Jacques Cartier

Hail Brave Hearts

Still to adventure, still to explore, still to choose the path to discovery. Plan and chart a path, wander and investigate. Choose to follow the dreams of new life. The traveler follows the stars to a new world. Unbelievable! To find a new nation rising up out of the ocean. Forests and land, new people and a new world. The space travelers of the 1500’s.

France was determined to be first. Find the riches, find the gold, find the new waterway to the orient. Make us rich, make us bold, let us gloat at our prosperity. Give me riches, give me wine, give me life and leisure. Give me money, give me wealth, give me land, give me power, give me the great gift of jealousy. I am fine, I am regal, I am cultured, I am powerful. Support my dream, support my quest, make me the champion ruler of the west. Pave a pathway from East to West. Give me the Orient, fulfill my request.

Depart again, on a voyage of discovery. Take these vessels, take these men, find the route before you return again. These are your orders, do your part, I am the ruler, the wise one, the mighty. Do your duty, find the way, give me what I want, of course, I’ll pay. I am smug, I am strong, I am the mightiest. Do your duty. I am never wrong.

So again, Jacques Cartier sets sai for Canada and for the conquest of the new land. The instructions are simple. Give us a colony, give us peace, find the passage to Asia.

The hardworking set sail. The earnest keep striving. The determined keep focused. Yes, the oceans will be crossed, the sea will roll us from one continent to another, the stormy battles with nature will be won. Fear will subside, dismay will vanish, the distraught will be quieted and apprehension will soon leave. Relief will follow with the sight of land.

A colony is imperative, since that’s what our lives are. Cut from the cloth of a settlers life. Give me strength, give me courage, give me shelter, food and clothing. I am the castaway, looking for safety, with instructions so simple, build a home and survive. Survive in the spring, when our rations are plentiful and build your straw houses for shelter and warmth. Survive in summer when the lands gives us plenty, the harsh work of building a colony for all of us. Survive in the autumn when the fruit is ripe and when gathering the crop for storage is a necessity. Survive in the winter when the wind is cold and howling and when the fire burns through the fuel that was so carefully stored. Survive when it’s freezing and the snow piles high, but the instructions were so simple; build a home and survive.

Quarreling and adversary fills the air. What about our lives? This is not a life, this is despair! So with great sadness and futility, the plan is abandoned. Cast aside your hopes, your dream, your plans, this adventure in living is by far too grand. Home to France, back to civilization. Back to the home and the hearth that we know. Back to France where our hearts lie dearly. Forget this foolish scheme of misery. The idea of a colony in Canada is now squashed until the next century.

written by Dr. Louise Hayes

December 21, 2019

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Hochelaga

Hail Bravehearts

It’s a fabulous notion, to start anew, with fresh ideas, community, land and skills. Exciting and enticing, to feel the fresh air, to feel freedom, adventure to call this land your home. The tingling sensation of anticipation and joy. At last, a home. It’s a long way to voyage, to come to Canada, to serve in the conquest of a voyage so rare. To build it, so live it, the adventure of the century, to dwell in the new colony, to be history.

Now venture along the St. Lawrence, with it’s turbulent waters. See the sweet little town called Quebec, but travel, just a little bit further. Another 255 kilometers to the new city of Montreal. A fabulous place, built with the dedication of the colonialist. A fine mind set on conquering a new frontier. Another test of strength and courage, but also negotiation, acceptance and peace. A chance for a new home, a new life, but sharing. To share the land with strangers who will be your neighbors, who will, in their own way, help to make the nation and the colony survive. An unusual friendship, the European and the aboriginal, but so it will be, in the commerce of trade and in the harmony of the land. Peace be with us.

From the voyages of Jacques Cartier, to the new settlers of the land, the joy of adventure is with us.

Jacques Cartier. A voyage of discovery in Canada, the search for a new land. Fabulous! To travel so far, to strive so diligently, to be courageous and educated is such fine arts as navigation, weather, geography, negotiation and more. It’s the skills of human intelligence that wins this fine race across the Atlantic Ocean.

A daring adventure filled with the unknown. A curiosity that must be resolved, the question of what’s out there? Bring back gold, riches and spices. Find a way to the orient! Adventure, oh braves ones, out to the sea, into the winter and to the dangers that it brings. Rest in the camp, die in the land, but bring back gold, riches and spices. Find the path to Asia! Be fantastic, be noble, be brave, be successful be obedient. Bring back gold!

It’s a brave new world, filled with brave new people who must be met and communicated with. It is with hard work and toil, that this endevour pays off so well. The people are kind. Joy be with us! Good luck and good fortune have found the explorers as they land on these shores among strangers who are congenial, or intended to be.

October 2, 1535 was a grand day, for a great nation. The expedition lands in Hochelaga an Iroquois village which will become part of the modern city of Montreal. Share the joy, share the harvest, share the land, meet the people, be our friends. Come, Jacques Cartier, eat with us, talk to us. Don’t be strangers. But the discourse lasted only a few hours before the Europeans returned to the camp upstream, after naming the hill behind Hochelaga, Mont Royal.

Foiled again! The wintry blasts of icy cold are too much of a burden to bear. By more good fortune, the camping party is saved from scurvy, which did claim 25 lives during the winter.

Come, oh fine humans, drink the Iroquois tea of white pine needles, to cure your scurvy and to save your lives. Drink to your good health, literally.

When spring finally came, in the merry month of May, the beleagured group of adventurers return to France with positive reports of a river to the west. The pathway to Asia, to riches, spices and gold, lay through the continent, in the land called Canada.

written by Dr. Louise Hayes

December 17, 2019

The Mighty River Flows

The Mighty River Flows

Hail Brave hearts

Yes, it’s here, the spring has arrived, in snowy, blustery style,  In like a lion, with  heavy snow falls, March has ended the winter with a cold snap, that keeps us bundled up and happy.  Of course, the summer will eventually come, but now the trails are white.  The forest floor is covered, a late spring, with no drought in sight.

The itch is on, to turn the seasons, pull out the canoe and test the current.  Ice flows passing with the water as the melting winter turns to spring.  Catch us in our history, as we wave farewell to winter, the icy highways turn to melt waters and the dangerous ice flows temp.  No  more the sleighs to speed us along the slippery, white rivers, now it’s canoes and boats and water craft, to take our time away.

Go back, fine fellows, to days gone by, to times of yesteryear.  To the fur trade and the brave at heart the times of the voyageur.  A dangerous time of year, this is, when winter turns to spring.  The trails are wet, the rivers are thin ice and the progress becomes slow.  Take a nap and wait a week, a well deserved holiday.  The harshness of this difficult time, will melt the winter away.  Soon the canoe will be laden, with supplies to take inland.  To visit with the natives and to find a brand new land.  Off come the winter fur coats, hats and mitts are stored.  Onto another adventure, to the watery highways of this world.

A well traveled route, the St. Lawrence, filled with Coureur de Bois.  One of the most dangerous occupations of that lifetime, to travel, explore and trade in the great unknown wild.

http://www.patrimoine-culturel.gouv.qc.ca/rpcq/detail.do?methode=consulter&id=25887&type=pge     Trois Riviers, Quebec

The canoes are large enough, they carry several men.  All trained and skilled in many ways, to tackle the obstacle at hand.  Come from far away, in European style, to make a living the hard way, adventure, in the Canadian wild.  A fearsome, mighty river, the St. Lawrence is cracking up.  Pretty soon, it will be show time, pack your bags and liven up.  No more naps or holidays, the spring torrents are flooding.  It’s an adventure too dangerous for us,  spring break up is not even for the daring.  Icy flows and chilly woes, we’ll wait for another day.  This is not the best of times, for watery, river play.

But if you were an itchy voyageur, with bills at home to pay, perhaps the tempting season, would  cast him adrift anyway.

A lovely camping trip, with lakes and rivers to follow, the Canadian rivers of highway, still bind us to our past.  Traditions of camping and canoeing, following well traveled routes.  Today, we love this great wild land and praise the nations splendor.  Our ancestors did a very fine job, of protecting and implementing the heritage that we covet today.  A land of unspoiled wonder, with historical routes to travel.  This is our fine country we still travel in style.  From winter sleigh to summer canoe, the adventure has never left us.

written by Dr.  Louise Hayes

April 18, 2018

Northern Ontario Canoe Trip,  The Nat River

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6ie5jptrgY