Maine Canoe Symposium

Joined
Aug 7, 2019
Messages
240
Location
Williston, Vermont
Karen and I made a long day trip to Bethel, ME last Saturday to attend the ME Canoe Symposium. We'd never been, it was their 35th year, and it was stellar! There were two tracks; land and water. Karen covered land, as she's on crutches nursing a broken foot (unicycle crash). Ray Reitze and Gil Gilpatrick were there along with other very accomplished Guides. Karen said she felt like she was in the presence of legends. She got many new ideas and tips regarding trip planning, equipment, food, cooking, camp organization and set up, and more. I had fun on the water and in particular, enjoyed clinics on poling and the Northwood's Stroke. Attendees were a good mix of young to old, with many young families. There was an excellent children's program which ran all day and we couldn't help but notice how much fun the kids were having. It was a great group of people to be with!
 
Joined
Aug 29, 2017
Messages
1,003
Location
Gaithersburg, MD
I only know Gil from reading his books and exchanging a few emails regarding building one of his canoes, but he seems like a very nice guy.
 

Glenn MacGrady

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Oct 24, 2012
Messages
2,075
Location
Connecticut
I was raised in summers and learned to canoe as a child seven miles from Bethel. Had I known about this symposium, I might have attended. On what water did they hold the paddling events? The Androscoggin?
 
Joined
Sep 26, 2013
Messages
2,444
Location
Colrain MA
Bryant Pond, Maine.

We went 2 years ago it was a well-run program We got to meet Ray, Gil, and his wife.
 
Joined
Aug 7, 2019
Messages
240
Location
Williston, Vermont
Karen and her 3 older siblings learned to ride a unicycle growing up. Somehow she ended up with it and over the years would bring it to school where she teaches and ride it dressed up as a clown on special event days. She hadn't ridden it in a long while, so practiced in our driveway the day before the "event". I helped and watched and she did fine. Apparently riding a unicycle is like riding a bike, you don't forget. The "event" was held on undulating turf, however, and that proved tricky to navigate. It doesn't help that the older you get the easier you break and the longer it takes to heal. She's fine, but it's a couple month inconvenience. Life will look brighter after tomorrow, the last day of school. The next day she's officially retired! I'm really missing my bow paddler though!
 

Glenn MacGrady

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Oct 24, 2012
Messages
2,075
Location
Connecticut
I was raised in summers and learned to canoe as a child seven miles from Bethel. Had I known about this symposium, I might have attended. On what water did they hold the paddling events? The Androscoggin?

Bryant Pond, Maine.

Oh, I would have gone had I known. If you drive the eight miles or so from Bethel to Bryant Pond, you pass the lake I grew up on, North Pond. I haven't seen it in 25 years and want to paddle it (and Round Pond and South Pond) once more while I can.

Bryant Pond was our mailing address and it was the last town in America to use crank telephones to call an operator, who would dial the other party for you. That was actually irrelevant to us because my grandparents, with whom I lived, did not allow a telephone in the house, nor television once that was invented. Our only electric technology was an old radio, on which I could receive WBZ from Boston, and an old 78 rpm Victrola that has several opera records.

I spent almost every minute of daylight playing or working outside in the woods and on the lake, and every evening reading books or playing canasta. Today's youth, I read, spend only 10 minutes a day outside and over 10 hours a day staring at electronic screens. Tempus fugit. Tempus changit. Tempus degenerit.
 
Joined
Aug 31, 2021
Messages
3
Location
Greenwood, ME
Oh, I would have gone had I known. If you drive the eight miles or so from Bethel to Bryant Pond, you pass the lake I grew up on, North Pond. I haven't seen it in 25 years and want to paddle it (and Round Pond and South Pond) once more while I can.
I live within rock throwing distance of the put-in in Locke Mills and I paddle North, Round and South Ponds all the time.
Here are a few photos of North Pond for you from back in July.

Rte 26 bridge
northpond01.JPG
Johnnys Bridge
northpond02.JPG
The "Rock"
northpond03.JPG
Mt Abram
northpond07.JPG
Eagles Nest
northpond05.JPG

I wish I had known about the symposium. It was just down the street. I definitely would have gone.
 

Glenn MacGrady

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Oct 24, 2012
Messages
2,075
Location
Connecticut
I live within rock throwing distance of the put-in in Locke Mills and I paddle North, Round and South Ponds all the time.
Here are a few photos of North Pond for you from back in July.

Oh my goodness, Loon, you have shown me images indelibly etched in my brain stem from my wonderful childhood. The Rte. 26 culvert (as my grandfather called them) looks the same, but Johnny's Bridge looks different from the last time I saw it. It looks as if they have "raised the ceiling" to make more vertical room. I recall that our small motor boat would just barely fit under the ceiling and everyone would have to crouch way down in the boat.

Rock Island, as we called it, in North Pond was always a favorite spot to visit for kids and grandkids. I always used to wonder how the big boulder got balanced on top of it.

Our family summer camp was the one directly on the very north end of North Pond, amid a grove of tall pine trees. The original 100+ year old house was torn down in the 2000's by the new owners after my mother and uncles sold the property over my protests.

My wife and I were going to visit North Pond last month for our 50th wedding anniversary and stay in Bethel. We were big fans of Perham's Maine Mineral Store in Trap Corner, West Paris, and want to see the new mineral museum in Bethel, which now houses much of the Perham collection.

Mostly, we wanted to tour North, Round and South Ponds by boat again, but a canoe would now be too tippy and risky for my wife. I was trying to figure out how to rent a motorboat from someone in the area for two hours, but didn't know how to do that. Maybe you would have some thoughts on that issue should we want to visit next year.

Thanks SO MUCH for those photos. And welcome to site membership.
 
Joined
Aug 31, 2021
Messages
3
Location
Greenwood, ME
Oh my goodness, Loon, you have shown me images indelibly etched in my brain stem from my wonderful childhood. The Rte. 26 culvert (as my grandfather called them) looks the same, but Johnny's Bridge looks different from the last time I saw it. It looks as if they have "raised the ceiling" to make more vertical room. I recall that our small motor boat would just barely fit under the ceiling and everyone would have to crouch way down in the boat.

....We were big fans of Perham's Maine Mineral Store in Trap Corner, West Paris, and want to see the new mineral museum in Bethel, which now houses much of the Perham collection.

....I was trying to figure out how to rent a motorboat from someone in the area for two hours,

Thanks SO MUCH for those photos. And welcome to site membership.
You're welcome for the pics.

They rebuilt Johnny's Bridge 3 or 4 years ago so the bigger boats could get through.

Frank Perham closed and sold the building at Trap Corner many years ago and it has just been a residence till 2 years ago. A fella bought it and has opened a gem and mineral store again. It looks nice but I haven't been in it yet. The museum is finished now with a second floor. It's very cool in there.

I honestly don't know who rents boats if anyone but then again I haven't been looking.:)

Thank you for the welcome.

...to stay on topic...Sure do wish I could of made it to the symposium...:D
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
6,473
Location
Raymond, ME
Never been paddling on any of these ponds. Been by hundreds of times But the weather looks good for an outing next Friday or so.
Only 45 min from home. Cant think of a boat rental though.The place in Bethel only does paddle craft.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
6,473
Location
Raymond, ME
We are just past foliage peak but I'm still seeing some nice color around the ponds should you decide to go.
I have never believed in Peak color. The red maples were done a long time ago but the oaks haven't started and the beech are just turning gold. I am only 20 miles away; it takes some time to get through S Paris.. I do like the color when the hackmatacks turn. That is in about two weeks from now.
 
Top