It was January of 2010 (or possibly even before) that we began to plan a canoe trip in western Maine with some friends.  It was March when I discovered I was pregnant.  Pregnant? Canoeing? Backwoods camping with no modern amenities?  Not the “babymoon” I had envisioned but I wasn’t about to be the one to chicken out of the trip.

The plan was thus: after meeting up in Exeter, NH, we would drive to Jackman, ME, where we would rent two canoes for four days. We would launch from Attean Landing and paddle 4 miles across Attean Pond to camp for the night.  The next day, we would portage the canoes and gear to Holeb pond, paddle across Holeb pond, and take the Moose River back to Attean Pond.  So, how did it go?

Read on to find out…

Packing our gear onto the canoes

The drive from Exeter to Jackman (which is almost at the Canadian border) took longer than expected and by the time we had packed the canoes and were ready to launch we had only a few hours of daylight left.  We paddled furiously through the thickening fog, and, thankfully, did not follow my misguided directions across the lake, which would have put us in the opposite corner from the one we wanted.

After setting up camp near the portage site (and finding some HUGE moose tracks), it was freeze dried dinner time!

Beef Stroganoff! Yum!

If we keep doing trips like this with the kid, I’m going to get myself a dehydrator and save TONS on meals.

Then, disaster struck in the form of a questionable water filtration pump:

Matt & Jeff try to fix the pump. Bottled at the source!

The pump hadn’t been used since our Havasupai trip last fall, and no one was sure if it was working properly.  Unlike the water at Havasupai, which was clear and blue, the lake water was filled with particles (animals?) and tinted red.  No one wanted to drink it untreated (or even semi-treated).  We had a dilemma, as there was not enough fuel to boil all the water we would need for the next few days.  But, exhausted and sleepy, we decided to call it a night and hope the pump fixed itself in the morning.

To be continued…