We’re at the tail end of the first week of our spring canoe semester. I had been worried that the road wouldn’t be passable for week one, and although we were able to drive into camp it was a close call. This time of year in Aroostook county can bring a variety of weather, from warm sun to snow and cold. We’ve had rain, clouds, cold and wind for the past five days, but this morning the sun peeked over Squapan mountain and rose into a clear blue sky. Even if it wasn’t warm outside, the morale boost from seeing the sun should be great for the group.
Today we take to the water for the first time. We’ll be doing our introduction to poling, paddling and balance on the pond, then heading to the boat launch in downtown Masardis after lunch. We’ll float back to the field school from there. Tomorrow we’ll be poling around Samsquanch island and up Squapan stream before continuing on to the bridge in Ashland. People are always enthusiastic about this trip because the take out is right across the street from the take out/ice cream place, the Quik Stop 2. I have yet to tell this group the legend of the Iron Spoon. Maybe today.
We have a bunch of local trips planned for the next few days, and the plan is to put in on the upper St. John river in the middle of next week. Then it will be a 100+ miles downriver run. A quick resupply back at the field school, then we’ll be off to do it again on another river.
There is no place I’d rather be in early May than at the headwaters of one of our northern Maine rivers. In a world that seems to have lost its way, living rough out on the river feels good and right and how I’m supposed to be spending my days.