Friday, June 6, 2008

Day 15


We are at camp along the Missisquoi river near/on the Abbey Rapids - after just having a scrumptious meal at The Abbey Restaurant - the day didn't begin as nice as it ended!

An easy, but long, portage began our morning after a night of hard rain (all of the gear is now speckled with sand - gritty stuff that sand.) It will be good to see the sun again! We followed along that ATV trail and put in down an embankment past the ledges.

A short paddle followed which led us to our 2nd portage of the day around the hydro dam at Sheldon Springs. The first 1/2 mile was a steep uphill battle - and then we had an epiphany (cue dramatic music.) Well, actually, Bean had an epiphany...we rigged up a harness out of some webbing, a locking carabiner, and some rope - this whole apparatus attaches to the handle on the bow and goes over the shoulders of one of us. Basically, one person ends up being a beast of burden while the other hauls from the bow or pushes from the stern - the whole get up is super effective, although the commands are taking a bit. GEE - HAW! No, the other haw!

At the put in we ate our lunch and got back on the water. A fast three miles later we took out on river left up a steep hill onto the Missisquoi Valley Rail Trail to negotiate our way around the Abbey Rapids - this was portage number 3 for the day.

Fortunately, the rail trail was smooth gravel and made for an easy portage on the cart - giving us a second chance to work with the harness. We were cruising along at about 2mph - not bad at all for a portage!

About a 1/4 mile from the North Sheldon bridge, we came across the Abbey Restaurant. Good food, nice folks - they even let us crash in their backyard at a little picnic area on the water beneath two huge oaks. Beautiful.

Weather: RAIN

Wildlife: beaver, dead hawk on the rail trail - random, ducklings, a salamander, and osprey.

"If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of children, I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantments of later years, the sterile preoccupation with things that are artificial, the alienation from the sources of our strength."

~Rachel Carson

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