June 19, 2024

Alex o'Loughlin

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Embarking on a 5-day, 55-mile paddling trip down one of Maine’s most challenging rivers

Planning a spring paddling excursion on the Machias River in Washington County requires evaluating a mixture of elements. Weather conditions, ice-out, road obtain, h2o ranges and blackflies are all troubles that need to be investigated. Following about 30 excursions, I’ve turn out to be discriminating about my anticipations. Practical experience indicates a journey starting in late April and ending in early May is ordinarily the ideal timeframe, so that’s when I scheduled a Penobscot Paddle & Chowder Society club journey this 12 months.

As predicted, all the essential factors fell into spot. The water amount was moderately high, most of the roads have been open up, a quality 5-working day climate forecast was predicted, ice was out on the lakes and the dreaded blackflies experienced yet to surface. My longtime good friend and repeated outdoor accomplice, Ken Gordon, enthusiastically agreed with the planned plan. Regrettably, various other intrigued club customers were unable to participate during the slim window of possibility. Time flexibility is a person of the couple of positive aspects of remaining previous and retired.

A kayaker maneuvers all over an obstruction at Lengthy Falls on the Machias River. Credit history: Courtesy of Ron Chase

Deciding upon the segment of river to paddle was the following action. The Machias has numerous accessibility factors delivering a range of solutions. Visits can be from 1 to 7 times in duration and begin at various factors involving Fifth Machias Lake and the village of Machias. Considering that the street to Fifth Lake was shut, we selected a 5-day vacation from 3rd Machias Lake to Machias. Our 55-mile itinerary entailed traversing two lakes, portaging a major waterfall and navigating 8 difficult whitewater rapids furthermore numerous easier types.