We paddled between the islands of a tight archipelago in the middle of the river. Trees crowded to the edge of great boulders rising out water that dropped as it poured through the river neck.
At Rapids de I’lle we searched for a portage on river left, as the woman from the bridge told us. We climbed up to the train tracks that crossed the water, and went back and forth looking for a trail, but found nothing. We scrambled down rocks and boulders on the left side of the river, and then tried to follow a path back up into the woods from the bottom of the rapids, but an animal trail disappeared after a hundred meters.
Erin noticed that the island in the middle of the river was a shorter and easier portage, so we crossed to the island. The steep landing was tricky in the fast moving current, but climbing down the island, from the top of the rapids to the bottom, turned out to be shorter and easier work than the rocks on river left. Soon we were back on our way making good time.
At the next rapids, Rapids Mignon, the river split around and island. We scouted the right side of the rapids. Large flat boulders lined the island. They would make an easy but again long portage. The river fell down a series of shelves, and I wondered if we could paddle down the easier bits and portage past the harder ones. We then scouted the other side of the island, and found a much easier portage and big flat rock to make a wonderful campsite for shabbat.
So we made camp. Erin cooked food for shabbat while I tried to fish the rapids. My lure kept getting caught in the rocks and I didn’t catch anything.
I joined Erin, we finished cooking and welcomed in the sabbath and our day of much deserved rest.
GPS coordinates: 49.61269, -77.49687