. It was my first time ever camping there and I was surprised to see how well the activities and the park were organized. You just show up at the reception building at one of the 3 entrances of the park, and they give you all the info on where to go and how to proceed about booking or starting your adventures.

We went to the La Diable entrance of the camp and reserved a night of canoe-camping at lac de la Savane (spot number 12). Then we proceeded to Centre de Services du Lac-Monroe, where we got the equipment we needed for our night of canoe-camping (the safety vests, the paddles and a special orange plastic watter-tight container with a cord inside and the key for unlocking the canoe). We also reserved a ride down the la Diable river with a canoe for the following day. We took a canoe because I had forgotten what the difference between canoe and kayak; it might have been more fun and easier had we taken the lighter kayaks.

After this organizational work was done, we went to do some mountain biking in the trails east of Lac Monroe. The trails were beautiful, fairly easy, with no big ups and downs. But the forest was very wild and very untouched, and there were no other bikers there (all and all we saw just one more couple biking and 4 people hiking).

After the mountain bike, we went for some more provisions at the depaneur of the service center, and we hit the road towards lac de la Savane. It must have been around 4:30. The drive was quite long and beautiful: a lot of turning on a narrow road surrounded by trees and rocks. And then the road turns into a long dirt-road, I was a bit affraid for the woobly bike-rack at the back of the car.

We got to the parking lot for the canoe-camping at Lac de la Savane (funny, that's the name of the metro station at which I get off for work), parked the car and took the canoe. The canoe ride to the camping spot was longer than expected, probably because there are no indications really on how far you are from where you want to go and the lake was pretty big. 2 boats with 3 Arabic guys in them told us where our spots was. We unpacked our stuff, built the tent and prepared if for the night. We then went for a small trip on the lack, to do an "abordage" of this small island in the middle of the lake, The island ended up being so densely populated with vegetation that we couldn't even get on it, we just stayed around it in the water.

We went back to our camp and it started getting darker. I threw in the water the bear trap that the 2 teens from Laval (our neighbors) had left there. Then we made a fire and ate sausages and marshmallow bought from the depaneur at the service center. I had way too much meat, I couldn't eat it anymore. We chilled with the 2 kids from Laval, who tried to scare us at some point by pretending to be a bear. It was getting really cold. We went to bed and slept fully clothed in our sleeping bags. I had the smaller one and froze to death during the night, I had to put my large beach towel on my legs to warm-up even more. I heard some noises during the night which I assumed were wolves howling.

In the morning, the sun was super strong and woke us up. We took a little swim in the now (relatively) cold watter. We packed our camp and canoed back to the car. It was 11:45 when we got to the car and we were supposed to be at the service center at noon for our canoe trip down the river for 12:30. We ended-up there at 12:45 and took the 1 PM bus to the start of the canoe trip.

The trip was grueling, long and tiring. The mid-day sun was straight on our heads, we paddled for 3 hours. The combination of freezing during the night, interrupted sleep and then physical effort with the sun over my head just drained me. I had a major heat-stroke, but at least we made the end of the canoe trip on time for 5 o'clock.

I was feeling too sick to drive back. But the trip was rewarding and spending 2 days in the wild was so refreshing. We made dinner and food for the whole week, I fought with the insects on my apple tree and I slept like a baby.

The inspiration to do this came from the week-end before (July 23-25), when I went to the cottage with R and K. We biked both Saturday and Sunday with R, while K chilled at the cottage with my parents. We also ate like animals all 3 days, so I think I did more eating than biking; we made BBQ and amazing salads for every meal we had. Saturday I managed to do the whole Abercorn climb without stopping or getting off my bike. It was the first time I ever did this; it was R's 2nd time. On Sunday we wen't to do the trail around Bromont with my friend from German Class, Chris. R broke the speeds of his bike in the last 2 min of the ride. The trail at Bromont is fun, with some challenging ups and downs.

I will try to make this a recurring tradition, try to get out of Montreal as much as I can during the week-ends, and do activities in nature. Hopefully next week-end we'll go somewhere again.

Comments: Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?