Rhon Bell of Backwoods Plaid, shares the feelings and stories that accompany a kayaking trip in Maine.
Standing barefoot on a sandy river bank, we peer with anticipation across the deadwater that we’ll soon be paddling to begin our journey. Our destination is a remote
chain of lakes deep in the heart of the Maine woods that are connected to this river system. Kayaking and exploring will put both our muscles and fortitude to the test over the next four days. This adventure will be different than the others as roped behind my kayak, in a dinghy, will be my 90 lb. English Lab, Casco. I’ve held true to my promise of never kenneling him. He makes for great company.
After packing our boats to the gills with gear, we set out upon our journey. Casco immediately finds comfort by laying his head on my Filson Tin Cloth Duffle that I secured in front of him. Casco watches with intent as we float past the ancient tall pines (survivors from centuries of timber harvests and log drives). These beautifully calm waters hold a crystal clear reflection of tremendous blue morning skies.
Our first evening stay is on a secluded sandy beach. After unloading, we wade out into the warm lake for an evening swim. The only ripples to interfere with the mirror-like finish on the water’s surface are caused by our splashing. This refreshing dip washes away the afternoon sweat. A classic meal of beans and hotdogs is warmed atop a small cook stove for dinner. With full bellies and tuckered-out bodies, we gather firewood. Flint and steel produce a blazing spark which ignites a birch bark tinder bundle. Evening hours are spent sharing stories fireside, under the light of a waxing moon; we soon retire to our respective tents.
This would serve as the first and last pleasant day on the water. A relentless evening rain sets in and lingered for the remainder of our stay. Luckily, my valuable gear was meticulously packed inside my Filson Tin Cloth Duffle and remained dry for the four full days. Each afternoon we hauled our kayaks to shore and sprang beneath a heavy cover of spruce for lunch. I half expected to find my headlamp, clothes, food, camera, and tent soaked; to my surprise the bag was seemingly impenetrable.
Filson Antique Tin Cloth pants did their best to shield me from the downpours. The Vintage Plaid shirts kept me cool and my arms from becoming burnt from sun behind the cloud cover. My Filson gear held up miraculously under some of the worst conditions I’ve been through. The weather doesn’t always cooperate and that’s why we all should require the best gear available. So the slogan goes – “You might as well have the best!”