Updated photos 3!

August 4, 2009 at 3:47 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

After a stop at the library here is the largest batch of photos yet. Starting from the beginning of the trip, there are a few repeats but mostly new! Click the photo to see them!

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Day 14

July 31, 2009 at 8:20 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Woke up early to a sunny morning in Enosburg Falls. We packed up camp fairly quickly and hit the river. Easy, fun and beautiful paddling up the Missisquoi welcomed us. We paddled on for about 7 miles, laughed and too it easy. The current started to pick up around Samsonville while the river also shallowed out. Tricky upstream maneuvering around sand bars was required. We approached the base of some class II ledges that proceed an old breeched dam. Carefully we looked for a way around…finding none at the immediate base of the ledges we started to float back down stream looking for a take out. After 3-4 disappointing scouting adventures into fields of corn we paddled back up stream. Mahsa had spotted a small stream entering on the river left (if going up stream) that could provide a good place to get out. We paddled hard across the the river to the stream, which was deap, but not long. A quick scouting revealed that we could whack our way through some brush to get on the very same Rails to Trails path we were on the other day. It was a bit harder then we first thought owing to the steepness of the bank. We pulled and pushed and all our gear and the Flora Burn up and out of the brush. Did we mention that this whole time it was raining? Hard. Well it was. We wrapped up Flora and our gear with tarps and wheeled down the path looking for a way to put back in the river past the old dam. We walked and walked and walked….all the way to East Birkshire, VT.

Just as the map suggested we enjoyed some sandwiches at Dick and Pams general store while we contemplated what to do next. The put into the river was obvious but what was also obvious was that the river was moving swiftly. After such a glorious morning of paddling turned trudge through the rain we were feeling defeated and let down. We both may have given up at different points this day. Our up river journey on the Missisaquoi was taking its toll.

At Dick and Pams we were able to talk to a local canoeist who about water conditions up river. He assured us that he didn’t think we would have any real trouble and that the current would slow down after a bit. So we put in and began to paddle hard up stream. The put in is just below the confluence of the Trout and Missisaquoi rivers. After about 10 minutes of extremely hard paddling that got us only a few hundred feet we found ourselves grounded on a sand bar between two fast moving channels of water. Morrigan slumped forward and actually said “I want to go home”.

We turned the canoe around and swiftly found ourselves back at the launch spot. We once again dragged and pulled our gear and canoe up a steep embankment to a road and eventually to the rails to trails path. There we found ourselves trudging a long 5 milees in the rain to Richford, VT.

Entering Richford we were instantly struck with the feeling that Richford is a town ong since passed its prime. Building facades that were once grand were fading and boarded up. In fact, it appeared that most of Richford’s downtown was boarded up. But in fine Northern Kingdom fashion the people were wonderful , welcoming and friendly. We made camp in the town park amid the sounds of playing kids and families enjoying the long summer evenings.

Updated photos 2

July 30, 2009 at 9:54 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Here a more photos from the trip!  Click the photo to see them!

Day Nine: Lake Champlain – Day 1

July 26, 2009 at 5:40 pm | Posted in NFCT, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

We awoke to a incredible wind storm this morning. The howling winds were reaching gusts of up to 28 miles per hour. In the loose soil our tent stakes were being ripped out. To look out over lake Champlain it looked more like the Pacific Ocean then the scerene, glassy lake of the night before. At 5am we took stock of where we were. There was no way with the forecast that we were looking at that crossing the lake to South Hero Island would be possible. The swells were up to 5 feet! So we packed up and started the 3 mile treck to the ferry dock. The idea we had was to get to the island and scope conditions on the other side to see if we could set out from there to City Bay – our next stop. The walk to the Ferry was fun and uneventful. We got to load onto the Ferry first and park right at the front. From the view point we got to see the waves and swells close up. Oh my! We would most certainly have been in dire danger if we had attemped to canoe in this weather. The Ferry was even being buffeted around by the waves.

Upon reaching the other side we asked at a local dinner at the docks for a pen to make us a sign. The water by the island was no different and we needed to get somewhere to camp. We made a sign out a some foam we’d been using as a knee pad asking for a ride to City Bay or North Hero State Park. Before we really even finished making the sign a nice man offered us a ride. It turned out he had spent the morning on the rough waves and needed a distraction. He was really excited to hear about our travels! He took us all the way to North Hero State Park, which is closed except to paddlers. It was a little creepy to be in a 126 camp site state park and be the only 2 people in it besides the care taker and his wife. We basically had the run of the place.

We waited out 3-4 thunder storms and fought off a relentless attack of misquitos. But we at least weren’t on the waters of Lake Champlain. Tomorrow we attempt to cross the second half of the lake.

in plattsburgh

July 25, 2009 at 8:37 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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We got into Plattsburgh, NY this afternoon via shuttle. We rolled into union falls to find not but a tremendous rain storm and some unhelpful advice. One guy ww met suggested that we get to back in the water as quickly as possible on the other side of the dam. To do this he said we should jump the fence to the powerhouse and put in down from the dam. Uh…this would have put us at the bottom of the falls and in solid class IV or V rapids. We opted to pitch camp and hide out until the storm passed, which was around 5am. By 9am we were thoroughly demoralized. Water was up and moving fast. We started to lose confidence that we could make it ro Claysbugh. So we hoofed it over to a house not far from the river to use a phone. We called an outfitter in saranac lake to get a shuttle to plattsbugh. They said yes and charged us a pretty penny for it. But it was worth it. At the rate we were going it would have taken us 3 to 4 days. That would have been miserable as well as to much time to make up later in the trip. So here we are doing laundry at a posh camp sit built by the civilian conservation core during FDR’s new deal. Its a bit disorienting after being in such low traffic areas and little camp sites. Its the most interaction with civilization we have had. And by civilization we mean country music blaring, r.v. Living crazy people with big cars. It continues to rain hard. We are hoping for clear skies and a mild southerly breeze for tomorrows dawn crossing lake champlain. We will be going about half way across to Hero Island…about 14 .miles northeast. If the weather turns before we are in the main crossing we may hop on the ferry and then paddle the coast of the island to our camp. It would only take out 3 miles but would make it a bit safer. Depending on weather (which has been spotty around here) it could take 2 to 3 days to get across and up Champlain. We will take it as it comes and be smart and safe. After chaplain its back to what we know and love: paddling up stream and through meandering marshy lands.

a ok on the saranac river

July 24, 2009 at 12:06 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

We made up some mileage yesterday and will hopefully keep it up so we can take another day off before lake champlain. We missed the camp site at moose creek and just kept going. At war with the mosquitoes and losing. We camped last night on a nice mans lawn as we could not find the state camp site. If anyone knows someone in union falls new york let us know. We need showers an a shuttle to bakers acres camp ground or plattsburgh. All is good. Though morrigan refuses to eat more quinoa and mahsa is refusing to stuff any more things into small sacks. Today we will get to union falls ny an perhaps beyond depending on what happens with a shuttle and water conditions. Miss everyone!

updated photos

July 24, 2009 at 1:10 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Here a couple photos from the first 5 days on the trip!  Click the photo to see more.

on the nfct!

be sure and check the twitter

July 24, 2009 at 1:07 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

keep track of the trip with more frequent updates here www.twitter.com/floraburn or on the right of this page.

Achievement Unlocked! You got.. NFCT Badge!

VOYAGE COMPLETE!  In Fort Kent!


in old forge

July 18, 2009 at 2:17 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Hi everyone. We are in old forge fueling up at walts diner. One quick stop at the outfitters for a knife and we’ll be off.

heading out!

July 17, 2009 at 9:40 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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We are on our wpay to old forge. Pretty awesome! Josh made a rad stencil for the bow that reads flora burn with a skull and cross swords. It officially makes our canoe the best ever. It was a little emotional to say farewell to our pals. Five weeks! Holy cow! But we’re quite excited to be on our way. Blogging from the BlackBerry is tricky with such chubby fingers. I think we will call it a post.

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