Day 5 June 6
Hey I lined and paddled up Sunday River this morning! Not the ski resort. It’s a real river offering cold and clear water right into the Androscgoggin.
This eagle was resting nearby and I couldn’t resist a little side exploration.
Lest we forget, people are kind and beautiful. These two people exemplify it. Not only did Ed and Cathy let me stay two nights at their place but they fed me and caffeinated me and shuttled me and told me stories and shared their lives with me. And their dogs. If you’re ever traveling through the Bethel area visit them at Cafe DiCocoa.
Today I got to meander through quick water, flat water, around islands, through pastoral farmland, under leaning swamp maples, with heron, ducks and their babies, geese and their babies, and Eagles. I could’ve been in Montana or in Canada but no I was traveling through western Maine on a River that at one time nobody got near. I think that’s why it’s nearly completely undeveloped.
So here I am experiencing a complete Corridor of wilderness coursing through dozens of towns and cities from New Hampshire to the ocean. It is phenomenal.
I came to see that possibly the gap between the thriving mill days and days when human sewerage went directly into this waterway that it needed some time to heal. The mill in Berlin closed and we got sewer and septic systems set up and managed properly. And with the stigma associated with this river we have stayed away so it’s had many seasons to find its way back with new life without contact from us.
I found a lovely beach picnic spot and set myself up good. Not bad, huh?
Today I took it real slow since it was only an 11 mile segment. I need to be in Rumford by Thursday at 3:00pm to meet with the public affairs person of the Paper mill. So I got to really take my time and enjoy. I even laid down in my canoe for a while and floated kind of like a water cloud nap. (I don’t know what that is, I just made it up, and it makes sense to me.)
It rained enough to keep me honest. I was in and out of my layers five or six times. When the sun came out I just felt like a deep sigh and how good it feels to get toasty warm.
Speaking of which, I made my destination to Hanover which is a little village on Route 2. The river access point here is at the town hall and library. The launch is paved and surrounded by poison ivy so I thought I’d ask if I could camp in the field behind the Town hall. First I visited the library because it was so adorable. Turns out the volunteer librarian, Dottie knows my sister and lots of locals that I went to school with. She’s been working on this quilt as a fundraiser for the church steeple. I hope she makes $1 million off it.
I told her what I was up to and that I wanted to camp. She didn’t think it would be a problem. Meanwhile she snuck over to the town Hall and got the green light for me to sleep in the library. Can you stand it?I’ve never slept in a library before. I really like it here.
Lest you forget, people are kind and beautiful. They invited me to cook dinner in the town hall even 😉🛶💚 #androscogginrivertrailmagic
Home town bound!
To support this paddle with a purpose- https://www.gofundme.com/WaterQualityFundraiser