August 6, 2012

Kayaking the Lost

This post is in continuation to Big Sky Kayaking.

Paddling Northwest across the Deadwater (named for an easily paddled section of river with little real current), we enter a narrow channel that leads to First Debsconeag Lake. Most mountains, rivers and towns in this area are named by Indian tribes which inhabited these lands many years ago. This history adds a mystique to a land which is still quite primitive and definitively unpopulated. This combination measures up to be the exact conditions I seek. When thoughts cross your mind of possibly being the first man to ever step onto a particular square foot of ground, you know you’ve reached an area worth exploring. Here I’ll feel comfortably home for the next few days.

Setting up camp is relatively second-nature to me at this point in the season. I pack my gear in a precise method so it’s pulled from my gear bag in the order in which it’s needed. First comes the tent, sleeping pads and sleeping bags. This is followed closely by camp kitchen necessities, my axe, and lastly a roll of toilet paper that I hang appropriately from a low-hanging pine branch (off the beaten path I may add).

The next few days are spent paddling through the waterways which lead to a connected series of lakes. The water is crystal clear – allowing you to see the lake bottom. Very few lakes in New England remain this clean. Although I still purify the water before drinking, it tastes fresh and you know it is. 

I've included a Google Maps image to give a visual for the area explored. The Deadwater is located central on the map. See First Debsconeag to it's left.

A family of loons follow alongside my kayak for a portion of my morning paddle. They make for good neighbors that anybody would be glad to have.

Deep greens of the forest sharply grab my eye as I float on by. The picturesque landscape has me constantly reaching for my camera. Pines, spruces, and cedars stand tall against the shoreline.

Reflections on a blue-sky-filled-cove.

I attach my Filson duffle to the raft with thick rope and tie a monkey fist on each end so the knots will not slip. This ensures an excited lab will not send my gear to the 100ft. lake bottom.

Grassy paddling.

Our camping setup from the angle of the rippling lake. Sand for as far as the eye can see. My own secluded paradise awaits after today's long paddle. It's time to start the fire and begin cooking dinner. Meals over an open flame always taste better.

My MSR Hubba Hubba and an incredible view that I could get used to.

Brilliant colors.

Sausage dinner is prepared over a well-used grate left at the campsite.

This little bugger was climbing down the paracord attached to Casco's dog food bag. Feeding greedily, he doesn't mind posing for a photo. We relocated the dog food.

Our front yard.

Mt. Katahdin - the greatest mountain in Maine. 

Floating along.

The storm clouds begin to roll in after our first two days. We soon seek refuge within our tent and watch as rain pours down across the region. 

The rain was non-stop for the remainder of our trip. Although my camera was secured tightly in a waterproof bag, that is where it stayed until we left. The morning sun shines brightly and ever so briefly, illuminating the treeline. A dark reflection details the onset of even more rain. Luckily, we packed Carhartt gear to keep us dry and brought a leak-proof tent. Another great journey in the books....


Unknown said...

I have to say you have got some beautiful pictures.Its been years since i have been up that way.I use to live in Bucksport.Really enjoyed it.Have a friend up there that is a landscaper.

Skip from Brookline,New Hampshire

Rhon Bell said...

Skip, very glad you enjoyed the post and thanks for the comment! Truly a beautiful area!