Sunday, September 27, 2009

the machias and the narraguagus

The Machias River and the Narraguagus River in Maine are both challenging.
Both rivers flow through remote wilderness and with a good amount of whitewater.
The Machias river is full of history; along its banks there are places you can camp
that have been used by the Passamaquoddy tribe for thousands of years.

The Narraguagus River is a fun two-day trip. It starts off with slow moving
water that flows through a peat bog, then as it descends down through the woodlands
the water picks up in intensity. There were four of us on this trip with two canoes.
Early into our second day we rounded a bend in the river and we suddenly found ourselves in a steep down grade of whitewater that stretched before us for about 200 yards. At the end of the stretch was a ledge that the water washed up onto and it was a sharp turn to the right. Both canoes were going very fast the two fellows in front of us were having a difficult time controlling their speed and struck the ledge head on. Their canoe broke entirely in half. After seeing this unfold in front of us, I put my canoe sideways and slid up onto the ledge and was able to follow the flow of water and made the turn.
We then caught up to the two fellows and what was left of their canoe and gear. After
getting them dried off and making sure they were ok, they decided to take the largest half of the broken canoe and sit in it in a way that kept the broken end up andout of the water.
It was a long day but we did eventually make it all the way to our destination, Cherryfield.

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