So after hiking in the White Mountains, the plan was to head about an hour and a half northeast-ish to Conway, NH to canoe the Saco River for a day. We grabbed a canoe, got some safety instructions (don’t go over the dam…), and set out on the water. Since the plan was to camp on the beach about ten miles down the river (in Maine!), we took everything we needed with us in the canoe.
It was a beautiful day and the current in the river was fairly quick, so we didn’t really need to paddle too much. Instead, we stopped along sandbars and enjoyed the sun, ate some lunch, and moved along the river. James dubbed me the “human jukebox” since I sang the entire way. This is not to be confused with “singing well,” because I do nothing of the sort. But I’m certainly entertaining.
Although we did some paddling…
It was mostly quite relaxing…
The hardest part was when we had to get out of the river and carry the canoe around a dam…I only freaked out a little bit about potentially going over the dam. Certainly not my finest moment. James ended up carrying the canoe most of the way since I was worried about my back…and we both survived.
After a few hours on the water, we made it to the beach where we were going to camp for the night. Another tent was there, but the people were not…they eventually showed up, packed up the tent, and left. The guy in charge of the campsite came down and told us it wasn’t supposed to rain until the morning, although we found that not to quite be true since the clouds came rolling in that evening. We crossed our fingers that it wouldn’t rain, but we set up the tent and dug some trenches around it just in case. We set about making a fire and cooking some soup for dinner while waiting for the weather to tell us what would be in store for the night.
I tempted fate a little bit…
And wore the appropriate FDNY shirt (supports the Burn Foundation!) to keep the bears away…since they clearly can read.
After some fun, James got the fire going…we stole leftover firewood from the people who left. Scavenging, if you will.
Not too long after dinner, the rain started…it was a fairly consistent drizzle/light rain, so we ended up retreating to the tent for the night as the rain put out the fire. I had high hopes to see stars on the beach since the trees were minimal and there weren’t any lights around…living in Manhattan, this opportunity doesn’t present itself often! But luckily it was our only day of bad weather, so I can’t complain. It proceeded to rain alllllll night and into the morning. I was a little nervous that no one was around us, but only woke up at 3am thinking that someone was going to murder us. (No one did, in case you were wondering.)
Our pick-up was planned for 9am, so we stood in the rain with everything packed at 8:55am…until 9:15 when no one showed up. We called them to ask if someone was on the way, and it was apparent that they had forgotten about us…oops! Finally someone showed up and we wrapped up our camping adventure with a delicious breakfast in Conway at Peach’s. Any breakfast place that closes at 2:30pm is a true breakfast place, and I appreciate that they kept our coffee cups full. :) And put up with our smelly, rain-drenched selves.
Canoeing on the river was definitely a great time (minus thinking I was going to go over the dam…) and more relaxing than hiking, so I’m glad we did it after the hiking. The camping was more like “real camping,” and although I could have done without the rain, overall I still had a good time. Try it!
If you didn’t notice, Gatsby didn’t come along…he can’t swim, and I was afraid he would go overboard. Also, although he has a trunk, he didn’t bring his swim trunks…and the tux can’t go in the water!