Your canoe trip plans, hopes, dreams for 2022

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As for paddling dreams I've learned to suppress those, or at the very least keep them quiet. Naysayers in my company have far too often chortled and rolled their eyes at my dreaming out loud. The most recent putdown was a lunch with my friend last November when I was a little too enthusiastic about these paddling dreams of mine. He labelled me an armchair traveler. Yup, that's me, especially the past 2 pandemic years. But excuses are excuses. I saw the irony in my buddy's friendly chiding given his youtube obsession with sharks and crocodiles. I almost called him out on it, but thought better of it. Is he nutjob enough to see this as a jackass challenge? He'd wrestle a salty while I'd... no, better let him chortle. He did pitch an idea of us doing a canoe trip. At least that is sensible. And very doable.
I have an older brother who has lately pondered a move to upstate NY. He and his wife are retired now. I casually mentioned how that'd put them within easy driving distance of the Adirondacks. A very doable scenario for us 2 brothers canoe tripping. Another younger brother and his wife are also recently retired, and altho' a yakker has shared his canoe curious thoughts with me. Bingo! Another doable brothers possibility. So my dream list is starting to fill up, which means I'd better start inking more maps, making plans, and moving doable ideas to done.
 
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As for paddling dreams I've learned to suppress those, or at the very least keep them quiet. Naysayers in my company have far too often chortled and rolled their eyes at my dreaming out loud. The most recent putdown was a lunch with my friend last November when I was a little too enthusiastic about these paddling dreams of mine. He labelled me an armchair traveler. Yup, that's me, especially the past 2 pandemic years. But excuses are excuses. I saw the irony in my buddy's friendly chiding given his youtube obsession with sharks and crocodiles. I almost called him out on it, but thought better of it. Is he nutjob enough to see this as a jackass challenge? He'd wrestle a salty while I'd... no, better let him chortle. He did pitch an idea of us doing a canoe trip. At least that is sensible. And very doable.
I have an older brother who has lately pondered a move to upstate NY. He and his wife are retired now. I casually mentioned how that'd put them within easy driving distance of the Adirondacks. A very doable scenario for us 2 brothers canoe tripping. Another younger brother and his wife are also recently retired, and altho' a yakker has shared his canoe curious thoughts with me. Bingo! Another doable brothers possibility. So my dream list is starting to fill up, which means I'd better start inking more maps, making plans, and moving doable ideas to done.

Dreaming is just fine. It’s the precursor to planning! But I have learned this. If I want to go paddling I need to just go paddling. Trying to drum up interest in sharing a daytrip has just been frustrating. I imagine it’s much more difficult to get a week long trip together.
 
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I'm pretty new at planning canoe trips but "just do it" seems like the way to go.
Putting a week long trip is not difficult, but it involves a lot of thinking and planning. You try to think of everything based on shorter trips you have taken and lessons learned from those. Is there more than just you involved? Are you, or someone else taking on the role of "designated leader"? Is someone the trip "guide" (not necessarily the same as the trip organizer/leader)? Are separate tasks delegated to those experienced and capable?

Right, just go do it. Expect mistakes and forgotten issues to be creatively worked around in the field. Then learn from those mistakes (often the most memorable parts of the trip). Next time will be even better. Have a good time. Assuming you have survived. :cautious:
 
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ADK's for me - 9 Carries in the spring and re-do Little Tupper Lake - Lake Lila - and Low's to the lower dam in the fall - I did this in 3 days some years ago but I want to go back for a more relaxed pace and spend time fishing.
 
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Riverguy, please let me extend my condolences to you and your family. Where in Virginia are you? We're near Pilot Mountain in North Carolina, an hour south of the intersection of I-81 and I-77. There's a lot of Virginia I'd love to paddle and I think I need to pick your brain sometime.

As far as canoe or backpacking trips go, we're probably limited to just a few days at a time and within 3-4 hours of home until at least late August. After many years away from the EMS world I recently joined the rescue squad of our local fire department. I've been away from EMS for so long that I'm starting from scratch with EMT training one night a week and two Saturdays a month and with new firefighter training at least two nights a week for the next six months or so. Add my weekend schedule as a part time climbing instructor and, if the state ever gets around to rescheduling it, a couple of weekends of high angle rescue training to knock the rust off those skills and my next eight months are pretty well shot. So much for "retirement", ehh?

If a group ADK paddle happens this fall (or somewhere else in the East) I'd be very interested.

ADK's for me - 9 Carries in the spring and re-do Little Tupper Lake - Lake Lila - and Low's to the lower dam in the fall - I did this in 3 days some years ago but I want to go back for a more relaxed pace and spend time fishing.

FYI, New York has very low priced non-resident fishing license fees.......and whole lot of great fishing types and opportunities.


Lance
 
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I was reminded a couple of weeks ago about my plans for the Steel Loop.....4 days when I was 40, 5 days when I was 50 and I always had said 6 days when I turned 60. I thought the heart issues might slow me down, but I'm probably in better shape now than I was at 50. It's my freaking back right now, that damn thing, can't be counted on.

So I will probably try a couple of short two and three day trips early in the spring, and if my back survives the portages, I will attempt the Steel again.
My strategy as well after hernia surgery, shoulder issues. I’m thinking of a fly in to the upper berens. Don’t know if I can afford it with the cabin remodeling I’ve been doing. Quetico may have to do. Possibly a western river that has water in September.
 
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Still scratching towards the same goal going on year 3. Have everything set up so I can be on the water in 20 minutes year round, safely, solo, with out worrying the family. Parallel goal is have the fleet in order so that I can take the whole family out, A tandem canoe for me and the boy , and 2 solo kayaks for mother and daughter. Its the same program with bicycles. And soon a small gaff rig sail boat will enter the mix.

Just me thinking about being out and about, I haven't been "home" to Maine in 3 years, so a week on the lake seems like a Mars mission. Locally on the Chesapeake, I have a couple all day paddles I'd like to do, but they involve a lot of open water, so I need to get the " safely, solo, with out worrying the family" dialed in.

 
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Aside from working on the most recent w/c canoe project, I'm looking forward to introducing my grandkids to canoe tripping, mostly in the ADK's. Also what would be my third transit of the Allagash Waterway, but this time solo in my (hopefully) freshly restored Chestnut Chum.
 
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Lots of big plans! I recommend, at this point, you get out your Delorme Maine Atlas and Gazetteer before you continue reading this post. I retire on Groundhog Day.
(1) Rafting on the Owyhee? Doubtful, having heard nothing from the trip planner.
(2) A tide-dependent loop starting near Mustard Island in Merrymeeting Bay, ME, across the Che'aguahadongonek Portage into New Meadow River, across the Winnegance Portage into the Kennebec, down to Perkins Island, then northeast up some backwater into Hockamock Bay, up through the Sasanoa Gates of Hell back to the Kennebec, up to another portage across Butler Head (called The Chops Carry - I don't know what the First Nations name was) and back to the beginning. Three ancient carries and five spots that need the right tide.
(3) Then there's the East Branch Penobscot - I got ahold of the draft paddling maps from the newly formed Katahdin Woods and Waters, and plan to critique them. Probably start at Chamberlain Lake and end in Medway.
(4) Also as a birthday present to my wife, we're paddling across Scotland, starting at Fort William, up River Lochy through the locks into Loch Lochy, down the River Oich ending in Loch Ness.
(5) Then there's the annual June Death March, this time starting in Pittston Farm, up the South Branch Penobscot to Penobscot Lake, hike to the height o' land and gaze at Portage Lake in Quebec (never stepping over the line of course), then carry up to Dole Pond and float on down the North Branch Penobscot back to Pittston Farm.

(6) But wait, there's more! I have a burning desire to document, scout and immortalize The Wawenock Ahwangans, the inland coastal sneak route for canoes. My main focus will be between Casco Bay and Penobscot Bay (those three carries on Trip 2 above are some of the 14 or 15 I have identified). I don't know how I'm going to do it, probably by trying to work with Maine Island Trail Association and Maine Coast Heritage Trust to help with the acquisition of easements for through-paddlers. Let's just see if I can make my mark on the landscape.
 

Glenn MacGrady

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Also as a birthday present to my wife, we're paddling across Scotland, starting at Fort William, up River Lochy through the locks into Loch Lochy, down the River Oich ending in Loch Ness.
As a Clan Cameron descendant, I've wanted to do this since visiting Scotland in 1985. After I got back, I corresponded about trips with a paddle shop in Scotland that had a small blurb in Canoe Magazine via a new communication technology—fax machine.

Do it now before it becomes too late in life. Love to hear the report.
 
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Lots of big plans! I recommend, at this point, you get out your Delorme Maine Atlas and Gazetteer before you continue reading this post. I retire on Groundhog Day.
...
(5) Then there's the annual June Death March, this time starting in Pittston Farm, up the South Branch Penobscot to Penobscot Lake, hike to the height o' land and gaze at Portage Lake in Quebec (never stepping over the line of course), then carry up to Dole Pond and float on down the North Branch Penobscot back to Pittston Farm.
Now that's a loop trip. Write it up! Are you going to slog up that little Penobscot Brook or carry?
 
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Last year FarOut (formerly Guthook) released the Connecticut River Paddler's Trail as their first river trail guide. Provides things like distance to next take out or camp site as well as river and campsite info, places to resupply or get food or other amenities, etc.. I plan to use it as much as I can.

For those who aren't familiar, FarOut is a phone app initially designed for trail guides for through hikes like the Appalachian Trail. Pretty much everyone on the AT uses it these days, and folks probably use it for every other long distance hike as well. They also released a Northern Forest Canoe Trail guide late last year.
 
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I've always wanted to do a spring canoeing squirrel hunt.

Spring squirrel season in Va. is June 4-18 this year (gray squirrels only, fox squirrel is closed).

There is a 4500 acre wildlife management area that borders the Rappahannock River. The City of Fredericksburg owns ~5000 acres along the Rappahannock and Rapidan Rivers. All of these lands are open to public hunting and primitive camping, except for a few closed safety zones, etc. Fishing should also be good that time of year.

So....two or three days floating down the river and living off the land. Fulfilling Huck Finn fantasies but close to civilization, readily and inexpensively accessible. Mostly Class II rapids with a couple of IIIs.

Anybody interested?
 
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According to Kanoe People, there was significant flooding on the Upper Liard resulting in troublesome log jams. Apparently one couple was lifted out by helicopter last season for that reason.

Darn.
 
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Erica,

In my opinion, log jams are one of the most significant hazards when paddling rivers. Kathleen and I honed our paddling skills in southwestern British Columbia, where one could expect log jams on the outside bend. It was very important to be able to hit eddys on the inside bend. Never let your canoe be carried to the outside bend. High water, particularly flood water, posed even greater risks.

From what i read a few minutes ago, last year was very high water on the upper Liard. This year could be low, or average water, making your hoped-for trip more doable. I don’t have any idea about the skill and experience of the couple who had to be rescued. but if it were me, and this was the river I wanted to paddle, I would not abandon my dreams yet. There have been many examples in my canoeing life where people, who knew nothing about me or Kathleen, discouraged us from our paddling dreams. We always ignored them.

I’m not encouraging you to paddle the Upper Liard next summer, but you might not yet give up your dreams. Try to reach out to other people. Did anyone else paddle the Upper Liard last summer? What was the background of the people who were rescued?
 
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Good points, PaddlingPitt.

I’ll try to find out more.

I’m not at all sure I could hit an inside eddy in fast moving water, as a solo paddler. No problem tandem. I’ll have to think about this some more.

I’m planning a week on the Peace River and another week on the Suwannee this spring and can test my skills on those rivers. Neither has a fast current, except in places at some water levels. But I could do some experimenting. Neither river is remote. Cell phone service all the way.
 
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I agree . Log jams and strainers up the difficulty.. Here in New England we have rivers that are only runnable right after ice out and yep some one has to be first at finding out where river banks have been taken out. Even the Saco River the party river of soused floaters in the summer can be challenging in April. Silver Maples seem to have shallow roots.

Then there are the famous root wads of Ozark Rivers like the Current and the Buffalo.

Always hug your wad. I was first down the Current below Baptist after a flood. The river isn't very wide there and the tree was all the way across.. Solo eddying out is not my forte either but when its that or get strained, I did it. Not much of an eddy either.. And jumped out of the canoe before it could float me backward into doom.

Just ambling down the Yukon and looking at the river banks shows you the tree moving power of ice.

Paddling Pitt spot on about avoiding outside bends.. I have with some success been able to point the bow to the outside and back paddle and let the current turn me. This was a technique taught back in the fifties for river running I do believe.
 
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