Photo: Monique Durand
Evening rosissant on the summit of Mont Provencher, who is part of the massif of the Monts Groulx, 350 kilometres north of Baie Comeau.
Of all time, the forest produces in humans a mysterious attraction effect, both enchanting and frightening, the carrier of a symbolic charge powerful. Our staff member went to smell the forests, here and elsewhere, imbued with meaning and dreams. Third of eight articles.
Resurrection ! We would dance the polka ! The sun after the storm. Rushing outside, half asleep, to get drunk of its rays. The forest has recovered its calm, monumental. “The most major storms, wrote John Muir, are generally followed by a profound silence and solemnity. “Of dark and frightening as it was last night, inhabited long skeletons rampaging through the gusts and torrential rain, here it is once again magical.
It is not only the sun’s rays which get you drunk. The flavors of resin in the woods of the north in the aftermath of rain or when it gets hot drunk too. It is the flesh of the wind soaked with the juice of the conifers, “which infuse like tea,” wrote John Muir. It is the spice of the North, which draws the entire forest without even having to see it, the more the forest itself.
During the storm I essuyais down, Gabrielle and Charlie were, them, top, to the summit of mont Provencher, lost. Born of a nature otherwise most vehement ! They were gone seven days ago in the dream of a circuit 44 kilometres on the massif of the monts Groulx, 350 kilometres north of Baie-Comeau. “I chose mid-June to take my vacation and do this hike with Charlie, between the end of the snow and the early bugs in it,” says Gabrielle Ayotte-Garneau, a veteran of the tour extreme. His companion is called Charlie Julien, also broken to this practice. In the part of their life may be less extreme, both in their thirties, run festivals. The tale, Trois-Pistoles to Gabrielle, the one called the Phénomena, in Montreal, for Charlie.
Ce text is part of our “Outlook” section.
“We didn’t expect to do a hike in winter, says the latter, and to walk with snow up to the knees. It was probably naïve. “The rain, the hail, the fog involved. And a wind that is brutal. Combined with a sleeping bag wet, and provisions were beginning to fail. “It was made to our rations, relief : seeds of couscous, dry “, smiled Gabrielle. They turned round and round in circles for hours, seeing nothing in front of it. “I admit, I thought that my last hour was come. “He has not said it to Gabrielle. “Me, I was discouraged, recognize it, I dreaded hypothermia. “
In short, our two walkers have triggered the alert. A helicopter of the Sûreté du Québec went to pick them in the morning. They are doing well : a mild infection in the eye for Gabrielle and a solid sunburn on the face to Charlie; sudden light and fresh air would be better said.
A cathedral and a house
I found the station Uapishka, located at the foot of the massif of the monts Groulx, a place that welcomes scientists, tourists, adventurers and, these days, a journalist from the bush… Gabrielle and Charlie took a hot shower. Armed with their youth and fervent, they are planning to redo the shipping. Because the essential is elsewhere than in the story of the helicopter. The essential ? The forest they have seen and envelopes, which turns out to be the largest reserve of white spruce on the continent. “Enter the forest, it is like entering a cathedral. It is done with discretion, and with respect, in an attitude of contemplation, ” says Gabrielle. I feel a kind of fullness. “
“While the man has not stopped cut of the forest, wrote the French Noëlle Chabert in The dream of the forest, the passionate interest that she arouses today illustrates this paradox of modernity : the need to make room for the wild to reconnect with our animality. “Today there are so many humans” to seek again the intimacy of the forest and to let it creep in them, ” says the historian Paul Sztulman in the same work.
Daniel Beaulieu, manager of the station Uapishka, confirms it : there is a resurgence of men and women are so taken by beauty and wildness, bag, booties for feet, equipped with walking stick, ready to fight with the monts Groulx. Not always well prepared to the ordeal that awaits them. But almost always animated by a kind of quest for existential and faith in other possible.
The northern forest, the northern islands and, more generally, the various North of the planet with their morning fresh, their snow and their aurora borealis or northern lights, are today food popular, more sought-after. Cooked all round in our towns and cities become ovens, we are constantly more likely to want to go, we soak in the folds of the forests and the freshness of the northern waters. Forcenés of our worlds to the cloud, we dream of islands frugal environment and lost, under-woods, shady places and where the wind ruffles. We are looking for forgotten sensations that would look like the unexpected of rainbows and storms, issued of our lives métronomées. In this age of noise and speed, the tree imposes “the slow pace of what was accomplished in silence and invisibility,” writes the historian Alain Corbin. In a world where nothing lasts, not our computers that, often, our loves, it evokes a presence that is obstinate.
“The forest gives me a sense of freedom, serenity,” said Charlie, who had rolled his hump in more extensive forest in the northern hemisphere, the Yukon, Iceland, Scotland. “For me, it is the home. I feel good. “
He uses the word ” house “. No wonder : the forests we have manufactured and were our first home. “They represent the memory of the world prior to the appearance of our species,” writes Paul Sztulman. “The body that our distant ancestors tree we have left remains marked with the seal of the trees,” says the writer Jacques Ticino. The tree is our first mold anatomical. “
The scent of the conifers
Our two hikers fall to their equipment in the car. “What a beautiful debriefing you allowed us to do that !” throws me Gabrielle. “The forest is a giant who takes care of us,” she continued. I allow myself this harmless impertinence : the giant took really good care of you last night when you requested to have a helicopter of the police ? Gabrielle and Charlie to answer me with a radiant silence. Well, okay, they admit it, their self-esteem has suffered a little in the adventure. They will re the monts Groulx to prove to themselves that they are capable of. But mostly for the fullness. And freedom. This time, they will choose dates later in June, even if it means having to swallow a few black flies with their couscous. For the time being, they put on the cape to the south, one in Trois-Pistoles, the other in Montreal. “Welcome back to the p’tite vie !” their lance while laughing, Marc-Alexandre Collard, a young man innu who works throughout the summer, the resort Uapishka.
I return to my shelter in the spruce trees. The fragrances resinous woods are stunning, warm and sweet as a pie p’tits fruits in cooking. “The sailors detect far at sea the flowery scent of the winds of earth “, wrote John Muir.
Suddenly going on a great blue heron, in principle, a regular in the St. Lawrence river, which flows hundreds of miles to the south. The large bird would it have made it so far in sniffing, as sailors, the scents of larch, fir and spruce ? Hovering on the rivers fly-plotted by their perfume ?
Next week : the freedom of The trees
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