2020 St.John River Trip

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First trip of the 2020 paddling season will be down the Mighty St.John River with my Dad “The Pistol”. He has run it many times and I have the luxury of paddling once again with my “Dad”. Priceless! Thought last year may have been our last trip together, but his back is feeling great and we have started the planning process! Time to call “Norm”.!!
 
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That's a great trip! I did it in 2018 (with a total of six -- including a pair of guides).
 
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That's a great trip! I did it in 2018 (with a total of six -- including a pair of guides).

Looking forward to it. Especially since I get another trip with the “Pistol”. Bucket list item for sure! Alsg, I am sure you had a great time. What were your trip dates in 2018? We are targeting mid May.
 
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Looking forward to it. Especially since I get another trip with the “Pistol”. Bucket list item for sure! Alsg, I am sure you have a great time. What were your trip dates in 2018? We are targeting mid May.

It was just after ice out, May 12-17. Water levels were perfect. Plenty to float but not so high as to wash out the rapids.
 
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Great for the folks that like to sled in the winter! Talked with Norm and he mentioned they have had several Spring like days and predicts Baker Lake will be ice-out on May 8th. Similar to last year, however, with another foot of snow coming that could slow things down with additional insulation. Planning Mid May and will push the trip out to the 3rd or 4th week of May if necessary. We were hoping to miss black fly season. Ice-out and black fly season may now parallel each other.
 
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Great for the folks that like to sled in the winter! Talked with Norm and he mentioned they have had several Spring like days and predicts Baker Lake will be ice-out on May 8th. Similar to last year, however, with another foot of snow coming that could slow things down with additional insulation. Planning Mid May and will push the trip out to the 3rd or 4th week of May if necessary. We were hoping to miss black fly season. Ice-out and black fly season may now parallel each other.

As I type the whine of sleds going by the house... Yes several spring like days have been presented with more this week. The snowpack would have more to do with water levels than ice out date though it makes sun harder to infiltrate and April will be the telling month as how fast it goes.
Mud Season#1 was a mess two weeks ago. Mud Season #2 to come next week.
Blackflies meh.. living lakeside they are part of my "living yahd aht". Would rather be canoeing than picking up canine land mines from over the winter at home. Gardening in May is not usually fun.

But the St John season and fly season seem to be separated by a few days. My St John season always calls for at least one night of snow boots.
 
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One will be a 17’ Ox Blood red (what a great color name) Nova Craft Prospector and the other is TBD. I have a blue Old Town Tripper rehab project that I picked up in the fall that I need to paint and do thwart repairs. It will probably end up being Green but I’ll let you know.
 
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Well my father (Pistol Pete)and I just had our first trip planning meeting last night. We are definitely targeting Mid May and plan to take at least 6 days on the river. No rush on our part!
 
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In Vermont our stay at home order was just extended through May 15, could go longer. Pretty tough to do social distancing on a canoe trip, no?
No hotels or restaurants open. I guess it cold be done, but it would be tough and probably frowned upon by the department of health. Under our guidance if we go out for exercise they want us driving max 10 miles. If you come here from out of state to stay overnight you are required to self quarantine for two weeks. Only household members can be in car together.

But, its a lovely river and I'm sure it would be a great trip but for this stay at home order. Last time I paddled the St. John we had to get off the river the second to last day because the the river was in full blown flood and a couple of folks in the group were too cold and wet. Not safe to finish. Other times its been terrific.
 
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Good for you. I have been on lots of great trips with my Dad and my uncle, but now they are in their 90s and don't like to be in the wilds much.
I treasure going with my brother.
Nothing like a good river trip.
 
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In Vermont our stay at home order was just extended through May 15, could go longer. Pretty tough to do social distancing on a canoe trip, no?
No hotels or restaurants open. I guess it cold be done, but it would be tough and probably frowned upon by the department of health. Under our guidance if we go out for exercise they want us driving max 10 miles. If you come here from out of state to stay overnight you are required to self quarantine for two weeks. Only household members can be in car together.

But, its a lovely river and I'm sure it would be a great trip but for this stay at home order. Last time I paddled the St. John we had to get off the river the second to last day because the the river was in full blown flood and a couple of folks in the group were too cold and wet. Not safe to finish. Other times its been terrific.

Not only that but check with North Maine Woods before coming. The campsites are closed currently and no one is really talking about opening anything. And the river will be really full. I did see video of breakup on the Aroostook River yesterday but the 20 inches of snow dumped overnight near Baker Lake will make the St John high.. There has been plenty of snow for meltwater
 
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I have talked with shuttle services and they will not likely be available. Per discussion with my Dad we have almost entirely ruled this year out. Moving forward for next years planning of the St.John. Unfortunate.
 
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Yes, it is a difficult and sad time. Hope your 2021 plans work out. These are very hard times and we have yet to see the hit on the economy. Lots of unemployment. Its going to be a while folks. But, we will get there.
 
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Thanks RPG51, These unprecedented times have derailed many people’s passions and dreams. Having this special trip with my father which I thought wouldn’t happen in the first place due to his back condition, actually was going to materialize, due to his improved condition. I am at odds but so are so many others that may be missing out on incredible memories. Personally I feel for each and every one that has felt the impact from this unfortunate situation. To all, stay safe, be smart and soon we will all once again enjoy our sport and realize our passions once again.
 
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