Lac Papineau

Canadian Fish

A funny thing about getting older is that suddenly your whole life is suddenly planned out for you. Free weekend? What is that?! Every weekend is seemingly filled with weddings, birthdays, annual trips, or local events. All exaggeration aside, the first weekend in October is the first weekend without such an event since mid-May. Should I start freaking out and make plans now or what?
 
Our annual Labor Day trip to Canada is in its third year and truly only getting better with age. Good friends of ours have a house on Lac Papineau, a private lake in Quebec. There is private…and then there is Lac Papineau private. After an eight hour drive from New York City—some prefer to fly, but I enjoy the road trip, however brutal it may be at times—we arrive at the marina. A lovely French-Canadian named Daniel lives and works at the marina. If you pull up by car or by boat at any hour of the day, Daniel will be there ready to assist. And he has to be, because the only way to reach the handful of houses on Lac Papineau is by boat.
 
Lac Papineau
View From the Top
What Men Do
Once we arrive, my favorite thing to do is to live on the amazing porch for three days straight. No matter what people are doing—fishing, boating, reading, swimming, sailing, kayaking, tubing, napping—everyone shows up at meal time to chow down on the porch. We use the grill for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and we eat lots of meat (burgers, ribs, beanie weenies, taylor ham). When the fishermen come home before dark—which is not often, fishing is an addiction (see the last photo) and they gonna do what they gonna do, be it fish in the dark or whatever—we get treated to a most delicious fish fry (I mean…it’s a private lake, I could spend an hour in a kayak and feed a family of forty).
 
This is the type of place that you must see to be believe. The pictures I saw before my first trip didn’t do it justice and clearly, neither will these. However, the following photos from my friend John—who has a beautiful, legit photo-machine—are pretty spectacular. The moon wasn’t rising until well after midnight while we were there and it was some of the most beautiful starry nights I’ve ever seen. And John was actually able to capture it on film. C’est magnifique!!
 
Lac Papineau Night Deck View
Starry Night
(My Photos: August 2011, John’s Photos: August 2013)