Saturday, July 22, 2006 (Day 9):
The day started off blue and sunny with virtually no wind. I made it the length of Lakes Lacasse, Resolution and Advance in a very long day. By the time I started on Resolution, it had clouded over and there were rain clouds coasting over me. Resolution is 10 kilometres in length and several kilometres in width, with arms coming in from the west several kilometres long. I felt like I was riding over a powder keg, expecting a wind to arise at any moment. Large numbers of boulders protruded from the surface near the east and west shores of Resolution, forcing me to paddle well out in the lake. The land all around Resolution was low and swampy, and devoid of anything looking like it could be camped on.
There was no choice but to paddle on, hoping for the best. To my right, according to The Woman Who Mapped Labrador, was where Mina Hubbard and her team had met an encampment of Montagnais. There must have been higher ground there, but I could not see it to the east of me and I did not want to run the risk of crossing several kilometres of lake, with the weather threatening and many kilometres still to go to reach the one or the two campable areas Wayne and Carl had been able to identify in this stretch.
Finally, I reached the end of Resolution. According to the map, the passage west through to Lake Advance would be found here. I was faced, however, with a seemingly impenetrable series of small islands with no obvious passage. There was current, but it seemed to be going in many directions. According to the map, George River flowed to the north, parallel to Lake Advance, before merging with the flow out of the Three Gorges, north of Lake Advance. Mina Hubbard’s team and Wallace and Easton, however, had both travelled via Lake Advance.
With some trepidation, I let myself be drawn by the current between numerous small islands, knowing that it would be a big challenge if I would need to retrace my course. I stopped where I could to take readings on my GPS and see where I was on the map. Happily, I could see that I was proceeding along the twisting passage to Lake Advance. I wondered what feelings Mina and her team, and Wallace and Easton must have had as they proceeded blindly down the same passage with no maps and only the guidance in a foreign language and sketches on sand from their stops at the Montagnais encampment back on Resolution.
Finally, I could see that I was entering another large body of water, with an arm stretching kilometres to the southwest and a more narrow passage to the north which was where I wanted to go. There was some wind at this point, but fortunately not blowing out of the long arm. I had to take care, as there were rapids even in passages half a kilometre in width as I headed north.
Finally, six kilometres further north, I saw the large exposed rock where Wayne and Carl had camped in 2004. There was a brass geodesic survey marker set in the middle of it. It was a terribly exposed area but I was able to find enough boulders to give me a certain level of confidence that my tent and I would not be blown into the lake in the event of a storm.
Boulders can be seen below, holding my tent (hopefully!) in the event of one of the many storms encountered during my trip.
Location: N55º21.392’ W064º36.659’ Straight-line distance covered: 30.1 kilometres