Monday, September 8, 2008

Allagash Adventure continued

If you have not read part 1, click here then come back and read the rest. I have had time to reflect and greatly miss the lakes and the wilds of Northern Maine. The dents in the car from the big tree falling are fixed and still as I write, I visualize the Great Blue Heron as he and his friends fly by us as we emerge onto Eagle Lake. There were three Herons, I think that is a close as I have ever been to one, he was about twenty feet in the air about ten feet from the front of my boat.

Photo above - A suspicious string of clouds that only threatened. Remote and beautiful, Soper Mountain can bee seen in the distance.

Our paddle to Pillsbury Island is about two
miles from the stream and we make good time. We arrive to the first camp site which looks nice and open. Another party is camped at the middle of three camp cells, thankfully there are a lot of trees dividing the cells. The weather continues to improve and then fully clears and warms significantly. After quick lunch consisting of fresh mozzarella, basil, tomato, on pita bread, doused with Olive oil and a side of Cape Cod chips, and we make a break for the Trains. This is about a four mile paddle round trip. We make our crossing from camp on still water and light winds. Steph spots a motor boat in the distance and gives me a very annoyed look. I am thinking it must be a Ranger or Warden since your only allowed a 10 HP motor or less on some of the lake sections and other parts, no motors allowed at all. Our wilderness experience was only briefly interrupted by Ranger Paul and another Ranger whom we never got the name of. Actually, we never did get either of their names. It is only after our trip that I saw a picture of Ranger Paul on some one's photo web site, that I recognized him and now know who he is. We starting chatting and eventually, they wanted to see our camping permit. They were both very friendly, even offering directions to the trains. The one nameless Ranger kept taking pictures of us, oddly with his camera. In the end, he offered to take pictures of us with our camera also, he took a lot of good pictures and captured some good facial expressions.

Let us go laughing!

We continue our mission after the Ranger encounter and arrived at train cove (as it is called) pretty quickly. It was right where Ranger Paul had said, "Look for the big beaver dam and you'll be right there". It's not hard to imagine what took place many years ago in this working forest that it was back then. Train cars sit rotted away on rotten tracks with large trees growing right through the middle of them. There is a lot of debris remaining around the general grounds, old rail car wheels, wire cables and piles of wood planks from other decaying old cars.

The Trains sit idle since 1930

Departing Train Cove
We made our way back to our campsite and had a couple of drinks before making our dinner. Switchback spaghetti, cheese and bread, Yummy! We stayed up for a while and checked out the sunset and all the stars that were constantly popping into our vision.

The next morning we awoke to warm temps and crystal blue sky. After a quick breakfast we loaded our boats and took off heading back to our car parked about 6 miles away on Indian Pond. We both were not looking forward to the hard effort of the portage we had done the day before and discussed finding the easier route. We toured around Eagle lake and where Chamberlain empties over Lock Dam into Eagle. What a neat area of the lake. Someday I plan a trip down Chamberlain into Eagle via lock dam and back, just for fun!

As we arrived at Indian Stream we had to exit our boats and pull them up the stream against the knee deep current. We arrived at the culvert and decided to squeeze through laying down on the stern of our boats and pushing ourselves through the culverts. About 500 feet up, I noticed a trail on the left that appeared to go towards Indian Pond. In fact, I had actually been to this very spot the day before but, I did not see the stream flowing through the thick forest. We portaged our boats and celebrated our endeavor with cheese and crackers and a few chocolates. After a quick 2.5 mile paddle we were back at the Indian Pond campsite and the car. A quick loading of the boats and camping gear and we were on our way out of the wild..

This is the worst part, I dream of another day spent in the Allagash Waterway.

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