As usual the trip planning started early on which turned out to be a good thing for at least our friend Kayak Ken coming up from Florida. The hurricane that devastated the Carolina's closed his route up the coast on I-95 making him do a two hundred mile detour.
I had contacted Northern Waters Outfitters to reserve our site at Cedar Stump on the Rapid River. We were all set but this year for some reason had to pay at the business instead of by credit card. That was all good as in the last few years the routine was to head north early and then catch a big meal at a local eatery, Northern Exposure, before taking off. With all of that done we hit the boat ramp to pack up our boats and head out to the lake going up the Androsoggin River for a couple of miles. We took a short break on campsite number twenty-nine before heading out.
|The boys heading out|
|Scott and Kayak Ken (in a canoe)|
|Cutting through from the Andro to the Magalloway...|
|...to get to the break spot, campsite 29. Next stop Cedar Stump|
|We begin the crossing|
|Coming around the marsh lands to the main lake|
|Sitting in the middle looking up the lake|
|On the Rapid River, John is on the lookout for a moose|
|Scott making time|
|John and Kayak Ken|
Sept 27, 2018
I woke to what else but rain on the tent. Rather than fret about it I curdled up and slept some more. What a luxury that was. Nice to be on my own time schedule rather then the work one. My only regret was not putting up a tarp over my tent, just keeps it dryer. The rain let off and the day turned pretty nice, just took a few hours. The day was spent lazing around cooking up big meals and getting full to the gills.
We were very fortunate to have had a tree break off near the butt end to saw enough off for the fire which as usual spends the long weekend running hard, enough coals in the morning to get it roaring again. When I finally crawled out of my tent the boys were standing around a nice fire shooting the shit and drinking whatever they liked at the hour of the morning.
My goal for the day was to do squat. I wanted to sit, drink some adult beverages, collect wood and sit some more. I was very successful at this. Scott and Andy had the gumption to go paddle over to Sunday Cove, one of the most beautiful spots on the lake. The rest of us enjoyed the spot we were in.
When the paddlers got back we once again cooked up a ton of food, built the fire up higher and dodged the smoke as best we could. I will say the fire had its way with us sending smoke into our eyes despite doing a full circle around the fire pit. I was not alone in this. We stayed up late into the night telling stories that were funny as hell and we laughed like hell.
Now in the write up one thing held my attention more then anything. Since my back operation I was intent on getting a camp chair that was a grade above the WallyWorld sag ass chairs. On a recommendation I blindly bought an Alps Mountionary Chair, has a flat place to rest your hind end verses sinking into a pothole if you follow my drift. I was very clear to the rest of the crew, all with Walmart chairs, that this was mine and stay the hell out of it although I was nice enough to say try it out. Lots of good votes.
Did I mention fires? Well, once the fire is going it's going for the entire four days. Here's a few pictures taken over the long weekend.
|Yes, that is a road flare to get the fire started|
Sept 28, 2018
Woke up before the sun was up but not before a couple of the others. Fire was going from last night and it was good to stand next to it because it was a little chilly out and damp. Slowly the others rousted themselves and breakfast, coffee, more breakfast was cooked up. By then the sun was up as was the wind. My guess on the lake there was a fair amount of chop and I noticed nobody mentioned a paddle. Instead we opted to hike the trail up the side of the Rapid.
In all the years I've been coming here this was the one time I didn't go all that far. I was in a very relaxed mode and was thinking about another nap. About halfway up before we hit the forest road I turned back.
The one thing I do like is the trail as it heads out of the campsite and goes along the river. A lot of feet have traveled this trail and every year it's a little different with growth, trees fallen, new foot bridges.
|Lots of rock dodging|
|Colors are changing|
|Just wide enough|
The river was up unlike previous years. There was a lot of power but a lot of the rocks were more washed out then in the past. Still the thought of running it in my Courier was a little scary.
Another night spent around the fire after yet another big meal. Beverages made the rounds around the ring of chairs and we all spent time dodging the smoke. Good way to end the last night of the trip.
Sept 29, 2018
There is one thing about this trip I really enjoy and seems to always show up on the day of the paddle out. It's the fog. Thick enough to make everything a shadow. Up early again beating the sun by a few hours and there was the familiar fog. I think I smiled.
It was a few hours before we were all packed up and ready to go. The fog was still thick enough that I was glad to have the deck compass for the crossing. It always makes for some interesting pictures!
|Near the mouth of the Rapid|
|John and Kayak Ken (in a canoe)|
|Probably my favorite picture. A short break before crossing|
|Scott leads the way to the Andro|
|Brightest color we saw the whole time|
|Looking back at the Lake|
|Geese in the cross over, a little weed choked|