Trip #4! For this outing, we wanted to get the kids out to access Maine’s numerous lakes, rivers, ponds, and streams. Paddling is a great way to access the A.T. region of Maine that doesn’t involve hiking and is a great way to do it if you have a camera crew from Maine Public tagging along! Which we did. One of the logistical challenges with a group paddle is the number of boats, life jackets and paddles you need to pull together. Fortunately, for this trip as several others, we partnered with another Maine conservation organization to to help us out! Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust and Amanda provided all the boats and gear along with instruction so we could get the participants out for some fun in a safe way.
Our destination was the Cupsuptic River, a relative short and slow river that empties into Cupsuptic Lake (which is actually just the northern portion of Mooselookmeguntic Lake). After getting our gear and going through a tutorial on paddling and canoe logisitics with Amanda, we were ready to paddle a few miles upstream for lunch at Hickley’s Cafe on the far shore. (The “cafe” is really just a nice lunch spot with picnic tables and an outhouse.) Fortunatley for us, both Amanda AND one of the Maine Public camera crew speak Portuguese and so things moved efficiently as they typically do with about a dozen twelve year-olds attempting to paddle canoes for the first time in their lives.
Fortunately, everybody made it for lunch. A few boats even pioneered new paddling techniques like the “zig zag for shore to shore” and “going backwards seems easier, let’s do that” methods. Lunch was provided by the Oquossoc Grocery and since there was very little garbage to pack out, everybody seemed satisfied. The return trip was downstream so it went a bit quicker, leaving lots of time for swimming at the boat launch and interviews for the Maine Public documentary. They are creating a multi-platform project called Borealis which will focus on people in the outdoors in Maine.
Then after loading up the boats the kids went swimming. Special thanks to the Maine Forest Rangers for helping to load the trailer. And stay tuned for adventure #5 next week!