Day 1 June two

I was so excited and nervous at the same time I could barely stand it. My dear friend Claire brought me to Headwaters of the Androscoggin, in gods country New Hampshire. Just below the Errol dam at my put in white water was waiting.

I was nervous about that part for sure. I haven’t paddled white water in quite a while. I’ve never paddled white water  with a full canoe or solo. Triple Crown fear. Well I said my prayers and off I went.  Without my maps I might add, nor the knee pad I knew I would need figuring I’d be on my knees a lot of this trip. She managed to find me. She’s that good :-)

We get THIS.
We GET this.
WE get this!
Gorgeous pristine waters and landscape. I kept smiling thinking, “this” is the river I grew up on?  I was wowed.

I talked to myself a lot today. Talking my way through class II and III RAPIDS, sometimes picking my way through a boneyard of rocks quite briskly. It was exhilarating!

My niece Christa sent me a text recently and invited me to not fight the river and go with the flow. I heard myself shouting, “OK Christa I’m going with the flow here! 
Quick adjustments, short strong strokes, yipping along. Sliding over and around and into rocks. Descending quickly. It went on and on. It was actually a blast. Right at my edge. I really didn’t want swimming to happen today, then trying to find my gear down stream. No swimming, just shear fun and some nervous laughter.

Found a sweet spot for a nice lunch and my afternoon requirement- cup o joe. Really savored it, smiling.

I am now resting in the most perfect campsite.

Wild life report: 1 bald eagle, a loon showed me her belly like my cat, 2 osprey, 18 geese from Canada, quite a few humans fishing, and a handful of humans camping along the river.  It was nice to see everyone here in the upper Androscoggin region. I was taken by it all. 

I seemed to have paddled over 20 miles today, more than I thought I could. It wasn’t  really me though; very quick water, a steady wind to my back much of the day and many rapids. 

 I had my first portage around Pontook Dam. We’ll leave that as a private experience๐Ÿ˜ถ. Let’s just say I learned a lot. And I’m better for it.

All of it.

Until next time
Thanks for reading๐Ÿค“๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ›ถ

P.S. I am so grateful for you all supporting this journey and being a part of stewardship for clean water. Thank you ๐Ÿ’™๐ŸŒ€๐ŸŸ


  1. Yay!!! Love it and you! Claire! Christa! Your Deraspe feet!! Living vicariously ๐Ÿ’™

  2. One down...keep us informed. I understand the feeling of being on the Androscoggin and wondering how it was the same river we knew as kids, I get that when I'm fishing it.

  3. Wow - 20 miles! Yay for swift waters and the letting go to be in the flow. And way to go Claire! That sure is a sweet camping spot...Nice start Jen!

  4. That sounds like an amazing start! And the portages will get easier :-) You got THIS!

  5. Thank you Jen for taking the time to write about the day. I loved reading it and living your adventure through your words!


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