Focused on making progress, we were on the water just after 7 a.m. Seven miles and three hours to the Raquette River…a contented paddle with Dad leading and me lagging behind for photos…of Adirondack camps and loons, including one with a funny curled up tail that I thought was a chick until I had carefully drifted close!
About one and a half miles down the picturesque, but fast moving, river, we encountered two canoes from a group we had met the day before. They were students from Brooklyn with two of their teachers, being guided by local camp staff. One boat had capsized and was underwater, caught in a strainer by the powerful force of the flooded river.
Now Dad loves nothing better than coming to the rescue. We knew better than to pull into the same situation, so we paddled back upstream to the downstream side of a mostly stable old log. I was to end up squatting on that log for 2 hours, meanwhile acquiring some new friends from Brooklyn.
Dad thought of using a nearby tree and a rope, which we supplied, along with company for some of the boys. Quiet at first, we were soon laughing and connecting. I guess sharing Snickers and bug spray on a rolling log is a bonding experience.
From my tent window I could see hemlocks reaching out over the water, sun shimmering through, with the sparkle of water behind. Our cooking has gone from steak with potatoes and fruit to beans and franks to just franks rolled in tortillas. It still tastes good! Heard a group of coyotes right across the river at dusk, powerful and eerie.
TOTAL MILES: 62.4
Both time and service have been in short supply for posting. Tonight I finally have service and will add photos later.
Today began with two gorgeous lakes (Raquette and Forked), the wind at our backs and a couple of easy wheelable portages to get us warmed up for what lay ahead. We are becoming skilled at launching with the wheels from docks and beaches. Also, pushing rather than pulling, which I haven’t seen mentioned much, but which I do a lot.
Then came the test: Buttermilk Falls and Deerland carries on the Raquette River, which was the first fast water we had paddled in our new boats…a few rocks to avoid and the feel of the Allagash. Both of us were able to carry our boats on the first carry…go Dad! The second was another story, a long (6/10 mile), muddy, slippery mess and we were exhausted. Each of us took some gear for the first trip and, there, at the end, was a marvelous sight. An empty lean-to saying, “Collapse here.”
Of course, no collapsing yet. Dad got to work on the fire and I mustered the strength for a couple more loads, the mud once sucking my shoe right off my foot! Along the way, I met a couple with two friendly dogs. They proceeded down to visit Dad and transformed into the world’s best trail angels. John walked to his house downriver and paddled back with 4 beers and enough wood for a lovely campfire, making a cheery abode of the somewhat dark lean-to. Another blessing!