Wednesday, April 17, 2013

First Kayak Trip of Season

Spring is not my favorite season in Maine.  Hiking is hit or miss due to mud and ever-changing snow conditions.  Snowshoeing is still possible at elevation but most trails require travel on dirt roads which are in rough shape due to mud.  Mountain biking is still a little bit off due to excessive mud and lingering snow.  Most lakes are still choked with thick ice.

The last of the ice melted in our local river this week.  By mid summer the Piscataquis River usually doesn't have enough water to paddle efficiently unless it is a rainy summer.  Now the river is flowing strong so Puma and I decided to take advantage of this and get an early start to the paddling season.  Puma wanted some adventure the day after her birthday.

We typically kayak an eight to ten mile stretch of the river from the town of Guilford to our town of Dover Foxcroft.  Most of the trip is relatively tame but there is a handful of rapids breaking up the slower stretches. In high water the heaviest rapid is a choppy, wavy class II. The rest of the rapids are pretty straightforward.  At lower water levels the river tends to be rockier presenting different challenges.

Today the river was flowing high and fast.  It was wetsuit weather though with temps in the mid 50s and a strong wind.  There was still patches of snow along the banks of the river at places and even some lingering ice at a couple spots in the water.  There is always some wildlife sightings along this stretch of river.  Today we saw too many ducks to count, a few bald eagles, and a few loons.  This is the earliest we have been on the river.

Puma in her kayak

Ice on the banks

Hard to see but there is a bald eagle visible above the trees, left of clouds if you click on the pic

Approaching Low's Bridge

Low's Bridge

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