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It was two years and a month ago that I was talked into white water rafting by my twin daughters and we headed north into the wilds of Quebec and travelled through bear country to reach the small village of Davidson, P.Q. and the camping lodge of Esprit on the banks of the Ottawa River about 100 miles north of the capital of Canada, Ottawa where you carry “bear spray” as well as “bug spray” and never leave the safety of the lodge alone. I was hoping to buy some Poutine (Canada’s favourite comfort food) on the trip since Poutine aficionados say that the best is made by Quebec chip wagons but none were to be found in the area. Maybe bears like it also. About Esprit and their lodge from their website:
Esprit was honoured to be ranked #1 for “Best Outfitters on Earth” by National Geographic Online! Esprit is very proud of placing first in the categories of “Sustainability” and “Spirit of Adventure” (i.e. adventures for adrenaline junkies), as we continue to expand upon our social and environmental policies, principles and practices.
Our goal of running the “world's greatest” rafting trips is still our commitment to you everyday! If you have a longing for the river, an appreciation of the wilderness and a “spirit of adventure”... join us at Esprit!
Facilities Include: Camping area, HI Hostel, Licensed Bar, Conference Room, Dining Room, Lounge, 3000 sq foot Sun Deck, Laundry, Hot Showers, Indoor Toilets, Full Meal Service, Recreational Equipment (canoes, kayaks, volleyball court, climbing wall), Internet Access, free WI-FI connection in the lodge and Mountain Bike Rentals
As usual they start the newbie rafters on the easy runs before you get into the serious stuff and you wonder what made you decide to do this trip. I remember in particular the class five rapids called the “elevator shaft” which was a thirty foot drop at a seventy degree angle and everyone hung on for dear life. We were in a seven person raft with a guide and three female school teachers who spent a lot of time screaming during the experience. My two daughters were at the tip of the raft and had a great experience except when my oldest daughter (by 11 minutes) flipped over backwards into the water. You can see this in the video below which was taken by a fellow rafter. She is the one in the yellow helmet who takes the back flip into the water. David must have thought this was great fun since he reran the sequence twice in the tape. I was the person directly behind her. I had a limp for two months after that trip.
|Twins in front, screaming school teachers behind and me|
|Getting into a class three rapid, nothing compared to the "elevator shaft"|