Day 34: South Branch of the Dead River to Stratton and Sugarloaf (9.1 miles)

Dawn stirs the soul with the gift of another day

It’s rather a long walk from the Kennebago Rd. bridge to the town of Stratton for everyone, due to difficult rapids even when water levels are high.  Thankfully, the miles flew by, mostly downhill with comfortable temperatures and interesting sights.


The Coplin Plantation Schoolhouse, circa 1845, sits on a great stone foundation.

Next a raccoon, which joins whitetail deer, red and gray squirrel, beaver, mink, chipmunk, otter, and gray fox on my mammal list for this trip, so far.

Dramatic skies have been a daily companion, keeping me guessing about the weather. Later in the evening, we had a massive downpour.


Ralph, whose son at SMU is doing a summer project about the NFCT, visited with me coming and going to town to get the morning paper. Ralph also met Mack Truax on his through-paddle…it was someone walking a sea kayak…must have been Mack!


Here’s what the kiosk in Stratton has to say about the South Branch of the Dead River…perhaps I was helped by the thunderstorms passing through.

So, my day of paddling (let me change that to walking) ended in time for lunch at the White Wolf Inn.  A leisurely and delicious grilled chicken sandwich with fries and pecan pie while I did my writing.  

The kind folks there, who are so welcoming to AT hikers, too, willingly stored my boat overnight while I relaxed at Sugarloaf, thanks to Mary Berger.  Mary worked out her always-busy schedule to whisk me away for an evening of hot tubs, bathrobes, and soft beds.  An added bonus was a surprise chance to visit with most of our wonderful GSB bus drivers, who were there for a meeting.

I AM SO BUMMED I FORGOT TO TAKE A PICTURE OF YOU ALL..if someone took one of you having dinner at The Rack I could insert it here!


I love this photo…between the hot tub and visiting with Mary, body and spirit are rested and renewed!