08-Dec-2001 -- Rouyn-Noranda, December 8th, 2001
Saturday morning, the temperature is cold (-10ºC) and dry but fortunately a welcoming sun rose up above the horizon in a cloudless bright sky, a rare event in this rainy/snowy season in the Abitibi. Me and Mathieu Guay jumped in the car and headed north (approximately 110 km) to the town of Normétal where we joined the other members of this Confluence party, which are Daniel Desrosiers and the Brisebois family (father Michel, mother Suzanne, daughter Annie and their watchdogs Dacite and Molly).
This confluence point is located 25 km east of Normétal, a few hundred meters south-west of the Turgeon lake. Access is possible by old concession gravel roads and all-terrain vehicule trails. We didn’t know if these roads were still suitable for car, so we decided on using 4-wheels trucks. It was the right decision even though the roads were in very bad shape and we had to go through fallen trees and overflowing beaver dam.
We drove as far as we can, until the road was covered by a tight sprout of alders, looking more of a flourishing forest than a clear trail. We let the trucks nearby a narrow creek and 3 km in straight line from the confluence point. We continued our trek by foot via the former road and through the alders. We had to cross a river and according to the map, the only way was a bridge along the old road. But when we came to the site, there was no trace of bridge across the frozen river. Daniel checked the ice sheet with his machete and it was thick enough to carry everybody on safely. We slided our way down the river and on the Turgeon lake. It was the easiest path to the target. Our GPS took us to a large swampy area with scattered tiny spruces. We cut a signpost, took picture, set a fire and roasted our sandwiches for lunch. After everybody was satisfied, we went back to the starting point by walking on the ice all along. We reached up the trucks late in the afternoon, as daylight drew to a close.