In April, the fur companies in or near Montreal, Canada, were busy organizing the spring brigades — inspecting new canoes, repacking trade goods, selecting canoemen, signing contracts.
In May, as soon as the fur companies received word that the ice was gone from the waters their voyageurs were to traverse, hundreds of  men, mostly French Canadians, surged out of Lachine, Canada, to begin their trek. In their two-month trip to Grand Portage, they would cross wild rivers and two of the Great Lakes in canoes laden with up to three tons of trade goods.
After meeting at the annual Rendezvous, some of those voyageurs would head back to Montreal, their trade goods exchanged for an equal weight of furs — beaver, if possible, but also fox, marten, fisher, wolf and many others.

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