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PostPosted: July 1st, 2015, 9:19 pm 
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Joined: December 19th, 2006, 8:47 pm
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Location: Rattlesnake Pond ME
West Branch Penobscot River-Chesuncook Lake four days 43 miles June 2015

Old Peoples Trip. Furniture and no portages

We were supposed to leave Tuesday but arrived at Allagash Gateway Campground in the pouring rain. Things were supposed to clear overnight so we stayed at their camp in order to avoid the horror of wet dog in the tent. ( she could sleep in the car if the car was present). Nice folks there. Private campground but only $15 for a site for tent.

We’re glad we did. The Lobster Lake Road was enough of a mess the following day with no rain.

The parking lot at Lobster Stream is ample and loading easy.

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Lucy in her normal bow princess position. The Swift Raven is her favorite boat. Its got ample room for a nap. It’s NOT my husbands favorite boat, as its huge with a fair amount of rocker.

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It’s only three miles to the Ogden Point North Campsite on Lobster Lake and already by 11 the wind is kicking up whitecaps. Lobster is a notoriously choppy lake. We chose that campsite because the bugs of all sorts were pretty bad at put in and sheltered sites we’d be food. Plus the next day we were going back past the put in to start down the Penobscot River. We thought we would have a lot of the afternoon to explore Lobster Lake which measures five by eight miles. NOOO…

A group.. a very large group.. appears.. and out of control mostly..

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They get banged up against rocks. Turned out there were two Guides, four chaperones and some twenty odd kids at a leadership training camp. The kids did not panic even though none had more than one day of canoeing experience. The kids figured out there was shelter in the lee of a rock, and the Guides came into our campsite to ask if the group could rest and regroup and replan.. Of course! Turned out this group of teens was so nice and so unfazed about being winded. And they loved our dawg.. Turned out we saw them a couple more times and they all said “Hi Lucy!..can we get your picture?)

Planning what to do now

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Sleep! Teens!

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Kids without electronica do this

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These kids were just so super.. they were able to move on later but we would have gladly shared our site overnight.

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The campsite

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff29 ... twjexi.jpg

Sunset. It weren’t warm.


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Next morning the wind had let up a little but we left camp early..(sunrise is at four) so leaving camp at seven is not a hard job. The procession of eagles started. The number one animal seen on this trip…eagles everywhere. We paddled back past the put in and down the Penobscot River till lunch time stopping at Big Ragamuff. Nice open site with enough exposure to beat the bugs ( going to the privy was different however..bugs were in the spruce balsam forest in droves)

No moose. One BIG deer..this one was young moose size
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Eagle 1

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Eagle 42

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Eagle 43

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Outdoor slum

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The river.. gentle current. At Big Island some rapids and for about two miles down river after that some braided channels.

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I spent a lot of time in camp getting flower and butterfly shots.

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Next day we paddled down to Gero Island..just across from Chesuncook Village. Until recently the village was accessible only by air or snowmobile or ATV or boat. Now there is a nice gravel road. UGH. And a launch at Graveyard Point. Still no electricity in town. There are only a handful of houses.

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We rounded a point and bingo..there is Katahdin

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Making camp at Gero 2.. time for more reading. Tomorrow we will tackle Chesuncook Lake. Its 17 miles to the take out.. Maybe two days. Its big lake some 27 miles long and one to three miles wide. Its starting to rain..off and on

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Dog works hard

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Pumping up the Exped Synmats is so much easier with the Schnozzel

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Sun going down

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But not before it pours

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Next morning the calm.. Never seen the lake this calm for two days!

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Down the lake all is well. Boom ring from logging days.. There are artifacts everywhere in the woods here.

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We note about two hours in that the sky is filling with these

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And the water is getting rough the wind picks up in our face.. Going to have a change of weather. No more pics.. time to paddle and brace. The last five miles are tough.. We pull into calm Ripogenus Lake to another sight of Katahdin about three PM.

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And the next day it poured but we were home. This area is about four hours from home so after some seven hours of paddling and an hour of loading , dinner in Greenville ( no haute cuisine there) we were home at nine thirty.


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PostPosted: July 1st, 2015, 11:01 pm 
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Joined: March 23rd, 2006, 11:21 pm
Posts: 1076
Location: Burns Lake, BC
Thanks for the trip. :clap:

I like the pole above the tables idea. Looks very useful.


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PostPosted: July 2nd, 2015, 5:39 am 
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Joined: April 6th, 2007, 8:42 pm
Posts: 390
Wonderful trip report! Thanks for sharing.


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PostPosted: July 2nd, 2015, 9:18 am 
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Joined: December 29th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 6049
Location: Bancroft, Ontario Canada
Very nice photography! Mt. Katahdin impressive off in the distance.

Great color in those pix... esp the subtle shades reflected in "Sun Going Down".

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PostPosted: July 2nd, 2015, 3:04 pm 
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Joined: March 13th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 116
Location: Vassalboro , Maine usa
Littleredcanoe, et al

FYI. Here is an advance draft of a section of guidebook I am writing.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_CfXC ... sp=sharing

The West Branch has evolved as one of my favorite trips. Allagash Gateway Campground makes logistics quite easy, considering how far out in the woods you actually are.

I hope this comes across. I haven't had much experience sharing stuff in the cloud on Google drive. It really seemed easy as I clicked my way through creating the link.

Frankr


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PostPosted: July 2nd, 2015, 3:31 pm 
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Joined: December 19th, 2006, 8:47 pm
Posts: 8890
Location: Rattlesnake Pond ME
I had a nice time reading your draft Frank.. One addition perhaps. If the wind is really wild from the south a stop at Boom House Campsite is possible.. I have never done that as its too close to a road.

Or Canvas Dam on the same side of Chesuncook that the river empties into.. The large marsh in between is often moosy.

They're both on your map but not mentioned. And the top Gero campsite has an Adirondack shelter, and also the second from the bottom.. The bottom campsite is for big groups only

You've got more computer savvy than I do!


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PostPosted: July 3rd, 2015, 9:25 am 
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Joined: April 21st, 2004, 10:52 am
Posts: 1094
Location: Near Ottawa ON
You are good at both writing and photography LRC. Thank you.


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PostPosted: July 3rd, 2015, 10:02 am 
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Joined: March 13th, 2002, 7:00 pm
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Location: Vassalboro , Maine usa
LTC

I have camped at Boom House on two god-forsaken occasions. It is functional, but not much more. There is a short walking trail from that campsite to the historic graveyard in Upper Chesuncook Village, which makes for an interesting excursion if conditions on the lake are bad. I have looked on the map at those other campsites, north of Gero Island with curiosity and interest, but I've never had the chance to explore. I've never had the chance to camp on Gero either, because those campsites have been full. However, they look great. The view down the lake would be over the top.

All the best,

Frankr


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PostPosted: July 3rd, 2015, 10:51 am 
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Joined: December 19th, 2006, 8:47 pm
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Location: Rattlesnake Pond ME
Longley Stream on the right on the top has a number of in rock logging pins and rings and a tent platform.. Its a one party camp.
Canvas Dam has a nice beach.. and its a two cell campsite. Not that anyone really wants to share but its an alternative to going out in messy conditions.


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