The brooding St. Lawrence — and the end of a long day


The day started early, on the shores of Lake Ontario, in downtown Toronto. We were headed east, to the maritimes, on the first day of a  trip meant to revive some old memories. But the first memory it stirred was more recent: the mighty St. Lawrence River.

A year ago, I fulfilled a bucket list dream by going whale watching in the St. Lawrence. The whale watching lived up to my expectations, but it was the landscapes of the river itself that really captivated me. At times it was a shining torrent, other times a dark, brooding presence, all grey water and black rock — a place just made for photographers.

And it was the first great sight on this trip. Toward the end of a long first day, we looked out to see those dramatic landscapes again. Near the town of Rivière-du-Loup, the countryside began to look familiar, dense stands of conifers standing out against the sky. Then, a glimpse of the river itself, with the setting sun glinting off its waters. Beautiful pictures, but unattainable from a speeding car.

Finally, my moment came. As we reached our hotel, we hurried to the river’s bank to catch the last rays of the sun. And typically for the St. Lawrence, the sunset was no pink extravaganza, but a picture painted in a more sombre palette, somehow just as beautiful.

I snapped my photo, and headed back to get some dinner and some rest. We’d come from the shores of Lake Ontario to the banks of the St. Lawrence River — an amazing leap for one day. And the sunset over the brooding St. Lawrence was a fitting reward.


About Author

Paul Marshman is a retired journalist who spent 30 years as a writer and editor on Canadian newspapers, while travelling to the ends of the earth. Now he continues to travel while passing on his travel experiences to you.

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