By John Little, Missisquoi River Basin Association
Monday evening, I high tailed it out of school in Newport, VT. When I got to N. Troy, I conducted a refresher/training for the wonderful volunteers who collect water samples every other week along the Missisquoi River and its tributaries. Then, I drove over the spine of the mountains, and down into the Champlain Mtns to Highgate. Its been a year or two since I’d been along the Highgate Dam portage trail, and I was pleasantly surprised with the changes. Much nicer!
I had not come so far to portage, but to find Walter O. (Trail Director), and his interns. Two purposes were in mind. Firstly, I was handing Mr. Hyde Hitchock’s newly finished paddle over to Walter. Walter won the custom made paddle at the late fall auction this past year, and I’d finally finished it. Walter was going to hand it off to Kate Williams later in the week, and she will take it to the Tupper Lake get together this weekend. There, she’ll hand the paddle off to its rightful owner. It is a beautiful cherry beaver tail paddle with a couple stripes of ash in it. Maybe we’ll get a picture of it with Hyde, to be posted later! The second purpose was to get to see the interns, say hello, and thank them for the work they were doing in the Missisquoi Basin. I was surprised to find five of them setting up camp, and I expect credit goes to Walter and Kate for finding the funding to put so much energy into the NFCT. Brendan Jackson-Green, Sam Blakely, Allison Waring, Brianna Baker, and Kevin Large, Thanks in advance for all your work this summer. If any of you see them, treat them well. They are a great bunch. What was even nicer, was that there was the Halle family camping with them. Mr. Halle (I hope I have the name right. Apologies if I’ve screwed up.) was cooking up a pizza, and a wonderful dish with salmon jerky and S. American grains. DELICIOUS! He and his two boys were spending a few days paddling from Enosburg Falls down to Lake Champlain before the oldest went out to a NOLS course out west. A wonderful collection of folks, relaxing at the end of the day, eating good food, and sharing recipes. And, to top it off, I am fairly certain that I spotted an Indigo Bunting on my way back home.
By the way! The Missisquoi River Basin Association’s River Festival (scheduled for Aug 28th in Montgomery, VT) now has four bands scheduled, and more to follow. Happy Paddling! John