A canoe was something I wanted for a while so I could start exploring the vast and endless waterways of Maine. I have several books on the subject that have been sitting idle on my bookshelf waiting for me to plan a few trips. The Allagash Wilderness Waterway has been on my list for a long time and this is this kick in the pants I need to plan that trip. For those of you that don’t know, the Allagash is a tributary of the Saint John River and flows northeast 65 miles. The trip I have in mind is 9-10 days and starts at Chamberlain Lake and finishes in Allagash Village 90 miles later, one heck of a journey.
So a few weeks back I found a 16′ Old Town Camper Canoe on craigslist that fit the criteria I was looking for and fell within my budget. The canoe is about 20 years old and still in great condition. Old Town used to make their canoes out of a lightweight material called Royalex, suitable for one person to carry and durable enough to hold about 1300 lbs. Perfect for tripping and portaging. That material has since been discontinued so with out spending a fortune on something new, a used canoe was my best option.
Kristen and I ventured up to Manchester to a small pond (Jamies Pond) that at one time was the water supply for the town of Hallowell. It was small enough that we could paddle the whole thing and not get blown around by any wind. I also wanted to get the hang of loading and unloading the canoe by myself since I’m sure there will be some solo trips this fall. I also had zero experience paddling a canoe by myself. There is a balance and a rhythm that need to fall in line with each other in order for the canoe to keep a steady course. This will take some practice and I think a little weight in the canoe might make a difference.
Time to pull those books off the shelf and start reading.