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We left straight after work last Friday night and headed toward Trois Rivières to spend the long weekend camping in the réserve Faunique St-Maurice, one of Quebec’s wildlife reserves. After a 2 1/2 hour drive to the welcome centre, we were informed that it was another hour drive on a dirt road once we passed the bridge into the reserve. Finally at about 9pm, we arrived to set up camp – attempting to keep dry under poncho and raincoat – in our home for the weekend.

We spent the weekend exploring trails, getting lost, hijacking borrowing unattended boats, eating our weight in food and letting our pyro flag fly. We were extremely prepared (I color coded the list) and brought lots of food, warm clothes and bug spray. (Ah the mosquitos… my best friend once I got back to civilization was a fresh bottle of calamine lotion)

Being in a wildlife reserve had its ups and downs. The camping area was remote – other than the other campsites in our area – and close to a few lakes and rivers. I kept hoping to see a bear – at a safe distance – during those 3 days. But alas I settled for what looked like a bear print in the sand. We did spot some less hard-core creatures along the way; a loon, a blue heron, some quail and pheasants, a brown walking blob that was either a beaver or groundhog and a crow who kept trying to steal our mac n cheese.

Yes, we made campfire mac n cheese. Actually, at Matt’s insistence, we made campfire mac n cheese chili. I was a little hesitant to mess with a good thing but the result was pretty satisfying.

Despite the no way am I jumping in the lake weather, the bloodthirsty bugs and the rain, it was a great long weekend away from the hustle and bustle of the city. We had no cell service as soon as we were on the reserve so we had no idea what was going on in twitterland or if the world had come to an end. I figured if zombies were attacking, we’d have a little extra time – since we were an hour out of civilization. Our only connection to the outside world was the occasional french radio station in the car.

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