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Maine weather.

You can start a conversation with any stranger at any location in the U.S.(maybe in the world) with those two simple words. What mother nature deals to us on a daily basis is an endless source of fascination.

Weather on the Allagash River is even more interesting. After 20 years of semi-regular spring canoe trips I can still be shocked.

The Commander and I try to plan these trips for the sweet spot between ice-out and full-on blackfly season — another weather phenomenon. Most of our excursions have occurred

Allagash Repast in Full Bug Regalia

Allagash Repast in Full Bug Regalia

just a week or so before Memorial Day Weekend. This year was no different. In fact we planned to end the trip and drive south on Memorial Day.

We always advise guests on these trips to pack clothing for temperatures in the 30’s and temperatures in the 80’s. Over the years this tip has proven to be sound advice.

One year we swam in the river almost every day to cool off and wash away the sting of

Swim at Long Lake Dam

Swim at Long Lake Dam

multiple bug bites. On other years we have worn nearly every stitch of clothing in our gear bags in an effort to stay warm. Sometimes we joke that we started with five pounds of ice in the cooler and Allagash Lake 2014 162ended the trip with eight pounds. A true story — because we have often supplemented the ice supply from river-side ice bergs left behind by spring floodwaters.

 

But until last week we had never awoken to find a measurable amount of snow on the ground. That’s a first for us.

Christmas in May on the Allagash

Christmas in May on the Allagash

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A little bit north of our campsite at Michaud Farm there was a full two inches of snow on the green grass lawn that extends down to the river’s edge. It was gone from everywhere except the shaded areas upon our arrival — but the Ranger confirmed the sighting.

This all came back to me yesterday -exactly one week after these snowy photos were taken. I was sweating profusely in muggy 90 degree heat as I mowed my lawn here in Farmington.

Maine weather.

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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: https://www.facebook.com/Self-propelled-Guide-Service-1098692573535403/