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June 5

Saint Francis River: Pohennegamook to Sully

Well, sailing the catamaran rig was a bust. We had the calmest, sunniest, windless day you could ask for. We paddled our rig for a while, waiting for the wind to rise, but it never did. Eventually we pulled over and disassembled the cat. As we worked, we looked across at St. Eluthiere. St. Eluthiere is a post-card pretty town. All the towns have magnificent churches, but perhaps not as nice as Trois Pistoles. From our vantage, the town looked like a little playset, with a train wending through the fields, past the red barns and white houses, all lit up in this crisp spring day.

At the end of the lake, we stopped in Estcourt Station, the furthest north point in Maine. We said "Hello" to the customs agent, and had to show him our route on the map he had on the wall. Not for any official reason, he was just plain curious. The first interested person of the trip, I think. Estcourt Station is one of those one-stop shopping towns, everything within walking distance for the through-paddler. You just need to know how to order in French. We bought fresh fruit and other supplies, then ambled down to the diner for some hamburgs and fries.

We paddled down the now-bigger St. Francis. Lots of simple class I's. We continued past the fly-fishermen, who rattled off questions in French, to which we could only shrug and say "Tronte Jours a la Mer Atlantique", which I hope crudely means "thirty days to the Atlantic Ocean".

We found a nice campsite down past Sully. After climbing out of the sack at 4AM in the frosty frozen morning, and covering a lot of miles, I crashed at 4:30. I slept for two hours and when I woke, every muscle was stiff and my fingers felt like hot sausages. This must be what it's like to morph from Desk-boy to River-man. Quite painful, actually, but worth it.

After my nap, we shared the bottle of wine we picked up in Estcourt, chilled nicely to river-temp. It went well with our dinner of tomato-basil bread and noodle soup. It was one of those nights to stare at the fire while the day faded to black around us.