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I just got back from an amazing expedition on the Magpie River with a bunch of kids who really had a blast flying in on helicopters and paddling out. The Magpie River is a little known gem on the northern Quebec coastline that has a little bit of everything. It has some fantastic whitewater, spectacular scenery, absolute wilderness, world class fishing and some great type two fun that means you have to earn your expedition. Peter Holcombe, Taylor Barker combined with a few fantastic guides lead 16 kids down the gorge and it was nothing short of life-changing. Check out the video of the trip

The trip was part of Explore Expeditions and every kid was required to compile a blog about the trip and here are some of those fantastic blogs of the adventure seen through the eyes of these youngsters.

Blog by Graham
For the past 5 days I was privileged enough to experience a true kayaking expedition with multiple back aching portages. The Magpie river is located in the middle of nowhere aka Quebec, Canada and is composed of mostly class 2, 3 rapids. Contrary to most rivers, the rapids were not the challenging part of this expedition, the portages, setting up camp, and cooking pushed the group of 1 girl, 15 boys all in the age range of 12-18 years of age. All of us were able to go on this trip because of explore expeditions and the countless hours of work gone into preparing this trip from our guides and instructors.

Day one of this trip was a travel day, the excitement of seeing faces that I had not seen for the whole year made up for the hours of delays I experienced traveling that day from Atlanta, Georgia Into Quebec. I instantly connected with many old friends telling story’s about our kayaking trips earlier that year. The following day we kayaked the Tewkesbury river before we began to travel 12 hours into the wilderness in which we would discover the mighty Magpie.

The Magpie trip began on a high with a breath taking helicopter ride to the put in. The state of mind all of us were in began more serious because of the dangers of loading and unloading a helicopter, but when we took off that seriousness was left behind. I felt like I was 5 and just rode a bike without training wheels. Upon landing this state of mind was left behind and the dangers returned. We efficiently unpacked the helicopter and were alone on the Magpie. The River itself is a blur in my mind but what I do remember are the moments off the river throughout the first 3 days. The laughs by the campfire, one kids imitation of another kid, and the stress of cooking for others.

The final two days are engraved in my mind so clearly. I was lucky enough to see some of the most powerful whitewater in the world after bone aching portages as well as a helicopter take all of our gear. The gorge was the first portage. It happened after a solid day of whitewater and a long lake paddle. The group was more or less exhausted leading into the portage which didn’t help when we realized we would have to do the walk the distance of the portage a total of 4 times. The portage itself was mostly in mud so sticky you would loose your shoes every other step which was so annoying it got to the point that most people took off there shoes. There were two large downhills on this hike, and because we are creative teenagers, we decided to ride down these in our kayaks. For the moms out there, no one got hurt sliding down these hills. At the end of the portage, we sat in the lake at least for a half an hour. Oh I almost forgot to mention a helicopter landed in our kitchen to pick up our gear the following day. That same day was the Magpie Falls portage. The portage itself was not as difficult as the previous one, but it had its challenges. At the end of the hike we got to witness the beauty of the falls, something few will ever see.

The Magpie was an amazing trip I will remember for the rest of my life and I would like the thank the people that gave me the opportunity to paddle such an amazing river.

Day 2 blog by Ben from UK (Jackson Kayak Little Shredder)
Today we paddled from early morning to just past lunch. It was a very tiring day compared to yesterday in my opinion as there was lots of long flat stretches and a portage which was very tiring. The morning started very rainy and cold. There were a couple of rapids ,most just wave trains, on one called Tobugan ,I saw a big hole to the left in front of me so I went right and hit a huge hole and almost did a back loop in my zen. After that we scouted a huge rapid, on the right was a huge drop with very big holes that did not look runnable. We ran the sneak line which was a small waterfall . I hit a really nice boof which I am really stoked about . Then we helped portage the rafts by using a rope. The second portage we had to carry our boats and the rafts were able to paddle down, it was absolutely massive on the main flow side and had a bunch of massive holes. After that was just flat with a couple small rapids however there was amazing scenery and a couple interesting rocks. I really liked it how the clouds were in the mountains and there were sights that most people don’t get to see. The wildlife was also very cool as well as annoying, I saw some insects that I don’t think I have ever seen before. For lunch we had tomato soup , Mac and cheese as well as hot dogs which we toasted on a campfire. While lunch we were also setting up camp and making it comfortable.

Blog update by Bright,
The Magpie is an amazing river. It has been almost completely protected from human civilization and is the most remote place I have ever been. When we started our journey up the coast I was exited to get in the water and go kayaking but it took flying in on a helicopter to make me realize that I was just as exited to be completely removed from technology and other people. I think it is really cool to go paddling in a lake and see it turn into a rapid. The first day was interesting because most of us were experiencing the Magpie for the first time. We had to adjust to different boats, swarms of bugs, long portage’s, big swims, broken paddles and many other challenges. These challenges are what make the Magpie unique. There are not many places were you can go and have amazing white water, multiple water falls and stunning views with no more than 100 people who get to experience it a year. In a few years I will probably remember making a portage fun by sliding down a hill in my kayak or watching a friend break his paddle and proceed to swim more than any single rapid.

Day 3 blog by Spencer Hurst
This morning we awoke to the best weather we’ve seen on the river thus far. Finally the rain and clouds have abated, leaving opportunity both for our gear to finally dry and warm and for the beautiful wilderness to be better and more comfortably enjoyed. After enjoying a buffet of various cereals, eggs, and English muffins, we set out from our island campsite for our third day on the river. Today was definitely the most mellow day on the river so far. After padding through the thick morning’s mist, we climbed up a huge cliff jump. Everyone jumped, some several times, as Graham opined on the superiority of the Lake Burton bridge jumps and many recalled the old methods of jumping off the high dive at FCC. The remainder of the river proceeded with repeated lakes and shallow shoals nestled betwinxt the finally unobscured Québécois peaks until we arrived at the largest rapid of the day, Saxophone, so called for its characteristic “