Peter Macfarlane's 2013 Solo Through-Paddle of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail
in a Cedar-Strip Canoe by Otter Creek Smallcraft

NFCT's Map of Overall Route Peter & Sylva completing the NFCT

Day 14

0 miles

Saturday 1st June

Rest Day


Today I have a real lie in, resting my sore feet and giving my depleted body some recuperation. Hildy has worked wonders in the kitchen, so breakfast is the start of feasting for the day. After Trail stories and sharing photos, Ray drives me to Gorham where I pick up a new pair of waterproof trousers. Ray, in his typically thorough style, has been researching these. They have no medium size, so I get small instead; they're a bit short, but will do the job. Meanwhile Hildy, rather than throw the old ones out, is eyeing them as a salvage operation.

I re-pack my rucksack, adding in food for the next two weeks as well as swapping out my thick thermal paddling shirt (the next two weeks can't be as cold as the previous two) and exchanging the first half's maps for the second. My pack weight is now somewhere near what it was at Old Forge. I trust my legs will complain less now that they have had some training.

We drive to Lancaster where Viveka and I rehearse briefly with Susie and Hollis, the other musicians. In the evening we play for the Scottish Dance there, and I'm surprised at how nimble my fingers are after a couple of weeks of intense hard work and little finesse. Ray has set up a slide-show of photos so far, and Hildy has been plotting my position on a large map for all to see; these generate some interest, and maybe cause some to wonder at my sanity. The pot-luck dinner is a further opportunity to replenish my body's reserves, and I completely fail to exercise moderation. Tomorrow I'm back on the Trail, resuming at Stark Bridge.

Viveka remains in Lancaster to go home to Vermont tomorrow. I will next see her in Fort Kent. She has transferred the box of repair materials and spare paddle to Ray and Hildy who are now first in line for support should I need it. I go home with them for another comfortable night in a real bed. After sometimes losing sight of it in the first half, I remind myself of Viveka's message at Long Lake: "Paddle Happy". I'll try.

This was the first day on which it did not rain at all. Whilst there have been a few sunny days, each has been interrupted with showers at some point. I find it ironic that the weather has waited for a non-paddling day to achieve this first.


Website design & Photography © Peter Macfarlane 2013

Tomorrow Top of page