Self-Propelled Journal: August 6-7 – Man’s best friend comes along for the ride

August 6

A busy morning preparing for the next four weeks on the trail.

I launched the canoe at South Arm on Lower Richardson Lake in the late afternoon.  A cold front that had been trying all day to come in from the north west – was just then beginning to gain some traction.

Tucker – my trusty companion – joins me for a few days.

Clouds and or 10 -15 mph NW wind quickly stacked up as I geared the canoe for rowing.  By the time I reached the open lake at the end of the “arm” – 2 foot white caps were rolling in from the northwest.

I pulled over at a handy beach and protected cove near the mouth of the arm.  Tucker got some exploration done while I snacked and read from almost two hours.  By that time the white caps had stopped, although there was still a good swell coming down the lake.  It would have been a hard solo paddle into the wind with the loaded canoe  – Tucker’s not much help.  But with the oars it was an easy row down to the Birches campsite near Middle Dam.

Waiting for the weather.

We arrived at dark.  The wind has now stopped – the lake calm and I can hear the water falling over nearby Middle Dam.Nightfall on Lover Richardson Lake

August  7

The Birches campsite, even in daylight, does not have much to recommend it.  The landing is boulders and big rocks, it has no tent platform and very little in the way of suitable tent sites.

At dawn we are completely fogged in.  The mist parts after breakfast and the lake is flat calm upon departure.  The weather is holding mild and clear.  After rounding Rifle Point I realize how close to Middle Dam we were camped.  I have a clear view of Lakewood Camps and resist the urge to stop there for a second breakfast at their dining room.

Where is he taking me?

Continuing north we entered the Narrows between Lower and Upper Richardson Lake.  The vacant campsite by that name on the east side of the thoroughfare was too tempting to resist.  It has a private cove, a sand beach, towering red pines and a generous tent platform set up high on the point.  Tucker explored for an hour – terrorizing some red squirrels and chipmunks.  He’s in heaven. I swim, eat and read on the beach.

We press on and find that a soft, steady breeze from the south speeds us along to our destination for the night – Halfmoon Cove on the upper lake.  Another beautiful site under towering pines.  It was only lunch time and I considered moving on to Upper Dam and the portage to Mooselook but I managed to talk myself out of it.

I ate, read, napped and repeated all afternoon.  A steady southerly breeze kept us cool and comfortable.  It’s the first day of the trip with defined down time.  I felt guilty about  “wasting” the perfect travel weather.  I may have too much Puritan blood in my veins to ever really enjoy vacation.

Video of Half Moon Cove                                        Miles to go before I sleep?

A view from Halfmoon Cove.






To bed early.  A big mileage day tomorrow.

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About jimandrews

Jim Andrews is an attorney, Registered Maine Guide, writer, husband, dad and sixth-generation Mainer who grew up in the hills of Oxford County and now lives in Farmington. He is a monthly columnist for the The Maine Sportsman magazine where he focuses on muscle-powered travel in the outdoors and specific applications to fishing and hunting in Maine. Late in the fall of 2010 Jim suffered a mid-life crisis and decided that the cure would be a self-propelled trip from Kittery to Fort Kent in the summer of 2012. The preparation, planning and execution of that trip will be covered here -- as well as his own ongoing attempts to reintroduce physical effort back into the increasingly-motorized world of fishing and hunting in Maine. Find Self-propelled on Facebook: