After a beautiful Friday afternoon with Happy Bare at Bare River, it dawned on us that since it was going to be very hot and humid (35°c to 39°c) to come back the next day and spend the day camping overnight on Saturday and to watch the fireworks that were going to be fired from LaRonde. It was going to be Italy to fire their show too. Saturday morning came and after sitting on the balcony getting some morning rays of sunshine while sipping my coffee, I preheated my oven to cook us some sweet and spicy italian sausages to bring with me to the river for us to munch on. I packed as much as I could carry with my saddle bags on my bike rack. packed 5 liters of water and bungeed sleeping bags. I also had my backpack filled with my camera, tripod and a sweater incase it got cold overnight or first thing in the morning. the back of my bike was so heavy that hitting a bump or pothole on the ground caused my front tire to lift up off the ground so I had to lean forward when I saw that a bump was coming and or avoid it by going around them when I could.
Arriving at Bare River i disrobed and biked to our camping spot, I saw someone else we knew with his friend going to camp overnight as well. I stopped and briefly made some small talk and he told me that he was just talking with Happy Bare and told us that we’re going to be neighbours tonight! it was great because we’ll have company to watch the fireworks together and sit by the fire.
Getting to our spot, I meet up with Happy Bare to enjoy the sun but it was still very overcast and windy. So we decided to start putting the tent up while waiting for the clear skies we could see off in the distance over montreal. The longest and most tiring part of the whole setting up was Happy Bare pumping up the air mattress.
I gave him a hand by finishing it up because you had to use the palm of your hand to pump it over a hole to push down and back up. the pump was built in the mattress so you can only imagine how long and exhausting it was. Once the tent was up and all set for the evening, we collected dead branches and logs for our campfire to be for the evening.
Just before it got late, it was 5pm when I made sure to unload everything off my bike and with just my empty backpack to go on a beer run to the IGA some 10 km away. When I arrived, I locked my bike and went in to the IGA to get some beer and some chips and then unlock my bike and head back… or at least that’s how I wanted it to go that smooth. Upon arriving where I locked my bike, I put the key in the keyhole to turn it 360° in one direction to unlock but it didn’t happen that simple. The key broke at the handle! looking at the metal key part and the plastic handle of where the key use to be — socked and frustrated at the company that designed a solid metal key with a plastic handle! Now what was I to do? I tried to use my hands to turn over what was left of the key to unlock my bike and I could only get it half way. it was so stiff I was starting to hurt my fingers. I decided to go back in to IGA and as if they may have had pliers in the back store I could borrow, but they told me the manager already left for the day and he had the key for the tools. They apologized and said they wish they could have helped me. At this point I was in panic mode. Trying over and over again without success, I had an idea. I took my keys out and looked for the two keys I use less (so I don’t damage them) to sandwich in between my bike lock key and use the two other keys like pliers to turn over the key. After a few tries, I finally got it unlocked — YAY! When I finally got back to Bare River, I showed and explained to Happy Bare my little adventure. He tried to turn they key with his own hands and he had no success with it either. I told myself, it’s going in the garbage when I get home tomorrow.
Finally, we could enjoy the rest of the day and decided to take this shot of me being a little silly by sitting on a rock in the water, crossing my legs native american style and arms up with index and thumbs together with my eyes closed pretending to meditate facing the sun and feeling the wonderful sun and the heavy humidity in some light wind. (15 km/h winds) During the rest of this wonderful day we snacked on the food I brought and Happy Bare made some delicious chicken drumsticks!
Watching the beautiful sun slowly setting, we captured some really nice photos as the set was setting in stages that just were captivating!
There were many beautiful shots, but too many to put on my wordpress blog so i’ll post the best ones. In one photo, the combination of the sun, light clouds and with the forest fires in Ontario, the sun was looking like the planet Jupiter! In another one, the clouds overlapped the middle of the sun just perfectly to form what looked like a double sun! Stunning!
We started our campfire just before sunset and fire was great, nice and warm on the skin. Felt good with the now cooling down of the wind, so I put my towel down next to the fire to enjoy it for the rest of the night. from time to time we’d move around the logs and add more sticks and branches. However, soon after the photo of me on the right was taken — at the corner of our eye, we seen red flashing up the tree line of the hill we were next to. It was the fire department! with haste, I turned to Happy Bare and said, “Get your shorts on!” Fumbling for our shorts and rushing to get them on as you can hear the doors from the fire engine close and it was like a scene from a movie without seeing the firemen physically, all you could see were 6 to 8 flash light moving about, up the hill. I got my shorts on first so to draw their flash lights away from Happy Bare to give him more time to get dressed, I gave them a holler, “Hello!” Right then and there, now I felt like I was at some popular concert or event being on stage and ALL the lights turned to me. They gave a shout out back by saying hello as they carefully made it down the very large and rocky terrain to get down to our level. Half way down the hill they told us we’re not allowed to have a campfire and without hesitation, we said, “Alright, we’ll burn it out.” Happy Bare and I, pulling the hot blazing logs in to the river water one by one while the firemen watched us. With hissed and sizzling, each log made a lot of noise and steam. The kind of sound of over boiling water makes on a stove top when the water goes over the top and drips down and hits the burner.
The Fire was put out and finally being able to talk to the firemen, they said we’re also not allowed to camp there. We asked if we could stay the night because by then, it was going to be too late to pack up and make it in time before they closed the bridge for the night. They told us it’s fine as long as they don’t see us tomorrow evening. I’m guessing they thought were travelers looking to set up camp for the night because the next thing they said almost made me laugh out loud. I’ve been coming here for a long time now and what they said absolutely no sense. The said It’s not safe to be camping here overnight because their were some mean and nasty pot growers who come around here to tend to their crops. Nasty Pot growers? ha! The terrain is for one, not suitable for growing pot. The ground is full of a mix of tiny rocks, large boulders, and really small rocks that are almost the size of sand. Two, This is a public and very skinny seaway. If their are pot growers on a public seaway, wouldn’t you think they the police would have already got involved to stop them? Happy Bare and I could only laugh after they had gone and joked about the whole thing.
Now that the fire department was gone, we disrobed again and it was about that time to go and watch the fireworks with our neighbours. Arriving, We noticed they still had their fire going and asked them if they were seen by the firemen as well — turns out they hid and since their fire wasn’t blazing like our, we were essentially a light up like a christmas tree so they came to us instead. Our luck, huh? We sat/stood by their fire and we watched not only LaRonde’s fireworks but panning to the left of us another fireworks show! We’re looking left and right not sure what one to watch because both were beautiful! After the fireworks, we finished our beer and went to sleep for the night.
Waking up, it was a little chilly so I was glad that I brought a light sweater. We wanted to stay the day before leaving, however, we had two things against us to being able to do so. For one, we didn’t want to risk the fire department to recon to see if we were still there and risk the $500 fine they had mentioned the night before — and when I checked the weather and radar on my phone, they were calling for a thunderstorm. It was then we decided to pack up and head out. I biked nearly 60 km total between the two days. Despite all that, we had a great camping trip and will do it again… just without a campfire.