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Rhon Bell

Rhon Bell, an outdoor enthusiast, spends his time exploring the Maine Woods and documenting his journeys. Growing up in Aroostook County, he embraced the outdoor lifestyle at a young age. Living today near Portland, he spends weekends and week-long adventures hiking New England summits, canoeing the historic Maine waterways, and ice fishing for lake trout. Follow the journey as Window to the Woods discovers new destinations, and check out his other blog, Backwoods Plaid.

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Window to the Woods with Rhon Bell
Posted: July 10, 2013

Kayak Camping in Remote Maine | Loons | Sunsets

With kayaks securely fastened atop the roof and a laundry-list of meticulously packed gear in toe, our journey began. For the next four days we would venture across a remote chain of lakes deep in the heart of the Maine Woods. Our kayaks would be our mode of transport, a backpacking tent our home, and a lightweight cook stove our warm-meal-supplier. These are the types of adventures men dream about. Painstaking planning is required for you can’t forget anything crucial as all your gear needs to fit within a kayak,  needing to last you five days.

The journey to the Debsconeag Lakes from Southern Maine is long. Original plans included a cheap motel stay on the first night and we’d wake early and well-rested – semi-close to our starting point. However, I’d rather wake early with $90 still in my pocket, so we completed the entirety of our drive and arrived to our launch site at midnight. With a quick setup of the tent on the beach, I was breathing heavy from within my warm sleeping bag not 20 minutes after tossing the Jeep in park.

The primitive campsites chosen for this trip are located on sandbars along the shore. White sand between my toes and wilderness camping – an odd combination, but what else could one ask for? Well it would be nice if Casco, our 90lb chocolate lab could join, but it’s true that he wouldn’t fit in a kayak and swimming for days on end would be short of impossible. This is why we packed an inflatable raft! This will be one hell of an adventure…

Here are some photos from the beginning of our journey. Stay tuned for concluding posts.

A Maine tradition – an Old Town canoe. This belongs to a fellow paddler. Soon I’ll own one myself.
 patiently waits for take-off. Today marks his first day in a personal flotation device.
Seemingly unaffected by his new-found buoyancy.
Each time the dinghy floats around a corner,  re-positions to keep me within eye sight.
Arriving to camp.
Eggs, bagels, and sandy feet. Breakfast on the beach.
Perfection in reflection.
My first kayak has been a great one. My Manatee Deluxe shoots straight as an arrow and really paddles well throughout a variety of conditions.
Current reading. A great New England book suggested to me by one of my favorite outdoor columnists.
Our kitchen for the next four days.
Paddling through one of the greatest sunsets I’ve ever watched. Our campsite is .
Evening reading during the last light of day.
One of Maine’s true beauties, a loon. One of many spotted near the tent.


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