Catch up on the rest of the trip here.
1.7 miles of bogging
1 communal pot of poutine in Havre St. Pierre
Well, we got up on the last day thinking wow, blue sky, nice out, this is great. As soon as we took down our tarp it started pouring rain, so we all raced into our drysuits and felt thoroughly demoralized. Right off the bat there was some big class III, followed by about 6 miles of flatwater to La Grande Chutes, the only unrun (unrunnable) rapid left on the river.
6 more miles of flatwater and two huge class IVs later Greg brought us in to a completely unmarked spot on river left where we proceeded to hike our 100lb boats up a ridiculously steep bank…Turns out Greg is a superhero and did the last bit of it three times as Isaac and I were dragging ass. Unfortunately, the top of the hill was not at the road, but instead at the beginning of the bog. The group that went a few weeks earlier than us had gotten lost in the bog and ended up spending four or five hours there. Thankfully, Boyce had a great route planned out on the GPS and led us fearlessly through 1.7 miles of bog in about an hour and a half. We came out of the woods onto a road — no river in sight — in far Northern Quebec exactly where we had stashed takeout beers a week earlier.
Boyce hitched a ride to the winnebago while the rest of us got drunk off one or two beers each. Meanwhile, a cop drove by, spun around and pulled up next to us. As he pulled up, Isaac filmed Greg pulling a knife and saying, “This cop better not fuck with us.” Can’t wait to see the footage. Then Scott decided to talk to the cop in English with a fake Quebecois accent. Boyce turned up and we proceeded to Le Promenade, a restaurant in Havre St. Pierre where we enjoyed some fine poutine before rallying back to the U S of A.
All in all, what an incredible trip. The inclement weather definitely made it a little more of a survival trip than it would have been. A big thanks to Boyce for putting the trip together, and thanks to Darin McQuoid for his helpful post on doing a self support trip. A couple things I’d add: definitely do not expect a bivy to work without a tarp in the rain. Really, don’t use a bivy, just bring a good tarp. Also, make sure to try packing all your stuff into your boat at least once before driving 20 hours to the river. And, bring a small, lightweight thermarest. Comfort is nice, but cheap ones are very bulky and difficult to fit in kayaks.