Sunday, September 26, 2010

It sure has been a long time. November of last year???? Really???? Anyway, this is my attempt to get into blogging again. I shall begin with a blog about our most recent NFCT (Northern Forest Canoe Trail) trip. I kept a journal through the trip so I wouldn't forget anything. So, here goes.....

Tuesday Sept 14th
Jason woke me up this morning because Ed was snoring. Of course he thought it was me. (Note to everyone...I do not snore). So I didn't sleep well at all. The B & B was awesome. Sandy was so nice and he makes a mean breakfast. We didn't get on the water until 11:00am. By that time the water was rough (little did we know what was to come). It was coming up over my boat. I couldn't take that much video because of the waves. I didn't want to risk ruining my camera. The carry was easy and we stopped at a store for lunch. Jay and I ordered steam bombs. It was basically a philly cheesesteak Maine style. It sure was yummy. Mooselookmeguntic was huge. We had problems with the waves again. They were so big that they splash over my boat and again I could not video that much. Luckily we arrived at camp around 6:30 and set up. The island we stayed on had a outhouse, luckily, but it stunk. I almost threw up a few times. HA HA! On the other side of the island someone had built a shrine. I promise it was the scariest thing I have ever seen. It looks like a gremlin when you walk up to it. So, during the middle of the night my kayaking light turned on. For the longest time I just thought someone was shining their headlamp so I tried to ignore it. About an hour later the light was still on. I peaked outside my tent and about freaked out. How in the world did my light turn on? You have to twist it to activate it. Anyway, so I had stupid thoughts....did the gremlin come over and turn it on? Was someone else on the island that we didn't know about? Stupid thoughts I know, especially the gremlin one. HA HA!
Rangeley Lakes B & B
Rangeley Lake (above & below)
Scary Shrine
Wednesday Sept 15th
Today before we began paddling I prayed that we would see a bull moose. It's amazing how God answers the smallest of prayers. Jay and I were paddling ahead of everyone, just cruising along. I spotted something moving about a mile away. I zoomed in using my camera and noticed it was a bull. So Jay and I took off. We wanted some photos and video before everyone caught up and scared it away. Before we could get any closer Loud Mouth yelled at it and scared him off. No sooner did the moose run off into the woods the waves and wind began to pick up. SCARY! I'm not joking when I say that we fought 3 - 4ft waves. I have never seen anything like it. I started screaming obscenities at it. It was fun but HARD WORK! After Mooselook we had a very small portage to the Richardson Lakes. Again the wind was really strong but luckily it was moving in our favor. Jay and Ed both believe the Richardson Lake waves were bigger than Mooselook but we didn't notice them that much because they were pushing us instead of us having to paddle into them. We paddled both lakes. Our original plan was to stop at the end of Lower Richardson and stay the night. We had plenty of daylight left so we decided to throw in the carry to Umbagogg. I am so glad we pushed forward because the carry to Umbagogg was a rough one. At the end of the portage you are suppose to carry down to the Rapid River but the trail was unwheelable and a ankle twister. Jay and Ed decided to continue down the main trail to try to find another place to put in and camp. They found another non-wheelable trail but it was a lot easier on the ankles. We could not locate the campsites that were listed on the map so we decided to camp in the road. We set up our kayaks in front of our tents just in case a car came down the road. It would hit the kayaks before us. That night I went to bed freezing and sick. I woke up in the middle of the night with a temperature. I was shaking uncontrollably yet I was warm in my sleeping bag.Mooselookmeguntic Lake (above & below)

Waves on Richardson Lake

Thursday Sept 16th
Due to my fever I woke up early today not feeling very well. Everyone woke up at 6am and we started moving around 7am. I thought to myself, I am tired of carrys in the woods. This carry was about 1 mile. The guys carried my boat down while I video taped. It's nice being a female sometimes. :-) We carried through a mud bog. I accidentally stepped in the wrong place and ended up knee deep in the mud. I have no idea what was in it but it sure did stink. We paddled through a beautiful area of Umbagogg. Ed caught a small mouth. His only catch for the week. The paddle across Umbagogg was uneventful. It was a little windy but not bad at all. Once we entered the Androscoggin River we saw a few bald eagles. I have seen so many of them but it never gets old. They are so beautiful. We finished Section 8 around noon. HURRAY! We portaged 1 mile into Errol to the general store to stop for lunch. Steak bombs again. UMMM!!!!! Then we all worked up the guts to try the class 3 rapids under the Errol bridge. Of course when I got home I noticed they were probably only class 2 even though the map said class 3. Oh well. The rapids were scary but easy, surprisingly. The Androscoggin is a beautiful river. The continuous rapids, scary. I got hung up on a rock and was for sure I was going to flip over. I panicked. After a few seconds I decided to give it a go. I put my knees under my thigh braces and hopped off. I was happy when it worked. We had about 8 sections of rapids to paddle through. I was ready for them to be over. I noticed that the guys had stopped at a campsite. When I pulled up I noticed that Jason was not with them. He had paddled ahead of everyone and didn't pay attention. I was so scared. He had a tent and some food but I was still worried. So I went walking on the road. After a little bit I decided to turn around. I went back to the campsite and really thought I would have to spend the night without him. I decided to walk the road one more time. I had a set point where I was going to turn around. Once I arrived at that spot I decided to walk a little further. I was so glad I did because there was Jason. YAY! He was at the campsite we were suppose to be. So we walked back, loaded up our boats, and paddled the 1/2 mile to the site he was at. YAY! I don't have to sleep with Ed.
Umbagogg Lake (my favorite)
The group after completing Section 8 of the NFCT

Parking outside the Errol General Store. The comments we rec'd. Funny
Riding the rapids on the Androscoggin
Friday Sept 17th
Woke up early and finished paddling the Angroscoggin to the Pontook Reservoir. We decided to skip the 2 miles of continuous class 1 - 3 rapids and just hike on the road. This would add to our additional portage we had to do to West Milan. It ended up being 5.8 miles. We had about 3 - 4 hills to hike up. Pulling a 100lb boat up hills sure is a challenge. Luckly most of the portage was either on flat ground or downhill. We arrived at West Milan around 5. We planned to paddle about 1 mile of the Ammonoosuc River but the outfitter said that the river was really low with a lot of dragging. We all decided to end the trip 22 miles short. We found a guy headed toward Groveton and asked if he would drive Ed to pickup the vehicle. In the meantime we ordered pizza for dinner. That night we drove until 9 and stopped in Mass at a Hampton Inn. Oh a hot shower was fantastic.

Our big meal for the trip home. Best pizza I have had in a LONG time.