Day 2 June 3

I woke up to a foggy then sunny gorgeous kinda day. I was tipsy with stiffness and eventually found my bearings after walking around checking out the scenery, indulging in a large bowl of loaded oatmeal and a good supply of coffee.

It was a gentle, meandering trip to Berlin with a calm steady current and beautiful scenery. I kept thinking what an incredible resource we get to experience in this river.

Talk about waterfront property! These folks got a good thing going.

I’ll be honest, The closer I got to Berlin the more uncomfortable I got. I knew from that city on, the river Changes. This was the last of the pristine water. I had to shake myself a little and come out of it since it is what it is and it doesn’t help to argue.  We can only go from here.

Here you can see the artifacts of the old logging days when Riverways used to transport logs to the  paper mills.

It had never occurred to me to swim in the Andro and I thought by God I’m gonna do it. Time for a baptism before I hit Berlin. It was a little chilly but there was no way I couldn’t do it. Felt so good and right :-).

I stopped to chat with a man fishing. I asked him if he ever considered what goes on upstream or downstream? He said, you mean fishing-wise? I said well I mean water quality but yeah maybe fishing too. He said you can’t eat the fish from Berlin to the Maine line. The mill used to make acid and they dumped lead in the river. The river banks and the riverbed are contaminated with lead. I said for real? He said ya. I got quiet.

I saw a kayaker fishing about an hour down stream from there. I asked  him the same question. He said the mill used to dump mercury in the river. Said his father would go to the bank down stream and dig a couple inches down in the mud and  pull up a handful of mercury. He said the water upstream from the mill is perfect you could fish there til you had enough for supper but don’t fish down below.

As I paddled on, mulling over these two local accounts,  I started to get saddened as I imagined the contaminants heading downstream to the ocean and in the life forms exposed to these heavy metals.

Just then something turned my head to look up behind me, and up towards the top of an old white pine was a bald eagle in her nest with two of her young that hadn’t fledged yet.  I paddled closer. I stood up in my canoe to get even closer. We had a full conversation and I asked if I could take a picture. It seems I had permission. 

She reminded me of resiliency, strength and positive change.  It was a remarkable communion with her and her kids for quite some time, it worked out some of my resistance with the way things are. If she can do this I can. We can. 

I had a nice picnic in town and began the portage. 

I had a hard time with the carrier. The canoe fell off 3 times. I  couldn’t find my way to the river. Everyone I asked kept pointing back upstream. I’m like I know I just came from there I’m trying to find where to put in down stream. No one knew. That struck me that people were not familiar or aware of downstream. 

I was on my way to the police station to see if someone could guide me. A man in a truck pulled up and said he had been looking for me. I couldn’t believe it. It’s Christa’s uncle Bobby Brown! He saw me on the news and had been going up and down the river to see if he could spot me.  This was the second attempt to find me that day and how crazy is it that he found me walking a canoe in his town.

That sweet soul gave me a ride with all my gear to the next viable put in which was Shelburn bridge. 

And that’s my home for tonight. 

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  1. I know an Uncle Bobby and he'd probably do the same thing - it's a good name. Your campsite looks sweet again tonight and the eagle(s) even sweeter. Stay safe tomorrow - no swimming downstream!

  2. Wonder-filled conversation ~ with humans and eagles. Thank you for the update! Travel Light ~*~
    (Thank you Uncle Bobby!)


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