Maine. If almost a hundred miles of kayaking through cold water and gorgeous green forest appeals to you, this is a trip to consider. Traveling at ten miles a day, you can traverse it in nine days. I signed on for just such a trip. With upper arm strength like mine, what was I thinking? There is a fair bit of white water here and there and with the kayak, all I had to do was steer over the white water. I think that is how I was persuaded to take a kayak over a canoe. (I have strong back muscles so I can paddle a canoe.) Having to make time, traveling along the shore was not an option; that means you go straight through the center.
Wikipedia explains: “The Allagash Wilderness Waterway is a 92-mile-long protected area of Aroostook County, Maine. It is a ribbon of lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams of the Maine North Woods.” Be wary of this ribbon. While paddling with the current, that happened to mean paddling against the wind. If I stopped for one minute to rest my arms, it would generally take five minutes to return to where I had started resting. On the fifth day, it rained and I sobbed as I paddled for all I was worth to keep the supply canoe in sight.
The river otters seemed easygoing enough, but the moose, half submerged in the water, took turns taunting me with their hard stares. I suppose I was obviously out of my element. Though I felt sure footed at the historical site about where the French residents were locked in a church from which the British soldiers herded them on to train cars and transported them to Louisiana. (Je me souviens.)
If you do decide to take the plunge and head out on the Allagash Wilderness Waterway, remember that once you start, you are committed. If you wait to go in August, most of the mosquitos are gone by then. Once you finish, the pizza at the local pizzeria in the Town of Allagash is delicious.
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”—William Morrow
Click here for more information and some photos on the Allagash Wilderness Waterway.