Day 40: Lower Narrows on Long Pond to Brassua Island NFCT campsite (16.4 miles)

Wow, I am blogging from my tent as dusk falls, determined to post this before it gets dark.  This week I’ve had many long, tough days and my body is begging for a rest.  Again this afternoon, I was digging deep to keep paddling until I reached camp.

The day began with bright sunshine as I finished Long Pond, paddled a short section of the Moose River and then tackled the almost four-mile Demo Rd. portage to reach Little Brassua and Brassua Lakes and my island camp.

It was hot enough mid-morning to go for a swim from this island near the end of Long Pond.
This two miles of the Moose River had four fun rapids, the most challenging I’ve run with my new canoe, and a moose in a cove at the third one, where there was no hope of stopping.

 
 

A highlight was discovering the same composition book journal here on the island. It has survived seven long Maine winters and still has some of my Paddle for Hope business cards tucked in it!
   

TOTAL MILES: 567.2

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Day 39: Sally Mt. Beach on Attean Pond to campsite on Lower Narrows, Long Pond (15.9 miles)

(Just discovered that I have four bars on my phone and can actually blog from the trail, my original hope for my trail writing.  It is now tomorrow!)

So, it was another five miles into Jackman, which I could not have endured last night.  So good decision to stop and camp.  

This morning, paddling into town went easily and I was grateful for no float plane traffic on Big Wood Pond, just a couple of planes tied up near the Jackman Landing Campground, where I took advantage of their nice laundry.  Then on to my favorite Jackman restaurant, Mama Bear’s for a turkey BLT, fries, brownie sundae, and some writing.

  

The seven-mile stretch of the Moose River out of Jackman is a relaxing paddle.  I saw a deer, that snorted as I was drifting and reading my map, and also was very unobservant in not noticing a giant deadfall tree full of ospreys until after they took flight!  That was just as I entered Long Pond from the river (below).

  

Tonight is what camping should be.  This was my third time trying to camp in this site on the Lower Narrows of Long Pond and I made it.  On the 2006 Map 10, it is in the wrong location, but this time I knew right where to head.

 

Sunset from the campsite beach, where there was a bench by the fire and I lingered until after dark eating all the fresh food from my grocery store run and listening to the loons. Later, I even had a glimpse of the moon, which has recently been obscured by all these cloudy mights.
 
TOTAL MILES: 550.8

Day 38: Fish Pond campground to Sally Mt. Beach campsite on Attean Pond (18.1 miles)

When I look back over today, the words that come to mind are “photos” and “exhaustion.”  

On my camera (not this phone) are lots of great memories from this day of walking six miles of logging roads and paddling a spectacular route along the Moose River and across Attean Pond…flowers, ripe raspberries that drastically slowed my progress, a laid back frog, and some massive glacial erratics.  I love that phrase, “glacial erratics,” God’s punctuation on a river of immense beauty.  So look for those soon on a blog post near you.

Pickerel weed at the hand carry to my campsite

 

The inlet at the top of Fish Pond really does exist and it even held Moose #2 of the trip!

 

A memorial to a World War II POW camp that stood on this site near Fish Pond, in front of the camp’s oven for baking bread. The portage route passes by here on Hardscrabble Road.

Time to finish writing for today, but I will be happy to hear news of Sydney and Marji, whose new wheels broke yesterday on the long portage!  Help was on the way and I hope it arrived.  I was too exhausted to reach Jackman, particularly with towering, black clouds and the rumble of thunder.  Found a nice empty site at Sally Mt. Beach, safe from the severe line of storms that came through during the night. 

TOTAL MILES: 534.9