Day 32: Haines Landing, Oquossoc to the Maine Forestry Museum, Rangeley and the Hartman’s cabin again (10.1 miles)

Another great Cup o’ Tea tradition is signing the wooden steps, which still bear the marks of Paul’s father’s measurements during construction.  I added this year’s adventure under my 2011 Paddle for Hope signature.


Paul served omelettes made to order, mine with cheese, tomato, and pepper, along with toast and raspberry jam that Janie had made from local berries…yummy!  We ate on the porch, the lake a mirror, while fog still hovered on the mountains.  

I could happily live on this porch!

I was glad I had paddled all of the lake yesterday and could relax and enjoy the fellowship.  I was graciously invited back for another night, but carried all my stuff with me to be honest.  On the drive to the Oquossuc Carry Rd., which Janie walked with me, we saw a fox!

Rangeley Lake was bursting with friendly people kayaking and enjoying their docks.  It was the essence of summer fun and jubilant moods.  One woman in particular asked me how far I had come, then laughed when I told her 445 miles.  Until I introduced her to the NFCT, when she proceeded to cheer as I paddled away.  Reactions like hers are very energizing!


Official photo at Lakeside Park, commemorating the completion of Rangeley Lake and Map 8.

“Laurie,” came a shout as I was navigating the parked cars. Amazingly, it was Beth and Paul Whelan (2014 Through-Paddlers), who didn’t have any trouble spotting me out walking my canoe. Wonderful to get a hug and know that they have been reading along on my blog. I’m already looking forward to the Maine Canoe Symposium next year.

PADDLER’S NOTE:  My GPS only measured 6.8 miles, less than the map indicated, on Rangeley Lake.  The very nice women at Ecopelagicon verified the new portage route, but really had no information on river conditions.  

The new portage through Haley Pond is a welcome improvement – good signage, pleasant trail with sturdy bog bridges, and NFCT interns Matt and Evan were at the museum shelter ready to install a moldering privy near the lean-to during this week’s NFCT work trip.  

A mountaintop experience to end the day, as Paul and Janie drove me to the top of Quill Hill, 12 minutes up a purely scenic road built by a generous soul who made a fortune in construction and logging. Check it out if you are ever in the area.