I stepped up on a thick log and hopped off the other side and completely wiped out, falling so hard that I was sure something had broken.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have the best experience. When we looked up the beach online, we saw that it was closed due to fecal contamination from the nearby RV campground. Shut due to shit.
We made another stop, turning almost backwards onto a side road, down two kilometres of brutalized gravel with potholes deep enough to seek shelter in. We finally arrived at Beauleugh Ban Falls, a really tall waterfall that cascaded onto the rocks below. It was dark by that time so our photos didn’t turn out, but we were glad we made the trek even though it shook us up quite a bit in the car!
Claire-Fontaine trail, a 3.3k loop in a forest, is rife with peeks through the trees to a salt marsh and estuary, which we learned about from their information post at the trailhead. It was quite pretty with a well-trodden trail. The overcast sky made the greens all the more vibrant, and it had a distinctly witchy vibe to it.
It was shocking, because I don’t know about anyone else, but when I stop at a lookout, I’m expecting an especially lovely scene of natural beauty. Not stripped earth and massive destructive machines. It hurt our hearts. We have seen so much destruction of nature on this trip, all across our country. Do we think this can go on indefinitely? The earth is finite – and it’s our home, not a resource. We really need a radical re-envisioning of our relationship with the earth and our place upon it.
We both had our e-books and we read in our swimsuits until it was hot enough to get into the water. The water was bathwater warm because it was so shallow for so much of the lake. The water was less than knee deep until a deep drop-off that could easily have been over our heads – but it was plagued with thick water plants, so we didn’t really want to try to swim through that. We sat in the water and relaxed and washed up but most of the time we spent at the beach was in our chairs, reading.
Eventually I returned to the tent and Christine was waking up. We went for a morning swim in our underwear, and I floated on my back and looked up at the underside of the trees hanging over the water. The lake was still and I could float without worrying about current carrying me too far from shore. Once in the water, I didn’t want to leave.
But my french is super limited and I usually ended up starting in french and then just offering a bunch of English synonyms for whatever I wanted because I didn’t have the french word. At first, I felt so embarrassed and stupid, but soon it became a challenge, and we enjoyed seeing signs and then looking up french words.
Along the way, we stopped at a fish and rock store. I never realized how amazingly those things would go together, but this store made up my mind. The owner was a rock hounder and had countless absolutely beautiful amethyst crystals, of all types, from pale shards to giant geodes. We spent a lot of time talking to the shop owner; she was Finnish, so we had conversations about social services in our respective countries, how education and elder care were free in her home country and Canada should be the same, and we also decided that National and Provincial parks should be free to the public.