Fuggedabout the freakin’ zombies, wudja?… This will be white-water rafting on the Dead River. Periodically over the summer months, they open the floodgates on some of our impound lakes here in Maine, and the river levels can rise to class three and four white-water. Over Labor Day weekend, there’ll be a release up on the Dead that will raise the flow by 6000 CFS. Imma gonna be there when they raise The Dead!
I was really surprised when I realized that I had never gotten around to putting up a post about this fact. Back on July 15 was the deadline for getting a reservation in for the trip. One of my buddies who doesn’t have any camping stuff called me up on the 14th and said that he would foot the fee for both of us if I would bring the gear. I’ll be going down the river with 20 to 30 people I know from back in my days on Cape Cod. They’ve been going with the flow every Labor Day for 10 or 12 years.
Better yet, my friend is taking a couple of extra days off around the long weekend, so we will have from Wednesday through Tuesday to go play Upptacamp, in the woods, and on the river. The release is set for Sunday, and at least parts of our group will be camping up at The Forks, Friday PM through Monday morning. The rafting company has a campground right on the banks of the Dead River at the point where you take out, and they even provide a barbecue after the rafting trip. My friends have always raved about this yearly event and I’m really excited that I’ll be part of it this year.
Probably the greatest thing about this trip is the fact that everyone who will be going down the Dead River that day are among “The Risen Dead” or “The Grateful We’re NOT Dead”. They are all addicts in recovery. Nobody will be drinking. Nobody will be drugging. Everybody will just be there having a good time together. And best all for the rest of you ordinary people, since none of them need to scrounge up money for drugs five or six times a day anymore, none of them will be breaking into your house, and ripping you off while you’re away for the Labor Day weekend. Recovery is not just for the addict.
These two photos are of my wonderful friend Alison and her daughters going down the adjoining Kennebec River this last weekend when they opened the dam at Indian Pond. She is the one in the front hidden behind her paddle and screaming “Banzai”.
The Kennebec and the Dead flow into each other right there where we will be camping. Hence the name, “The Forks”.