Day 10 June 11

If anyone knows me, they know I swear quite a bit. I held back from swearing in this blog as to not offend anyone but you know what- fuck, that was a fuck of a day.

It started out so sweet and beautiful and lovely. Let’s begin there. I think that is best.

This is what my view  looked like last night at sunset from the hammock . It was beautiful. I slept well. I was chilly but curled up in a ball and was fine.

This is my regular view of the stuff I’m pushing around. One bag is for food, one is for layers, and one is for my home such as tent sleeping bag pad first aid kit fire starter kit and  hammock. I hope you don’t mind if I skip commas tonight. 

I’m getting to know turtle habitat. They pick sunny large river rocks and they like to climb way up high and sleep in the sun. They don’t pick rocks that are in the rapids, only in quiet places. Reasonable. I snuck up on this one I know he was snoring his ass off.

What a beautiful beast. I saw a total of three snapping turtles and one painted turtle today. A good Turtle day.

Today I saw three Eagles, and one Osprey as far as birds of prey go. I’ll share with you tomorrow the others I have seen on this journey. Quite a list

Oh and last night I heard my first bullfrog. You know the sound.! It used to sing me to sleep growing up at our family camp in Byron. I thought this river has no turtles and frogs. I am wrong about that.

Around the bend a bald eagle popped out of the forest from an island, and then another one soon followed. I would assume they are partners. I couldn’t see the nest right away but I noticed something else.

That was their Scooby snack! I scared them from their snack log. That’s fresh raw fish. Wow. I kept wondering why they didn’t just come after me and go for my neck. I think they could’ve taken me down if they wanted to. Can you imagine that report //woman getting attacked by two bald eagles because she was up in their Scooby snack?

I spotted their nest. It’s hard to see but here it is.

I’ve noticed a strong pattern with their site selections. They pick a tall white pine that has a split at the top and a third limb like there’s a triad holding them up. It’s always with a good view of the river. For Scooby snacks.

This is Center bridge I think if I remember right. Bridges seem significant at the moment. It’s like some sort of landmark that you’ve successfully reached. I was practically out of drinking water, rather thirsty and  surrounded by water. Odd. It was time to try my luck with a homeowner. To the left of the bridge there was a house nearby and the owner let me fill my water with his hose. Thanks! I was quite relieved.

After the bridge the water gets real slack. It’s basically a huge lake, referred to as Gulf Island Pond.

The clouds were beautiful today.

The expanse of water builds up behind Lewiston Auburn dam, called Deer Rips dam. In this fake lake 3 corporations are required to pump oxygen in the river turned lake so that the aquatic life does not die. Fake lake resuscitation. 
So ironic to me that this is the first place I’ve seen boats and docks. 

It was time to regroup and have a break so I stopped on the rock for my own Scooby snacks. Felt good to be on a rock. I felt like one of those old turtles.

The fake lake went on for hours. By the time I found the first portage, the dam at the end, I was 8 1/2 hours in. I was greeted by this amazing patio furniture to dance across.

I kind of laugh cried a little. Like whimpering. The river is day use friendly and it’s not really set up for through travelers. It’s all I knew to even be aware of this river never mind travel on it. There are portages but they are not maintained well. I have been finding that out each step of the way.

I tap danced across the patio furniture with my gear and drug the canoe up and loaded it on the cart up and over and across the powerline and saw some big facilities and went in to get some information.

I went in and talked to the dam keeper guy for Brookfield which owns a lot of these dams. I asked what was up with the diffuser/oxygen pump in the pond I just went through. He said the sediment holes pulp and chemicals and when the temperature of the water gets too warm it creates an algae bloom and that sucks up the rest of the oxygen. I’m like let’s dredge that shit up please and thank you.

He apologized in advance for my next portage 1 mile downstream. Said there were some trees down. It was a mile long. He said no one ever uses that portage. I was the first. I was hoping he was being dramatic. He wasn’t.

I was surprised he was apologizing to me. I feel like they must’ve had to make some sort of deal that if they’re going to dam up our rivers and maintain them that they'd have to make portages as some sort of concession. I think they could do better with this. I think I will ask them to.

Here is portage #2 maintained by Brookfield.

This is when I called my helpline. My friend Jo has been threatening to help me around these portages all along and this time it was really honest to reach out.  For me to make the appointment tomorrow on time with the people in Auburn I had to get past this portage today. There’s no way I’m gonna miss meeting with the mayor. 

Kent and Jo helped me tremendously. I honestly couldn’t have done it without them. I’m so grateful.

As I lay in my tent, I can hear the river right next to me rushing downstream towards the ocean. Everyday I am closer to where this one diverse amazing river meets the sea. I wonder what it was like when it flowed freely and the fish came and went as did the native peoples with each new season. I am honored to follow their footsteps their trail their path and get glimpses of what they may have experienced. 


To support healthy rivers please support this paddle with a purpose- 


  1. Kent and I are so grateful to have been able to meet up with you for this brief time.
    May today flow with grace and ease.

  2. Dear god I hope it didn't take you until 3am to make camp. So glad you have friends all long the river and let's hope you can make friends with Brookfield too so they are more inclined to clean up that portage.

    Hang in there Jen...T minus 3 (or less)! Watch out for floating avocados!


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