We left Essipit around 9:00 AM. The First Nations Expedition is making its way to its next stop at the Delta Hotel, in Jonquière. I live in this region, so I have been asked to lead all day as I know the area well. Additionally, Indigenous tradition dictates that it should be the residents of the territory who guide within it.

The first part of the journey, up to Monts-Valin, went well. The landscapes were beautiful. The group was moving at a good pace (about 50 km/h), and the trails were perfect. We stopped at Relais La Chapelle to refuel and have lunch. Thank you to Mylène and Steve, the owners of the relay, for your hospitality.

Afterwards, the last 115 kilometres were challenging. Trail conditions were poor. I expected as much, as this snowmobile club, which is the worst in Quebec by the way, had not done the work on the trails. I will keep the name of the club silent because everyone knows it. We had two mechanical breakdowns, and two members got lost. All of this, combined with the poor road conditions, caused a delay of several hours. We finally arrived at our destination around 7:00 PM. We had covered about 270 km. It’s always more exhausting when conditions are not favorable. The bonds between group members, however, are starting to form. We have a great team spirit.

Before concluding, on behalf of the group, I want to thank the police services and the patrollers of the Saguenay Snowmobile Club for their assistance at road crossings. It makes all the difference, as a convoy of 56 snowmobiles doesn’t cross all at once without it. Tomorrow, the First Nations Expedition is heading towards Mashteuiatsh.

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