Monday, July 16, 2012

Spencer Stream, a dam and a reward

01 July 2012

Long Falls, running strongly
Grand Falls raging

Slept just below Grand Falls at the mouth of Spencer Stream.  The day will be spent going upriver in strong mostly Class II rapids.  Spencer Stream to Little Spencer Stream to Spencer Lake.  No place to portage; the only way is to carefully track the boat.  Rocks are slippery, rapids strong, river narrow, bugs are out.  Saw only two people, in sea kayaks, going downriver, who tell me they are "section paddling the Northern Forest Canoe Trail".  My reply, "you're going the wrong way!" 
Spencer Dam.  Note the kayak in lower right corner.  Some effort required here to get up onto the lake!

At the top of Little Spencer there are three deadwater ponds, perhaps built for holding logs back in the day.  Then, holding back Spencer Lake, a new dam about 30 feet high - without an established portage.  Had to get the ropes out and unload the boat to get to the top of the dam.  Quick bite to eat, then onto Spencer Lake. 

Just then, a strong headwind kicked up.  As if I wasn't tired enough already!  Started to cool down, so paddled to a small beach in front of the only house on the lake, a large property.  Got the spray jacket on, noticed a No Trespassing sign, and was preparing to leave when the owners and their dogs approached.  Fortunately, they were very friendly to me.  Apparently the entire lake and surroundings are private property and they run two campgrounds (no camping fee) so others can also enjoy the beautiful environment.  The lady got her reservation book and said I could stay at campsite #3.  Preferred to get more miles in and thinking to go further.  But... tired and there is a long portage ahead.  Paddled up to find a private beach with one of the best campsites I've ever seen and decide to stay.

Campsite #3 at Spencer Lake
Sunset on Spencer Lake

Thank you owners, Really enjoyed my stay!!

Trail miles today, 8 1/2 miles in 8 1/2 hours (normally, travel speed is 2-4 miles per hour).

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