Not McCrea's Aziscoos; 75 hours of peace!

Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
6,387
Location
Raymond, ME
I decided to empty the freezer of leftover camp food from 2013 and as Mike had a TR posted and Andy S of another forum had paddled this lake in late September , I wanted to find out what the fuss was about. Its only 2.5 hours from home..even at the north end. I used a northern access and camped nearby at Twin Brook. It's run by Aziscoos Wilderness Camping.

The lake does have a reputation for funnelling winds and raising cain. Turns out its pretty shallow! For a lake some fifteen miles long a max depth of 60 feet is NOTHING. My "own" little lake has the same depth average and max and its only 3 miles long! I wonder why Aziscoos Lake is not Aziscoos Pond? ( Shallow waterbodies in Maine are often termed ponds regardless of acreage) So now we know why the chop that is so often suffered by paddlers and beat McCreas Monarch up.

http://www.lakesofmaine.org/lake-overview.html?m=3290

http://www.rangeleymaine.com/members/profile/aziscoos-lake-wilderness-camping. Access is off Rt 16 five miles NW of Oquossoc and when you reserve your site the caretakers will give you directions so you can easily navigate the 12.5 miles of good logging roads.

I noted on launch that the lake is down a good 15 feet. It is dam controlled. There is a huge hydro dam at the south end (I cant see it from the north end) and lakes are often drawn down for winter repairs to structures in Maine.

Well my experience was like neither of the other posters. I had sun, heat, barely a riffle on the water, calm landings and launches, cool nights at freezing, magnificent autumn color, no bugs, too many red squirrels.

Launch is easy. Parking is tucked in the trees at the top though at this time of the year the whole beach is a huge parking lot.



I load the boat and paddle only .7 miles to a campsite at Twin Brook. There are five there. They are also land accessible but the hike takes a while. The sites are nicely spaced and each is quite big.

My landing..



Campsite setup seems to befuddle me. I swear I used this tent in the spring. Now why is it not popping up. Even without the hoop pole it should..

Can you spot the error? It took me ten minutes.. doh.




This is my excuse and I am sticking with it. My reading material for the three days.



My camp slum. It never ceases to amaze me how fast I can foul up pristine scenery.



Next day I gunkhole around the Little Magalloway River. I dont get more than two miles up to Parmanchee Lake before running into what looks exactly like tidal flats.Gawd its hot! So I root around taking pictures and float some of the way down to just north of Lincoln Brook.

BTW Lincoln Brook is only 5.5 miles from the north end of the lake. Most folks use Black Brook Campground to access the lake and its much farther to get to Lincoln Brook from that end (9 miles).











There are quite a number of camps just north of Lincoln Brook on the east side. As its camp closing time there was a lot of activity going on. The west side of this part of the lake is not developed save for Bosebuck Camps at the extreme northern end.



Back to camp for an afternoon reading session and watching the light



Two mornings were quite foggy. The temp of the lake was higher than the air. I never felt cold but later learned the mornings were about freezing. I did usually arise at first light. I went to bed at seven! Dang this solo tripping at the darker side of the year!



The second to last day I went down past Lincoln Brook . Here is a pic of the campsite though I did not take pics of the moose bones that Andy SZ gnawed on.

The southern part of the lake is rockier than the northern end. The northern end is sandier.

Northern end



Across from Lincoln Brook



Looking to the south from 2 miles south of Lincoln Brook.



Lincoln Brook Campsite. There are three cells. So if you want to camp there , be sure to ask Carolyn or Charlie how many cells are occupied.



I think that other than the colors, what really impressed me that weekend was watching mother loons that were still nurturing their young. The dads were long gone and the moms were to leave soon but were still seeming to make sure their young were good at catching and not merely fishing.

The mom is the more traditional loon color (breeding plumage) and the young is the banker suit color. Not a great pix as I did not have a good tele lens.



Peace.





I really enjoyed my 75 hours of noticing. That was 75 hours from door to door of my house. Actual trip time was 67 hours. Not really a wilderness trip. No portages. Picnic tables. But when you get old maybe you can still get out there.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
6,387
Location
Raymond, ME
Curtis Nomad. I bought it with lacing. I never use it. The boat is used in the Everglades mostly and I remove the lacing there. This trip it was not in the way. I suppose that I am just an old age hoarder. But my house is not lined with newspapers from the 1960's.

This trip being of a non portaging variety and with minimal packing skill required, I even brought a real PILLOW! I packed the boat with the camping stuff and looked in the truck and saw two down pillows and said to self "why not"?


Glenn you did not take on the tent pole challenge!
 

Glenn MacGrady

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Oct 24, 2012
Messages
1,998
Location
Connecticut
Glenn you did not take on the tent pole challenge!

I looked but couldn't figure it out.

Oh, I think you can't pop it up because you put the poles through those little loops, which are probably supposed to be for guy lines.

I like the no decks on that canoe. Very Mike Galt-ish. I think small decks are functionally useless and just add weight (swing weight) in the worst possible place. Of course, a builder can make decks very pretty, which probably appeals to most people's aesthetics.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
6,387
Location
Raymond, ME
Us olduns need memory games. Sooner or late a young un will pipe up with what to us should have been obvious.

I agree on decks. On little solo canoes, they are about as functional as earrings.
 
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
Messages
3,667
Location
Appleton, Maine
Really nice, the last picture is nice, the "Across from Lincoln Brook" picture very neat.

I can't figure out whats wrong with the tent set up, but being pretty much stuck on Eureka Timberlines, I guess that's to be expected.
 
Joined
Sep 13, 2013
Messages
427
Location
Long Island, NY
Nice photos.

Looks like you had great weather and conditions.

Did you have the tent's poles threaded through the wrong sleeves? It's not obvious to me.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
6,387
Location
Raymond, ME
Nice photos.

Looks like you had great weather and conditions.

Did you have the tent's poles threaded through the wrong sleeves? It's not obvious to me.

Right sleeves but each pole should have ends at the opposite diagonal. Kind of embarrassing as it wasn't the first time nor the tenth time I set up the tent!
 
G

Guest

Guest
The lake does have a reputation for funnelling winds and raising cain. Turns out its pretty shallow! For a lake some fifteen miles long a max depth of 60 feet is NOTHING. My "own" little lake has the same depth average and max and its only 3 miles long! I wonder why Aziscoos Lake is not Aziscoos Pond? ( Shallow waterbodies in Maine are often termed ponds regardless of acreage) So now we know why the chop that is so often suffered by paddlers and beat McCreas Monarch up.

I had not seen a Bathymetric chart or reference to Aziscohos’ depth, but relatively shallow would have been my guess.

That combination produces the most insidious waves, or maybe chop would be a better description. The waves generated aren’t that big, often just a couple of feet, but they are steep-sided and close together.

Unlike the rise and fall of well spaced swells, wind over shallow water produces that relentless whap-whap-whap on the bow heading into the wind, which at least is more easily manageable than riding downwind on that short-spaced chop; that can be an e-ticket ride.

Assateague and other mid-Atlantic barrier island venues are much the same, but hit all three elements more often; a long fetch, usually very shallow and typically very windy. On the rare calm days those coastal bays are an absolute delight to paddle; when it blows they can be as much challenge as anyone wants to take on in three feet of water.

I enjoy wind, and the first four days I was on Aziscohos it blew like stink. I saw no canoes and few motor boats, so it was days and days of peace and quiet.

When the wind finally calmed I saw several canoe parties heading out, and I suspect they wisely decided to stay windbound in the days before.

Next summer/fall I might paddle Aziscohos again; it’s conveniently betwixt and between some other areas of interest.

About the tent – I have come to appreciate tents that are stupid-proof for setting up. Gimme symmetrical and no color coded this-pole-to-this-sleeve/grommet. Something intuitive, that sets up in a logical circle-the-tent sequence.

It definitely helps to use the same tent on trip after trip. I know I could still set up a Eureka Timberline blindfolded and at this point I have the most efficient Hubba Hubba set up well memorized.

We have a couple of tents that my sons use, a Sierra Designs and a Big Agnes, that have proven excellent in wind and weather, but I’d need a refresher in how to set them up, and even then, eh, they are not as intuitive.
 
Top