Paddling the Jacques Cartier River
Summer in Québec is just as extreme as the winter. It’s been hot hot hot here these past few weeks. In addition to the heat, we have had loads of rain. The outcome of this particular mix of weather is an abundance of mosquitoes and black flies. I used to reserve all of my hatred for the mosquito, the bane of my entire childhood in Florida. I did not imagine there could be anything worse. And there wasn’t – until I made the acquaintance of the black fly. Needless to say, I was less than thrilled to find that they totally and completely live up to their reputation as the most annoying flying, biting insect to exist. Lucky for me and others who enjoy being outdoors, there is Deet! This summer, I never leave home without it.
Anyways, about the canoeing. We did an easy 11 km section of the river from la Jetée, which is way up at the northern end of the park, to Pont Banc, at kilometer 18. We successfully went through several class I rapids and one class II, though we decided to portage around rapid number 6, a pretty technical class II, since we weren’t feeling all that confident in our paddling abilities. The canoe is not a very stable vessel, as my in-laws found out when they flipped going through a rapid. Don’t worry, everyone survived! The great part about paddling the Jacques Cartier is that you don’t have to worry about transporting your canoe (or kayak, raft, mini raft, etc). There is a shuttle that takes care of that for you, in both directions. So despite the flies, we had the BEST time and I’m already planning our next trip down the river. Maybe in a kayak this time.