Friday, July 11, 2008

Day 51


FORT KENT! Another big mileage day (33mi) and we find ourselves at the end of this canoe trip. Crazy.

Started at Twin Brook and made Allagash Village by 7am. Enjoyed some good eats at 2 Rivers Restaraunt (they offer great food and lodging) and chatted with the locals before making our way down river to the bridge where we walked up to Allagash Outfitters.

Here we met another Hafford - Wilmer Hafford, who gave us some snacks and sent us on our way down to the St. John River. Left the Allagash and made Pelletiers Campsite around noon. Here we took a break and, already a good 17 miles into our day, decided to push on to Fort Kent as the site would soon be filled with adolescent boys from local camps - not the most serene place to camp for the night...

Good water levels and a strong tail wind and we found ourselves cruising along the home stretch at 5.5 miles/hour. Fast for expedition boating! Usually the river is pretty shallow and you have to pick and choose your way through the channels, but due to all the recent rain, we found it quite passable and plenty deep.

Made Riverside Park at 245pm and ran into Brett and Luke who had also paddled in earlier that day (happy birthday Brett!) Took some photos at the kiosk - a strange feeling to be standing here on the other end of the trail!

Found our way to the Norther Door Inn - if you are looking to stay in Fort Kent, they are about the only game in town aside from camping in the park. They provide shuttles from the park and are very paddler-friendly folks. Showers/food/sleep. Our last town day in Fort Kent tomorrow and then we get picked up on Saturday to travel home.

Thank you to those who helped us along the way - to our friends and family for all the support, the wonderful folks at NFCT who work tirelessly to make and maintain this trail, and to you - good reader - for joining us on our adventure!

Weather: fair

Wildlife: fox, bald eagle, kingfisher

"We have not ceased from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time." ~T.S. Eliot


Willard said...

Congrats!!! A real pleasure reading your blog and following your progress. I'll leave you with a little well-deserved refreshment from Sigurd.

"The mist was all gone from the river now and the rapids sparkled and sang. They were still young as the land was young. We were there to enjoy it, and the great machines seemed far away."

-- Sigurd F. Olson (Naturalist author of The Singing Wilderness)

Chris said...

Great job, I really enjoyed reading your posts. Our family is doing the trail in sections. I thought you might like to look at our progress occasionally.

I envy your ability to take the time to do the trail in one stretch, whats next?

Luke said...

Hey guys this is Luke. I tried to e-mail Eileen the pictures we took of you guys, but the e-mail address doesn't seem to be working. If you would like send me a message on my Travelblog with the appropriate contact information and I'll make sure you guys get those pictures.

eonac said...

seems like you finished the trail must have been given rides rather than walking the portages??...just wondering.

Katy said...

V-Dub! Matt and I are quite happy you guys finished the trail! What a beautiful boat as well. We're jealous! Hope you had an amazing adventure. The blog is enjoyable. :)
If we don't see you, good luck this fall, Unity will be missing all of those that just graduated.

Great job!

Northern Paddlers said...

Thanks for following along Willard, Chris, Katy and Matt! The words of encouragement are much appreciated. By the way, Chris, our next adventure is moving to New Hampshire - perhaps a little hiking in the Whites?

Eonac~ From our guestimate - folks typically finish the trail anywhere from 30 something days (Fellow '08 NFCT paddlers finished in 38 days!) to 70 something days. We fell somewhere inbetween in our timeframe of 51.

We managed portages by carrying our gear, arranging shuttles, and using the portage cart. We recorded these portages here in the blog - pictures and all (some are pretty funny...)

More important than how quickly or slowly we negotiated the trail is the simple consideration that we managed it to the best of our ability with the gear we had, and the conditions we faced - and it rocked. Thanks for the post!