And Mike rowing himself and me in the Washita.
Happy boatmen. Mike’s friend Billy, a veteran Kennebec guide pointed across the river and said if we walked that way about 1500 miles we’d get to Hudson’s Bay without ever seeing a settlement.
The next day I drove east–as far east as you can get in the USA–West Quoddy Head lighthouse.
And then I kept going, taking the ferry into L’tete, New Brunswick.
Harry is a renown toolmaker. This is one wall of his shop.
His main concession to power tools is the huge, ancient, belt-driven, wooden-wheeled bandsaw, which until recently was run by an old Vauxhall truck motor under the shop.
The power unit for his sawmill is another old truck, with the transmission, gearbox, and dashboard still intact.
After many decades off the grid with no running water, Harry and Martha are thinking that someday they may get old and want plumbing. So they are in the process of building an addition with more modern conveniences. Just in case.
I had the honor of joining the crew for a day and a half.
Harry and his longtime coworker Wyatt.
I wish I had scheduled more time, but I had to head back across Maine.
I stopped in to meet Steve Holt, who runs the venerable Shaw & Tenney oarmarking firm in Orono, Maine–probably the last and best oarmaker still in business.
We are working on an oar made for Grand Canyon. Keep in touch.
Our Flagstaff friend John Tveten showed up and we took family friend PapaJohn’s fabulous little Rushton-style canoe out for a spin on Lake Chocorua.
The wind was a bit light and the air a bit foggy much of the week, but we still learned a tremendous amount.
John in Rascal–a gunning dory similar to Stella, the dory we built for him last year here in Flagstaff. We are researching some of the finer points of Rascal‘s rig to incorporate them into Stella, who we hope to have under sail by this fall.
My friend Jane showed up again, this time teaching in the schooner Mary Day. I wish I had my camera handy when Mary Day burst out of the fog under full sail. Amazing.
And a farewell toast to the McKenzie from this year’s class, awaiting shipping to Colorado.
Ruby’s oars and seats are from the original rotted-out Let Simmons dory that we copied the design from.
A picnic on Morse Island.
And a sunset from Ruby. It never fails.
But all good things must give way to more good things. The only part of the adventure that did not go quite according to plan was when I took this last picture. Phoenix Airport was closed due to monsoon storms. We got diverted to Las Vegas. This is sunset over Grand Canyon in case you can’t tell.
By the time we finally got to Phoenix, all flights to Flagstaff were gone. So I had to spend the night in Phoenix, which is similar to Hell. But really, other than that, damn. What a month.