The River Flows North – Part One
I’m not sure when the idea was hatched, but somehow the four of us found ourselves in Josh’s hometown of Biddeford, Maine. Our plan, as freshly minted graduates, was to spend a week and a half canoeing around.
In a good way, not too many words can accurately describe Maine.
Beautiful would definitely be an understatement, but I guess it gets you halfway there.
Being born a Canadian, it was like returning home.
Everyone that I met was absolutely amazing, kind, and completely genuine. I can definitely see why everyone from Maine chooses to never leave or be away from it for too long.
Our trip started off at Josh’s parents, a place that not even Josh had spent much time at since they moved while we were all in architecture school.
We spent a few days gathering our gear together, drinking a couple of beers, and smoking strong-flavored cigars.
Life was good.
Our plan was to simply to drive up north to the border and canoe back down.
There was not much to it.
Thankfully, I can now recount the days of our trip through an old Moleskine journal I had brought along…
“How the heck did we not take note of that on the map?
We literally sat there thinking that this stupid river flows from North to South. Thank god we talked to those two old ladies at the general store in Portage…we would have lost our arms paddling up river the whole time.
One of the ladies grew up right near me in Maryland and went to the same school as mom…what are the odds? I asked her how she found herself this far north and she replied:
“The DEVIL. I followed the devil up here.”
There’s a ranger post in Portage so if one of us idiots need TP maybe they’ll fly some over on a float plane?”
“We’ve set up camp on a moose shoot.
No choice, storm came in. Trying to make dinner in the rain.
Not too successful.
Hopefully, a bull doesn’t come through here and rip us to shreds.
I’m sitting next to a tree with scrapes all over it.
A loon followed us for like…2 miles and kept annoying us. Maybe if Chris and Josh would stop talking to it…
“Last night was freaking terrible. In our haste to set up camp, we pitched the tent too close to the river. The water from the storm quickly turned our tent into a water bed.
We all ran out in our underwear to try to maneuver the tent out of the way. My stupid sleeping bag got soaked.
It was an old cotton sleeping bag from when I was a kid. Thank goodness for emergency blankets. Yay for not getting hypothermia.
We all were restless that night after the ran stopped. Camping on a moose shoot was definitely not a good idea….especially after seeing so many of them on the river.
Josh and Chris told me they spotted a mother and her calf not too far from our camp.
Oh – we also came into very close contact with a Fisher cat. We heard it outside our tent and it sounded like the devil came for all of us.
Chris had no idea what it was and naturally didn’t believe in Fisher cat…I’ll have to google it for him when we get back.
He grabbed me and screamed for me to bang on my pot the whole night.
“Bang the pot, Andy! Bang the pot!”
“Taking a nap on the river. Eating some snacks.Typical stuff I guess. I could go for some hot Tang.”
“We paddled all day and reached our next milestone.
We were paddling like machines through St. Froid Lake and Eagle Lake to get away from the storm clouds.
Luckily we beat them and were able to set up camp before they caught up to us.
Fish update: I haven’t caught a single fish yet.
We sat and watched the clouds make their way around the lake a couple of miles down.
It was like…one of those cartoons where the black rain cloud just follows someone and storms over them. Pretty cool.
The sunset was absolutely amazing this evening.
Tomorrow seems like a good day…I hope.