Day 1: Prelude - driving to the putin. 24 May 2011.

At the motel in Stratton, ME.

Loading up the trailer.

We stopped at a general store for last minute groceries and fishing licenses. This was the view from the parking lot.

We headed in on dirt roads bound for Spencer Stream. We passed a tow-truck with a flat tire. A short while later, we came to a pink ribbon across the road. We walked up past it to where this pickup was completely stuck in the middle of the road.

So we turned around to come in from another road. Chip had scouted this road just a couple days earlier, and the road was in great shape.

That red boat on the top kept coming loose and threatening to make a break for freedom. This is one of the attempts at re-securing it.

In search of gear.

The alternate road had issues in spots as well, and we attempted to beef it up with branches before going across.

Another tricky spot. The pickup and trailer had made it across, and now we run to get out of Lani's way coming through in the Land Rover.

We were making progress and nearly to the junction with the road where the pickup was stuck. This spot was particularly messy and we got out to scout.

The road looks a bit worse after our truck and trailer went through.

We made the junction with the other road and thought things would get better, since that road had been in good shape. But shortly after regaining it, we hit this long, bad section. It may not look that bad, but the road just gave way under our feet. Sean sank in above his ankles, as you can see here.
We decided to turn around here and go out past the stuck pickup - we'd have the downhill advantage, besides we didn't want to go back the other road we came in on.
Lani turned to me and said, "This is a nightmare." I replied, "No, not yet."

Flower break to admire the numerous painted trilliums in the woods.

The Land Rover was ahead of the truck now. As we headed back out, the road which looked perfectly fine quivered as the Land Rover went over it. I was riding in the truck and suddenly the road gave way and we started to sink. Chip stopped before we could get buried. We all got out, removed all the gear from the back of the truck and started putting lots of branches on the road beneath both vehicles. As we walked around to survey the situation and lay branches, we could see the road start to crack and buckle, literally liquifying beneath our feet!

Lani gets geared up to pull the truck out.

It all worked like a charm; the Land Rover pulled the truck free. We reconnected the trailer, loaded up the gear, and moved on.

When we got to the part with the stuck pickup, it was a simple matter to offroad our way around through the bushes on solid ground.

And we were home free!

Then we gave up on Spencer Stream, ate lunch, and headed to the putin to do the South Branch of the Dead.

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Photos and webpage by Mena Schmid.
Last Modified: May 2011