Paddle And Portage Book Review

Over the weekend I read Paddle And Portage: From Moosehead Lake To The Aroostook River, Maine by Thomas Sedgwick Steele on Google Books. It’s an 1880 account of traveling the route named in the title, which goes right by our new place in Masardis. I’ve always loved old books, especially if I’ve traveled over the same routes as the authors. On trips on the East and West Branches of the Penobscot river, as well as on portions of the Allagash I like to have a copy of Henry Thoreau’s The Maine Woods to read to clients. Paddle And Portage similarly has some great descriptions of the country.

The Osgood Carry, from the Allagash to the Aroostook, is covered in great detail. Some of the pond names are different than they were in those days, but the route remains the same; from Churchill Lake, up North Twin Brook to Spider Lake, then continuing on through Lower Portage Pond to Upper Portage Pond. Then Carry two miles to Echo Lake and follow Echo Brook to Munsungan Brook, and down to Munsungan Lake. It’s a route that I’m excited to travel this year, as it gives us access to the Allagash and the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. I’ve written before that the waterways were the old highways through the bush, and having our new base camp on one of them is exciting.

Thanks to Fitzy from the Tripping And Poling Forum of the Northeast Paddlers Message Board for the link to the book.

I’ve got snowshoe rentals all lined up for the TV crew who will be out this week, but they’re the smaller, modern type of shoe so I’ll be packing some trails today. It’s supposed to warm up this week, which doesn’t help with packing trails, but hopefully it will be cold enough at night so the trails are solid during the morning. I’ll try and put them where the morning sun won’t shine on them, buying us a few more hours of relatively easy travel. We’re close to a record year for snowfall, and with 3-4 feet of snow on the ground in the woods snowshoes are a necessity.

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