During the first kilometres of our Postech Roadtrip, we learned that nobody on the team was really a master camper, and as such we gave ourselves an evening to try and tame our new home.
Camping Lesson #1: Always be prepared to give things a shot on the road. And be prepared in general! As soon as we arrived at the Lac-du-Repos campground, as soon as we parked, we encountered our first obstacle: the 50V outlet at our campsite was not compatible with our RV. It was 5:30pm on a slightly rainy 18th of May, no attendant at the front gate, and no neighbours around us. Luckily, some help came to us in the form of the camp store, which sold all sorts of stuff to help you out of a bind… and also stuff to celebrate your victory right after!
Once our RV was connected, it was with low spirits and high hunger that we started on our dinner preparations. Lesson #2: Plan your first meal in advance. We had all the equipment needed to barbecue, and we were counting on our RV’s ability to use propane to cook, and yet… that would require a propane tank. A propane tank that we didn’t have. With our barbecue plan dead in the water, we instead retreated back to the RV’s stove, cooking some baby vegetables with spices, hamburgers, and for dessert, maple syrup grilled pineapple. It was only the first dinner of the trip, and we had already created a new tradition: recording the best recipes of our adventure in our logbook!
The first step of our road trip takes us to Montreal where we were filming in the company of Vincent Gagnon, the region’s Postech franchisee. We found the great, smiling man in the midst of a middle school expansion construction site, and he said “I’d had the order confirmed with the work site a couple of days ago, ordered the screw piles from our parent company, and I’m installing them this morning!” Very proud of the rapid construction of their screw piles, he worked on the construction site with Dany, his employee, immune to the pull of the camera, very concentrated on his machine. The duo is very efficient: a little higher, a little lower, a bit to the right, with strength and precision, we watched as they sunk the piles and extensions into the school ground’s loose soil. Vincent answered my questions in a very personable and professional manner. We left them to their pile installation, promising that we would drop by to see them at their garage a bit later.
And once we met again, it was with big, open arms and a large smile that Vincent welcomed us to speak with him about his passion, about how “wasting time on mechanical stuff” was a pastime for him. He owes this interest to his grandfather, from whom he inherited his Elan snowmobile at 12 years old. He put in a lot of time and pocket money, not to mention the hours of YouTube tutorials in order to get it working again. It was the last souvenir of family gone too soon, and through it, he gained an impeccable understanding of machines from the whole. But what is most memorable about Vincent, is his accommodation. Alongside his better half, Sandy, and his little gentleman, Nathan, he opened his door to us for supper that night.
We improvised a barbecue in the yard that evening, attached to two 20-amp circuits, and we could not have asked for a better night! Even Ila made friends with their dog Roméo! We brought out the guitar and sang until late in the night, promising to see each other again. That’s how Vincent is. Heart on his sleeve, and an easy smile; just one of the good friends that we were lucky to get to know.
Soon enough our Postech Road trip was back on, headed toward Sherbrooke to meet up with Johnny Bessette. We got there a little late, but Johnny waited for us with a smile, leaning against his black pick-up at the entrance of the Sherbrooke University’s Solar Park, the biggest solar park for research in Canada. At the foot of the solar panels, we walked through the park in the rain. “I am proud to have participated in this project, in the aims of finding a clean-running energy.
I thought to myself, it’s good for my daughter, and good for the future,” Johnny explained to me. It rained, and the storms certainly didn’t make the interview very easy, but even with drenched faces, we were happy, and especially impressed. We heard the imposing structures move when a weak ray of sunshine finally peeked out over our heads.
To the great disappointment of the team, who was really looking forward to fishing, the weather changed our plans. But honestly, we all ended up agreeing that it was a worthy trade-off. For instead, we headed out for a decadent lunch at the La Seigneurie brasserie, which we had heard Johnny speak of when he was recounting anecdotes of his nearly 20 years with Postech, most of which were spent as the franchisee of Estrie in association with his brother. Outside of two phone calls, and some concise instructions for his team, he was available to talk, and excellent company! We redid several takes and (the real joy of filming) grabbed some reaction shots, which gave us more chances to laugh. Johnny got back in his truck, and by our side, he left with us for our next step: Charlevoix!
With our second step behind us, we are starting to realize that our road trip to meet up with Postech Nation goes beyond kilometres and perfecting the camping lifestyle. From one stage to the next, we are sketching a portrait of the country in which lives the most authentic, passionate, and generous people. And we feel truly lucky!