to the Torngat Mountains
13: Tuesday, August 21
Regret and relief
I emerge from my
tent at 7:30 to clearing skies, surprised to be the first
one up. After picking a cupful of blueberries to add to breakfast,
I have coffee and the usual morning cereal. I wash up, go
fishing immediately (today is another rest day) and catch
lots of small trout up to eight or nine inches; then Lisette
and I go wading downstream and start hooking bigger fish:
15 to 16 inches, and FAT. Meanwhile, Normand and Bruno go
farther downstream while Vinh lounges around camp.
The two of us return to camp for lunch, then turn in for a
nap. Before I have a chance to fall asleep, we hear three
distinct gun shots. I dress immediately, taking along my fanny
pack with my knife, distress signals and the first-aid kit.
As I head downstream, I nearly run into a juvenile caribou
trotting toward our camp, from the direction where Normand
and Bruno had gone this morning (with the semi-automatic).
I consider the possibilities for a second, then decide to
check on them anyway. Yes, it was the caribou they shot at.
THREE TIMES. The universal distress signal. I guess they thought
I could use the exercise
I go back to fishing in the afternoon and more fat, orange-bellied
brook trout, then gather more blueberries, bathe and rinse
out some clothes. A good rest day.
After supper (lots of fish!), we discuss the satellite call
for the plane trip home. Bruno, Lisette and I vote to remain
at this site one more day, then to return to the landing strip
on Thursday and hope for the plane on Friday. Vinh prefers
to return to the strip tomorrow to explore the area northeast,
then catch the plane on Friday. Normand wants to sleep on
it but agrees to call for the pickup for Friday. At least
we all agree on one thing.
Now that the end of the expedition is nearing, I feel both
regret and relief. Regret because it has been an amazing experience
in every sense: I have seen incredibly beautiful landscapes,
lived under the sky for two weeks straight, learned from and
about my companions, discovered certain facets of my personality,
pushed myself both physically and mentally. Relief because
I'm thinking of my pantry, my freezer, my refrigerator and
the grocery store
14: Home is nearing
travelogue is part of the subside travelzine