Day 13: The Swanton Motel to a stealth campsite just past East Highgate, VT on the Missisquoi River (12.3 miles)


This was a common view as I wound my way up the river, hugging that shore (and enjoying a great tail wind).  My gift to myself was the whole morning in the motel and I didn’t get on the river until after noon.  You can’t push all the time.

My companionship with the river’s shore brought me close to this Joe Pye Weed, the sweet smell of purple vetch, the surprising sight of a family of five baby ducks with no mother, and beaver, many beaver.  Late in the evening, I came upon a family or colony of beaver, the two largest patrolling back and forth and tail slapping long after several little ones had slithered down the bank and plopped into the water.  Very cool!

At the first of two portages (Highgate Falls), I met four Northeastern graduates who are section paddling the NFCT, going downstream here.  They told me the portage trail was a mess (actually used stronger language) and I should have believed them!  On and off the wheels three times and I still had to carry the boat at the end as a huge gully had washed out the road.

There is a pretty NFCT campsite at the start of this portage.  John Mautner had signed the register and, in the comments, reported that a bear had swum across in front of his canoe. Now that is very cool!  John is still about two days ahead of me.


A fine example of stealth camping after the second portage and before some rapids I will need to figure out in the morning. just enough flat dry ground under a tree to fit my tent and canoe hidden among the ferns. Goodnight!