Monday, June 22, 2009

The Romaine River - Planning for the Big One

Thinking of better times and looking forward to
paddling again!
Photo: Dimitry Sapon

This year has been quite a ride so far in my life - the analogy being similar to paddling a canoe in the huge swells of Lake Superior. Every so often I disappear for a while and then re-emerge back ready for more. Yes, it was the multiple injuries this year when I was in the dumps, or should I say “troughs”, but now I’m riding the wave back out and there is no turning back! My shoulder isn’t 100% yet, but I’m almost there. I’ve been doing lots of resistance exercises/stretching and due to my rapid progress my physiotherapist has given me the green light for paddling again. Thus I now have my eyes clearly set and focused on a big 3 week expedition in mid-July.

Meeting up early in the year to discuss the trip

Some of you already know that our initial plan was to paddle the Mountain River in the Northwest Territories. However, we found trying to secure seats to Norman Wells with both Air Mile/Aeroplan points was extremely challenging. After many frustrating attempts and calls, we finally gave up and looked for an equally exciting trip without the hassles of commercial flight. After many rivers and routes were suggested and deliberated, we came to the agreement on one river -the mighty Romaine River in northeast Quebec.

The Romaine River is a wild and untamed river which flows from Labrador all the to way south to the St Lawrence River. There is many unparalleled superlatives that define this river route, such as sheer neck-craning canyons, thundering waterfalls, eskers criss-crossed by Caribou, and endless rapids to be run (and portaged around too!). But the single greatest reason that cemented our decision to go there was the fact that the river is on the verge of being damned for hydroelectric power. This is not a new concept by the power and money hungry Hydro-Quebec, as they have been well known to destroy and alter the life force of many of their native rivers. Therefore we thought it fitting to capture, experience and paddle this world-class river before the 4 dams ultimately change it forever.

Trying to agree on details can sometimes be
difficult. We have simple solutions!
Photo: Imroze Albert

Many have expressed interest in the trip from planning, logistics, and execution so I will try to regularly update the blog with relevant information as it comes available. It’s the biggest and longest trip for all of us thus far, so we are all both nervous and excited, but undaunted by the challenges. Lots of time was spent in discussion and planning this trip and it is slowly coming to fruition, so join us in the preparations for this trip of a lifetime!

Stay tuned!
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