We spent the last week on the St. Croix river putting into practice what the Fall semester students have been learning about canoeing and camping. The St. Croix is the border between a large stretch of Maine and New Brunswick, and it was gorgeous to see the leaves starting change and the birds and animals preparing for the coming winter. The weather and water levels are always a factor when planning trips and this one really brought that idea home for everyone. Our first few days were in the mid to low eighties, then on our final night, the weather shifted to truly autumnal, bringing a chilly night and a crisp morning. It was good to see the river while it was warm enough to swim and enjoy the water, and also see how easily a well-handled canoe keeps you warm and dry when there’s a chill in the air.
Personally, canoe trips are my favorite method of traveling outdoors. Being able to pack more than I can carry on my back, and cover more ground than I would hiking has a charm I haven’t lost infatuation with. It was also great to watch students get more comfortable with their canoe partners, starting to trust each other’s decisions with pole and paddle, and thus become more efficient at moving through the water. The stretch we ran had some tough rips to pole, and the students handled them marvelously. We finished up the trip with a stop at Grammy’s, a Maine establishment with almost inhuman portion sizes. Between the physical fatigue, the amount of food consumed and a crisp frost last night we all slept well.
In the meantime, enjoy the fall weather while it’s here, and as always, we’ll see you on the trail!