Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The Gentlemen's Trip 2018

September 26, 2018

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

 Now I will say that over my sixteen years of doing this trip we have been blessed with good lake crossing more times than not.  Yeah, there were a few times that the winds and whitecaps made for some very interesting rides.  This year we lucked out again.  A very light wind and mostly smooth waters.  I think there may have been at least one muckle up crossing.  An enjoyable paddle for sure!

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

The Rapid was up a bit but quite doable.  It was only a few hours to paddle the seven plus miles to the campsite.

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.

Toe Catchers

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!

Foggy John

Near the mouth of the Rapid

John and Kayak Ken (in a canoe)

Kayak Ken


Probably my favorite picture.  A short break before crossing
Once across the lake I was hoping for a short break at campsite twenty-nine but it was occupied so we moved on.  We went up the Magalloway River for a short stretch and then cut over through a hole in the wall to the Androscoggin River to the put in and the end of the trip.

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

The boys

The goal of this trip is to unwind from a workload that never ends, enjoy some good food, relax being outside, spend some time with friends and not think about anything for a few days.  Miles aren't important, there are no trip leaders, no schedule, no rules.  Just about perfect.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the excellent post and photos. Karen and I enjoyed meeting you and your great crew on Saturday at Cedar Stump. You had a wonderful camp. We loved your style! Best, Rick and Karen