Traversing the Marion River Carry-Part I

Last time I said I would tell about the time I traversed the Marion River Carry.  First I need to tell you about the vessel I used to make the trip.  It is called an Airolite Canoe and was devised by a fellow named Platt Monfort of Westport, ME.  It is basically an assemblage of thin sticks in the shape of a canoe covered with heat-shrinkable Dacron aircraft fabric.  I make his Snowshoe 12 model that is 11′ 8″ long and weighs 13 lbs.

Here she is:

An Airolite Ultra-lite Canoe

The impetus behind going lightweight was a canoe trip my son, Stew, and I took  over Labor Day of 1987.  With nothing but a Coleman “Tupperware” canoe, we set out on the three day trip.  The canoe plus our gear probably weighed 90 lbs.  This mass had to be carried, dragged, slid, or however transported over some mighty long carries.   Both Stew and I remember the blow-downs. Here are some smaller ones.  The canoe had to be lifted up and over them.  Some of the downed trunks were at eye level.

Blow-downs on a carry.

A succession of these carries will wear you down.

A long day!

Stew reminded me that we often resorted to dragging the canoe by its painters along the carry.  We left an orange trail on the rocks in our wake.  The Coleman hardly noticed.

I remember one embarrassing incident. Somewhere around Saranac Lake we lost our bearings on a carry.  That is not too hard to fathom since we were carrying the boat on our shoulders and our vision was limited.  At one point I looked down and saw a manicured pathway.  Something was not right so I told Stew that we needed to have a look around.  The canoe was let down with a crash.  We were left standing, rather dazed, right next to a tee on the Saranac Country Club. Of course, a foursome was just teeing off.

Our trip ended at the Saranac Lakes. The are three of them, Upper, Middle, and Lower, are arranged in a horseshoe fashion.  We entered at Upper and spent the night on Norway Island on Middle Saranac Lake.  Here is a view of Norway Island.

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