Day 26: Danforth home (stopped at Weston Dam) to stealth campsite on the Upper Ammonoosuc River (14.1 miles)


Our home for a day in Shelburne, NH, where Ray and Hildy Danforth are celebrating their 48th anniversary today… wishing you many more contented and adventurous years together!
Not my best look, but wanted you to see new friends Ray and Hildy…just don’t focus on my shirt!

The overnight rain was clearing by the time we left Ray and Hildy’s, filled to bursting with scrambled eggs, bacon, English muffins, homemade jam, and fruit.  That should power me for a while up the Upper Ammonoosuc River today!

The NFCT goes under this covered bridge in Groveton, in the midst of 3 consecutive dam portages. Utilizing Ray and Hildy’s local knowledge, I walked after the third dam (Red Dam) for 2.7 miles, adding to the portage length due to shallow water conditions.

PADDLER’S NOTE:  Good decision to continue portaging past Red Dam on 110 and Emerson Rd.  At the Emerson Rd. bridge, there is a great put-in on river right, downstream, where a wheelable “road” goes down from the far end of the guardrail.  From this bridge, it was a half hour struggle to get past Nash Stream and out of sight of the bridge, but then an easy 2 miles.

Beauty along the roadside

The trail has taught me, not only to look on the bright side, but also to appreciate the gentle times, without worrying too much about what lies ahead.  For two miles, I searched for moose and delighted in the songs of the thrushes and cheered on the bit of blue sky that peeked through the clouds.  

My goal was that lovely village of Stark, but first the river grew increasingly troublesome…with faster current and shallow sand and gravel bars.  As the hours and miles go by, legs tire, rocks seem more slippery, and one must rely more on determination and mental attitude.   It is then that I try to be more analytical…what could go wrong and how can I stay safest?  I guess I succeeded, as eventually the covered bridge appeared.  (The last section from the Frizzell campsite took 80 minutes to go 1.3 miles.)

The village of Stark was even more alluring after finishing the most difficult miles of the Upper Ammonoosuc River.
Continued by portaging a one-mile boulder field above Stark, where the river truly relaxed, at least as far as this perfect stealth site. After getting everything, including my canoe, up a wicked steep bank , the world held all I could hope for for a peaceful night and lingering morning.

 TOTAL MILES:  376.3