My Book!!

One opportunity that the blog has brought me is the co-authoring of a guidebook, Paddling Southern Maine! It is something in which I take a lot of pride! My writing partner, Sandy Moore, and I have created a book with 54 amazing trips that are within about an hour of Portland! Our motto as we wrote the book was wanting to 'get people to spend the day on the water and not in their cars!'

If you want more information on our book please visit www.paddlingsouthernmaine.com. Sandy and I are available to attend/present various functions/events. Please email me at mainekayakgirl@gmail.com for more information!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Try It... You just may like it!!

This coming weekend there are TWO awesome opportunities for people to try paddling gear and learn more about all paddlesports. 

Both events are happening throughout the weekend....... If you are not sure which one to attend, why not go to both? Sandy and I will both be at LLBean's on Saturday and on Sunday Sandy will be at Beans in Freeport and I will be up in Poland with Shaker Hill!


I will start with the place where I spent a good chunk of my time on Monday, Shaker Hill Outdoors! 


Shaker Hill Outdoors is having their Demo Weekend!  Click HERE to learn more! 
These guys have a HUGE selection of paddling gear, everything from sit in and sit on top kayaks, to paddleboards, to hybrids (paddleboards with seats!), and even those kayaks that you pedal!  (I am surely going to try one of those on Sunday!!)   
These guys also sell paddles, replacement seats, safety equipment and more!  
I will be there on SUNDAY, trying some different kayaks, saying hello, having fun  AND selling/signing books!   Please make sure to say hello. 

I went up there on Monday looking for some help in problem solving.  I am debating about getting a new to me tandem kayak for when I take Gladys with me.  Russ and Greg spent A LOT of time with me, showing me some options, including one they are going to make sure to bring on Sunday for me to try.  In addition to sales they also are pretty clever with thinking outside the box in terms of making adjustments to the inventory they have to make it work for people.  

You cannot go wrong with these guys!  If you have a special craft in mind that you have been thinking about and really want to see what it is like on the water, this weekend is your chance!  
Give them a call this week and ask if they can make sure to have one of what you are looking for available to try out this weekend!  
Call (207) 998-5390 for more information! 

To get to the demo location, Middle Range Pond at Cyndi's Dockside Restaurant in Poland, Jump on the turnpike, get off at Exit 63 (Gray), follow the signs for Rt 26 and stay on Rt. 26 passing Shaker Village then passing Shaker Hill Outdoors on your left.  Drive for another 2.2 miles and Cyndi's will be on the left!
 (Because they are also a great landscaping company you can also, like I did, walk away with a beautiful hanging plant for your home!) 



The second GREAT paddling event this weekend is LLBean's annual Paddlesports Weekend.  Their weekend activities are kicking off on Friday evening with a film festival.  Then Saturday and Sunday you can engage with different vendors to learn more about equipment AND there are opportunities to try various gear as well.  

Check out all they have to offer  this weekend by clicking HERE.  
 
Sandy will be there all day Saturday and Sunday.  I will be up there late morning on Saturday through the afternoon.  We will be there talking about our book and hopefully getting a chance to say hi to some of you who are reading this!  Please make sure to find us and say hello! 


LLBean is part of Maine's recreational traditions and history.  
We were fortunate enough to be a part of this event last year and really enjoyed it.  
Check out the pamphlet in the link above! 


Saturday, May 5, 2018

Runaround Pond! (Again!)

Body of Water: Runaround Pond, North Pownal, Maine.  [Maine Gazetteer Map 5, B5, close to the edge of the page]

Directions (From Portland, ME): 

Take Durham exit off 295, take Route 126 to Rabbit Road at intersection stay straight onto Runaround Pond Road and the Runaround Recreation area will be on your right. 


Boat Launch:   Launch site is dirt/gravel. Gradual put in. 

Parking: Free. There is no formal parking lot, people park along the ‘driveway’ that leads to the boat launch.  There is a good amount of space for parking.  
** There is an outhouse here, but was not open today.  

Wildlife: Turtles, dragonflies, blue herons, ducks, beavers, deer, osprey, and more.  Also many lily pads as the season goes on!   
Notes:  
First and foremost...



 Paddling people are good people!  Today I got to meet this lovely lady, Cynthia!  Cynthia has been a blog follower for a while!  She was getting off the water as I was getting ready to get on the water.  We started chatting, as we paddlers often do, and we learned she 'knew' me though she did not recognize me from the photos I have posted here.  (Sometimes my height gives me away!)  It is ALWAYS fun to meet people in person who have followed the blog or on other social media or who have bought the book... (though I have a special place in my heart for the blog followers because I feel like this is where it all began!)   So nice to meet you Cynthia!! 


The other woman I got to hang out with today is none other than Fitmaine.com's Shannon Bryan.   If you are unfamiliar with Shannon, please stop now and click on the link so you can check out what she does.  In a nutshell she takes all Maine activities and encourages us all to get out and enjoy this beautiful state in which we live!  Did you click the link yet? DO IT!  As you can tel from the photo, she has a big personality and a heart to match!


We got to enjoy a great afternoon on the water!  This time of year the days are getting so much longer!  We hit the water around 4 and got off the water around 7:30, just as that perfect evening lighting had arrived!  Paddling at that time of day made me realize that it IS possible for me to get on the after after work some nights...  I would need to bring Gladys (Who will be paddling with me soon!)  on the after work paddles, but that works!! But there is time... I need to do that!  

Anyway.. back to Runaround Pond!  
If you haven't been here, you should go.  As far as ponds go, it isn't what you might expect.  It isn't round and it doesn't look the same at all of its edges... it's shaped kind of like a Y and there are lots of places to explore, especially early in the season.  As the season progresses the reeds will block some of your access.  

The sky was amazing today! 

This is Shannon paddling through the tunnel that connects the pond to a gorge like area... 

 Gorge Selfie!  (Not to be mistaken with GORGEOUS selfie!... ) 


Here is Shannon showing off her brut strength... I cannot be sure, but I believe I  heard her declare at one point, "I am strong like bull."  but this has not been confirmed!

The sun felt sooo good... and yes I wore sunscreen! 

Whoever owns this canoe... LUCKY!  Great spot to put in and what a great pond to have access to! 

Yup, there were turtles! 


And jokers!  ha!  

At one end of the Y (The right side) our path was blocked by a pretty ambitious beaver dam.  






At one point I got 'beached' and was in the muck!  (Don't worry, I got out!) 

This is my NEW paddle!  A WERNER carbon shaft paddle.   I have been having some minor shoulder issues and have been going to physical therapy (also amazing people!)  and it is getting better. I bought a lighter paddle to try to help... and it was a reward for some personal goals as well as an upcoming birthday!  So far I really like it.  I think I could have gone with the next size down, but I really like it!

Osprey!

More turtles!

Turtles and Yurtles? Nope Turtles and Yurts!  Maine Forest Yurts to be exact! If you ever wanted to stay in a YURT, this could be your spot.  Happens to be owned by a winner of Survivor! 

Shannon... not realizing she was being photographed...hence no pose was struck! 

There seems to be a lot of beaver activity... we caused two tail slaps today...


After the second beaver slap we headed back to the launch site... 

I had forgotten there were picnic tables here... what a nice spot! 


Before getting off the water we had to once again go into the gorge...





Oh... there was this... Shannon came to the party armed... armed with a squirt gun and got me pretty good... and then... she gave me my own!!  OH YEAH!  We had a good time and this is now coming with me on all paddles... be forewarned, I am armed and dangerous! 





I LOVE this part of this paddle!  


This was at the end of the paddle, look at that light!! 

Happy Paddling!