Day 51: Deadwater North to Big Brook South on the Allagash River (12.0 miles)


Today is Sunday, a day of rest, and a quiet morning in camp gave me time for thanksgiving and awe at the fact that I have safely journeyed so many miles.  A “good morning” from the garter snake (or is it a milk snake?), the warmth of a campfire, three cedar waxwings in the cherry tree, journaling…and a visit from ranger Matthew Jackson, who came up to chat after learning that I was doing the NFCT.  His family is from the village of Allagash and he has recently moved home to the family’s farm at the site of Dickey Plantation, the home of one of the area’s early settlers.  (Kathy, it won’t be difficult to remember his name, will it?).

Matthew, headed over to Deadwater South, where he is working on creating more level tent sites for future campers.

PADDLER’S NOTE:  The river flow was still very high for August, measuring 1,900 cfs as reported on the bulletin board at Michaud Farm, where all paddlers officially check out of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway (although the AWW continues to Twin Brooks).  I saw many groups between Eagle Lake and Churchill Dam, but then must have gotten ahead of the crowd.

My faithful boat awaits its last portage, fittingly a carry around Allagash Falls.
Today I went into a flurry of mushroom photography…this is my favorite!
The clouds broke while I ate a quick peanut butter and jelly wrap at Allagash Falls. Today, incredibly, my mileage total passed 700 and the ease of this portage confirmed my current level of fitness.
My evening campsite came with a lovely pile of split kindling, a joy to behold.
Yesterday I camped at an old favorite, today I discovered a new one, Big Brook South, an open, sunny space with a commanding view of the river (although access is up a steep and challenging bank).
This is profound…tonight was my last evening of wilderness solitude. One by one, the stars emerged, as I wrote deeper and deeper thoughts by the light of the campfire, never wanting this time to end.


5 thoughts on “Day 51: Deadwater North to Big Brook South on the Allagash River (12.0 miles)”

  1. Laurie: My vote is that it was a Brown Snake (also called a DeKay’s Snake). In any case you convey well the bitter/sweet feelings of the looming journey’s end. Thanks again for continuing the “Adventure”. Arne and Nancy.


  2. I can’t even imagine the mixed emotions that you were feeling on this day and then later when you wrote this…such a profound transition from wilderness to society, from a set physical (though with huge emotional and spiritual aspects) goal to “Now what?” and from an ending to a new beginning (though with obvious intertwining of the past with the future)…It’s been a treat and privilege to read your blog – thank you for sharing. [and yes, the ranger you spoke with has a memorable name!] Welcome Home, Laurie!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kathy has said it best. Welcome home. And I recommend your journal–words and photos–find its way into a book. It doesn’t need to be a big, fancy production. The content is what counts. Blessings on your re-entry. The longing for what has just been completed has happened for me after every hike of any distance, or that goes more than 2-3 days…and the longest I’ve walked was 500 miles on the Camino de Santiago. Your 700+ miles goes deep.


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