The Plan – The Birds of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail
I went public with my intention to paddle the Northern Forest Canoe Trail a week, or two, ago. Though I’ve not mentioned this
plan it has been on my mind for several years. I first heard about the trail somewhere on the Internet and have followed news and development of the NFCT ever since.
I visited the trail, briefly, when I travelled through New England in October, 2011, assisting Ernie Mills, a friend and photographer. I stood at the NFCT sign at Long Lake, New York, on a small stretch of land separating two lakes hoping that I would return and carry to carry a canoe across, here, and keep paddling.
Now I’ve the beginning of a plan to make this happen.
- As soon as school is out, next spring, I will embark on this trip. Before I begin to paddle the trail I will need to arrange for a shuttle (A 740 mile shuttle. That’s a little tougher than when I ask a buddy to run me 10-15 miles up river.). My tentative day to begin paddling is Monday, June 16 at 8:00 am.
- The purposes of this trip are to paddle the 740 miles to Fort Kent and to observe and experience the birds of the trail. My carved bird sculptures are response to my personal experiences with birds in the field. I want to immerse myself in field observation to inform and inspire a new series of sculptural carvings.
- I’ve been walking. The trail has over 70 miles of carries or portages. I need to be in shape to carry a canoe and gear up to ten miles.
- Much of this walking has been on the backpack trails and campgrounds at Shades State Park. During these field trips I’ve also been field testing equipment and supplies. In this process I’m fine tuning my packing list and acquiring the equipment I need and getting rid of the equipment that I don’t.
- I would make this trip with just any boat. I’ve been building small boats since I was 17 and this trip is a wonderful excuse for building another. Workspace and help have been worked out. Now I’m waiting for the pans to begin construction of Rollin Thurlow’s Cheemaun, a 15′ solo wilderness canoe.