Though ice has been coming and going on nearby lakes the past several days, a pair of women paddlers departed Old Forge at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, to start a 740-mile canoe journey to Fort Kent, Maine.
They are the first paddlers this season to tackle the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, which goes through four states. They plan to complete their trip in 40 days.
Old Forge Publicity Director Mike Farmer was on hand for the launch by St. Lawrence alum Emily Rooney and Emma Carlson.
“All the rivers in Vermont are raging and really swollen right now, so hopefully by the time we start paddling upstream, it’ll be down a bit,” Carlson said.
They intend to cut a spruce sappling and attach a metal cleat to the tip, to create a pole for upstream movement. They’re carrying wheels for use on extended carries.
“I’m not a big backpacker, so the fact that you can paddle from the Adirondacks where we met, up through Vermont [where paddling partner Rooney is from], into Maine where I grew up is pretty magical,” Carlson said.
Rooney explained that both of them have sea kayaking experience but have an affinity for river travel. “We’re river people.”
Both Rooney and Carlson participated in St. Lawrence University’s (SLU’s) Adirondack semester as seniors. During that program, they lived in a yurt at Massawepie Boy Scout Camp, home of the SLU ADK semester, near Tupper Lake. Continue reading