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Published: June 10th 2010
Ahoy from the great state of Maine!
Fanstastic, beautiful state so far! We started in a few days ago.
But starting from where i left you last. After we left Groveton, NH we started walking the canoe past all of the dams and to find a place to put in. Well past the last dam it was a bit steep on the banks and a little shallow for paddling. We saw some people sitting on their porch and asked if they knew where we could put in. Got to talking with them and they told us it was pretty shallow and a big storm was about to hit (literally a few minutes away). Anyways they said they would give us a ride somewhere like to a campspot so we could get in our tent before it started raining. Anyways there was a campground a few miles away, so we started driving and saw the river a couple of times. It totally looked runnable up stream, but neither of us told them to pull over, mostly because i think they thought we were a little wierd wanting to go up stream, on a shallow river, in a rainstorm. (eh, we
probably are) So we got to the campground and asked how much-25$ of course so the guys said there was a boat launch with some grass up the road. Got there just as it started to come down and threw up the tent. We were of course soaked from the few minutes it took us to put it up. Hung out in the tent the rest of the afternoon in a torrential down pour. For those of you in St. George i think we saw more rain in an hour than we see all year there!! It cleared up for a few hours around 7 or 8 and we tried to dry out some of the clothes.
About 5 a.m it started up again. Called my mom and got the number for an outfitter in the next town who gave us a shuttle up to Errol, NH. Really great company! Let us camp there in a school room with a futon and use the wood stove in the kitchen to dry some clothes! It poured all day so we just hung out near the fire and chatted with the guys who worked there. The next day was supposed to
be somewhat clear so we decided to do both of the rivers we had missed from all our rides only going downstream (the fun way)! We weren't sure how long it would take us so we took all our stuff. Did both rivers (the Androscoggin and Ammonousuc) by the end of the day and got a ride from a nice guy back up to Errol. So all my complaining about having to go upriver again in the last update was useless i suppose. It worked out great! With all the rain they were both plenty full to run, which made the rapids more fun since the water covered a lot of bigger boulders! The wind was pretty strong and against us, so at times that wasn't helpful. That was a good fun full day!
Got back to Errol that night pretty late. Next morning we got up and made a huge calorie loaded breakfast, and then set out across Umbagog Lake into Maine. We just took a short day and stayed at some campsites that the outfitter in Errol ran. It was on and off rainy across the lake, we tried crossing at one point and got hit with
some strong winds and had to turn back towards shore. When it was clear we hurried across and got to the other shore and then had easier paddling to the campsite. We saw a cow moose and her calf across the river that night! And also had an infestation of wierd bugs all over our tent during the night! I think they were trying to find a warm place to shed their skin. It was wierd.
Next day we somehow slept in later than we were planning and then started on the portage from hell! It took us forever to find the trail and then we had to carry everything about a mile or so to a really crappy 4 wheel trail. It was about 5 miles total up and down rocky rutted hills. We were quite exhausted by the end. But the lake we got onto next was quite beautiful! We were a little lazy in paddling and Brian was pretty tired from the portage. We finally pulled over and ate some food, and that helped revive us. We were able to get across the next lake by night fall. (those were Richardson lakes and Mooselookmeguntic) It was
good we got across them in good weather because today we had more rain and wind. Tried crossing Rangeley lake this morning buuut it got a little windy so we got out and started portaging into the town of Rangeley. A nice old man picked us up and drove us to the grocery store. Great thing about Maine-we didn't even have to try to get a ride, people just offer! We were hoping to just stay the night in Rangeley but there doesn't seem to be anywhere to pitch a tent. So we have a portage to the next river and might just do that today because there are a couple of campsites right where we get in.
The next two days are supposed to be nice so we might try to put in some miles in case we have a really bad weather day, we can bunk up in the tent and read. Towns are pretty sparse here in Maine so we might only be able to do one maybe two updates before the end.
Feeling like we're on the home stretch even though we have a ways to go still! Excited for the remote wilderness of Maine and hoping for warmer, drier weather soon! Hope everyone in St. George is enjoying the hot weather, wish we could send you some rain to cool it off!
Oh, tomorrow is our 4th week out here! But it feels like much longer, i think we've just crammed so much into such a short time, it's kind of wierd! Looking forward to homecookin' in another 4 weeks or so! Unfortunately at some point i will have to be mindful of what i eat again, but enjoying being able to eat whatever i want for the time at least until after the John Muir Trail!
Take care all of you!
Ahab and Starbuck
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