May 16, 2008 – Things are bustin’ out

Spend much of my spare time in the last two weeks tilling the garden and planting vegetable seedlings and seeds.  There is not much to show so far, but in a couple of weeks,  things should be bustin’ out.  Here is a photo that shows some onion, leeks and lettuce in the foreground and cole crops, such as brussels sprouts, cabbages, and broccoli at the far end.

Uncle Tom's garden
Uncle Tom's garden

Tonight the dehydrator is humming, with beans and spaghetti sauce slimmin’ down.

I have a trip going out in three days, when my friend and former co-worker, Mike,  picks me up at 5 AM on Wednesday morning and we drive 4 hours north to pack his canoe full of food and gear for a 7 to 10 day  canoeing excursion on the Allagash Wilderness Waterway. We will be putting in above Mt. Katahdin, looking at  from the North.   We will cover just about 100 miles through inihabited wilderness, but with our zig zag style, could be a bit more than that.

There are some clear differences from backpacking in the prep for this trip.  For one, you can’t dial in the days like you can walking on land.  For instance, the first few days are on some big interconnected lakes, where the wind, when  it picks up , can cause whitecaps and waves high enough to swamp your canoe.  So we will likely have at least one day when we can’t move across a lake, and have to wait out the wind.  The last time I was up there it was a harrowing experience, where we had to come in from the waves, and then spend an unexpected night and wake up first after morning light to make the 1 mile crossing of the lake, and even then, the wind really picked up 3/4 of the way across. Here is a good shot of my friend Hank, improvising a sail that got us up to 9 mph as we whipped across Chesuncook Lake. I was really hoping that Hank and my friend Dave would accompany us in a second cedar and canvas canoe that Dave rebuilt, but it didn’t work out.

Hank creating a sail
Hank creating a sail

The other big difference is that,  although there are some space limitations, and consideration aboutnot packing too much gear to portage around bad rapids or dams, you can take a crapload of things.  Like a cooler, that we are packing with eggs, and  frozen steaks, hams, bacon, chicken, cheese, and of course Whoopie Pies.

Got to go pack some gear.  I’ll keep you posted.

One thought on “May 16, 2008 – Things are bustin’ out

  1. Mike Baran


    This is great! Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful time with me. I have always wanted to do exactly this and maybe it will spur me on to get off my ass and do it! The photos are also marvelous. I will take the time to rwead the entire blog again.

    Mike Baran


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