The Waterlogged Journals: Page 13

July 31st

Blue Berry Point campsite to Hinkley Point campsite on Spednic Lake via portage trail from Mud Pond (16 miles)

Amazing campsites on both lakes

Finished reading “Trapping the Boundary Waters” by Charles Cook

Two Disclaimers

1.  There has been a gap of time, not only between when we paddled this water and now but also between the last time I wrote a blog post which adds a certain amount of mist to the memory and also, like a police line up, allows our memory the ability to pick and choose what it wants to see and what events will slip from our vision.  In the space between then and now I have spent time on trail in Yellowstone in the dead of winter, which is one of the most dramatic and stunning places on Earth that time of year ( I promise to let that experience bleed onto this blog soon) and have also found a great joy in life that has nothing to do with fly fishing, camping or philosophy ( SPF 4,2,1 ).


2.  Sometimes strange things happen on trail, not by our intent but more out of, let’s say momentum and sometimes those events need to be filtered in order to preserve those involved.  

As a registered Maine Guide I have to follow all the laws and rules of the Inland Fish and Wildlife Department of Maine and also the local, state and federal laws that might blanket us while we are on trail.  Sometimes on trips you might end up having to camp outside of a designated campsite due to approaching weather or other safety concerns.  I know explorers who were forced to illegally hunt game in order to make it home alive.  As a survival instructor I have been asked many times if I thought it was acceptable to light a forest on fire if it meant someone would find and rescue you.  All situations force you to balance natural and legal laws, what is right and wrong and what the ramifications of your actions will be on you, on the ecosystem, and on the community as a whole.  Is all this ambiguous? For sure, but such is life when you live in the Wild and not in an organized, humanized landscape that due to size and mass has stacks and stacks of laws and punishments out of necessity.  So what am I getting at you ask?  Well, unless you can track one of the 7 of us down and buy a few rounds, you may just have to live with the knowledge that what happens on trail stays on trail.

This was a fun day with a mix of big lake paddling on the sprawling Grand and Spednic Lakes and a short shot of whitewater poling fun on Forest City Stream.  We found an old portage route that led us (mostly) from Mud Lake to Spednic Lake just down from the Booming Ground where timber was cradled up on its run to the mills downstream.  I can’t say enough about  cleanliness and comfort of the campsites on both lakes, especially the two on Spednic which rank high on my all time favorite campsite list.  We enjoyed some decent bass fishing catching smallies on black and olive woolly buggers fished in 15′ or so feet of water along the large boulder gardens just off shore.  


August 1st

Spednic Lake- HInkley Point to Big Island campsite (9 miles) 

Saw more loons on Spedic than I have seen on one lake before

Weather : warm and sunny.  (we all had the sun tan lines to prove it)

The only rain so far:

On bluff outside of Fort Fairfield- short downpour at night

On Carnival Island off of Woodstock – light rain at night

On the Eel River (which was fine as we were soaked anyway from wading and walking our boats upstream for 5 hours) –on and off all day, big storm just as we got to camp.

—Early day off

The real take home for me in this entry is the weather.  We had absolutely ideal weather for 18 of the 22 days (there is one more storm to come) and when it did rain it couldn’t have come a better time- at night, after camp was set up or when we were already soaked to the bone.  All throughout the 22 day trip where we could have seen big waves from a headwind we got calm as glass water.  Where we could have been rained in (or out) for a day or two we woke to crystal blue skies.  Where we could have suffered through intense heat and humidity we had relatively mild day time temperatures ( although we did wither a tad under the sun on the St. John for those 4 days).  As a long time adventurer and guide I always hope for the best weather and prepare for the worst.  Maybe I had suffered through enough cold and rainy days trying to teach bow drill fire lighting or shelter building to earn a decent streak of expedition weather.  Either way, it was pretty nice.




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