Written by Nick Olson-NFCT 14 Week Stewardship Intern
Attean Pond in Maine is by far the longest trip we have taken for a Waterway Work Trip but what a wonderful way to end the season. We camped about a mile paddle from the boat launch on a beautiful beach surveying the islands and distant hills of Attean Pond. The loons would sing us to sleep every night in perfect harmony. The first several days we spent completing some work on the Demo Road portage on the Moose River. It was nice to be “forced” to paddle to and from work everyday. We took some measurements of the portage trail and cleared brush in the corridor. We also re-painted a primitive river gauge on a rock above the rapids. The trail was rather confusing and it wasn’t signed very well so we went along the trail and put up new signs and blazes to ensure everyone found their way back to the river. If you plan to be on this portage, you may want some wheels. It’s a long one.
Just when we could hardly stand the smell of one another and camp started getting lonely, six volunteers showed up as well as two other interns from NFCT. What a fantastic group of volunteers to boot. Everyone was fun to be around and had a passion for paddling. These Waterway Work Trips really draw some great people. We welcomed our guests with our traditional four layer pizza cooked only with cast iron and fire. Needless to say, it was a hit. In the morning we paddled upwind into what seemed like a hurricane on our way to the work site. After pushing through the wind we made it to the far side of the lake where we would be fixing the portage trail. The old bog bridging along the trail was rotting out and becoming dangerous (by courtney). We started by ripping all that soggy mess and making room for the new and improved bog bridging. With all the hands the bog bridges seemed to go in faster than I could walk across them. The paddle back was much smoother and I think everyone appreciated the flat water. Some people went for an evening hike up the trail just behind our campsite. Sam and Noah thought the hike was too easy so they would wait until night fell before hiking the trail.
The next morning was full of crap, literally. Two new holes had to be dug for the outhouses at the two campsites on the beach. One hole turned into a less exciting form of an archaeological dig when they stumbled across what appeared to be an old privy hole that had been decomposing for some time. Everyone got their hands dirty on this project but some more than others. After sliding the outhouses over the new holes camp was packed up and everyone slowly paddled back to the boat launch. The cars were all packed and after everyone said their goodbyes the lingering smell of privy holes slowly faded away.