Below is an overview of a common day on a canoe trip
A Quiet Morning
On expedition, it is best to ease into the day. You will be awoken as the morning light begins to shine into your tent. Rising from your sleeping bag, you will dress for the cool of a Maine morning. Stepping out of your tent you will grab a hot drink and a small snack. You may choose to spend your time before a full breakfast talking with your trip mates at the picnic table or quietly sitting by the water.
Everyone will gather together as breakfast is served. Pancakes, biscuits, eggs, bacon, cobbler, and granola are common options. After breakfast, it will be time to pack up for the day. As you pack your personal gear, the guides will clean up from breakfast and begin to take down camp. All of camp will be disassembled, packed up, and stowed in the canoes between 9 and 10 am, ready for a day of travel.
A Day's Paddle
The guides will help load the boats, taking care to place your bag and the equipment so the boat sits true, and then we are off. From one day to the next, whether down river or along a lake shore you will come to feel at home in the canoe. The guide is always nearby to give you a little guidance on your paddling if you want, but the paddle in the water gives the best instruction. You will find that canoes lead to conversation. Sometimes it's just you and your boat partner. Other times it's a raft of boats rehashing a great feat of the previous day. Still, don't forget to paddle quietly and enjoy your surroundings. Bald eagles, loons, moose, spruce grouse, and many other animals could be the gift of silence.
It is common to paddle ten miles in a day. Some days more. Some days less. Down river we will average three miles an hour, a little slower on lakes. Our goal is not to cover long distances. We aim to enjoy and learn from every mile we cover. Throughout the day we will stop to rest and snack. For lunch we will usually stop at a campsite, stretch our legs and enjoy a nice meal, and maybe a swim. Lunch is often a sandwich served on bread baked fresh that morning or the night before. We will usually arrive at the evening's campsite between 3 or 4 pm.
Things You May See
During the trip you are likely to see many amazing things including lady slippers (pictured above), trillium, fiddlehead ferns, lush moss, Labrador tea, wild blueberries, wild apple trees, ospreys, moose, beavers, bald eagles, otters, loons, deer, chipmunks, drift wood, 19th century logging artifacts, and so much more.
An Early Afternoon at Camp
We will all help unload the canoes and bring them on shore for their night of rest. Tonight's place of rest, like all on this trip, is a maintained campsite. Although rustic and only accessible by canoe, we find picnic tables, cleared areas for tents, a fire ring, and an outhouse. The guides will begin to set up camp and prep for dinner. The afternoon is often a nice time to take a dip before changing into warmer clothes for the evening. Depending on your trip and its theme, the afternoon may offer a chance to paint, discuss a shared reading, or write in your journal. Whatever is planned, you are sure to have time to relax and enjoy your surroundings with a group of like-minded people. A nice snack of cheese, crackers, cut vegetables and cured meats will energize your thinking and creating.
A Camp Cooked Meal
As the day comes to a close we enjoy a final meal. While you engage with the subject guide, dinner preparations are happening around camp. The smell of a hearty meal cooking over open fire and dessert baking will draw you to the table.
A Wild Night
The light of a Maine evening tends to linger, drawing out dusk and our time around the campfire. Full from dinner, it's easy to relax and get caught up in stories of the day or our lives at home. As the light fades, you wander back to your tent for the warmth and comfort of your sleeping bag. As you settle into bed, the loons continue the conversation on the water.