This year was something new for the Riverman course. We started the week with a morning poling and paddling on Squapan lake, then spent an hour poling at the confluence of St. Croix stream and the Aroostook river before floating back to the field school and spending two hours working on technical poling skills at Island rips. It was a long day and everyone learned a lot. Then it started raining. I mean really raining. It rained solid for three days, flooding everything and putting it out of range for poling canoes. A friend told me we got somewhere near 10 inches of rain. The Aroostook jumped its banks at the field school.
The people on the course had done a lot of paddling and were there to pole. And now we couldn’t because everything was flooded. So, we improvised. We made crooked knives. One guy made a pack basket. We went to the Ashland logging museum. We spent a day hiking at the north end of Baxter State park. We cooked giant meals. And despite the fact that the rain was coming down in buckets, we had a great time with much laughter despite the weather. We’ve made plans to give it another shot next year, maybe with a trip up Allagash stream to Allagash lake from Chamberlain lake.