Saturday, June 21, 2008

Day 31


Onwards and upwards on the Ammanoosuc! Spent a good part of the day poling up river - a perfect stretch as the river is relatively calm, a few feet deep (deeper in spots), and a nice sandy/gravel bottom. Nothing beats moving against current with a setting pole!

Portaged around a short series of rapids near the covered bridge in the morning and then again later around some blow downs that blocked the river - other than that, today was a relatively relaxed day.

Ran into some thunderstorms just outside of West Milan so we hunkered down on the river bank to wait it out. Since the forecast was for more of the same, we decided to play it safe and take out there (about a mile down river from town) and portage in to a general store.

Heard from locals that the water on the Androscoggin is really up due to all the rain - since we are also headed upstream on the Andro, we figured we would probably end up portaging most of it as it would be impossible for us to fight the current when the water was moving so deep and fast. Our alternate plan is to catch a shuttle to Errol, NH and paddle back downriver to the Pontook Dam and then shuttle back up to Errol. This at least allows us to paddle most of the river and to travel on it safely.

Arranged a shuttle (from Nancy and Mike at the Stark Inn B&B) to Errol and set up camp at Northern Waters Outfitters right next to the bridge - they give free camping to NFCT paddlers and they also seranaded us with some good guitar, mandolin, and plastic jug music. It was a rockin sort of evening!

Weather: cloudy, t-storms, hard rain

Wildlife: bull moose, loon, beaver

"Swift or smooth, broad as the Hudson or narrow enough to scrape your gunwales, every river is a world of its own, unique in pattern and personality. Each mile on a river will take you further from home than a hundred miles on a road." ~ Bob Marshall

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