Archives for posts with tag: wood canvas canoe

This was Canoe the Wild’s 4th Allagash canoe trip this August. Beginning on Churchill Lake skipping the larger headwater lakes. We experienced rain, sun, thunder showers, listened to loons, watched an early morning moose feeding and viewed the night sky without light pollution!  We had first timers and Roy who did the trip 4 times (over 45 years ago) with the St. Croix Voyagers as a young teen. Back then he paddled the Allagash in a wood canvas canoe, slept in a canvas tent and nobody wore life jackets! Times sure have changed! St. Croix Voyager Groups would often get to the Allagash by paddling up Moosehead Lake from Greenville, portage into the West Branch of the Penobscot River via the Northeast Carry which is the route of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, paddle up Umbazooksus Stream and portage gear and canoes via the Mud Pond Carry (1.7 mile) over to Mud Pond then into Chamberlain Lake. On some trips they paddled and dragged upstream to Coucmogomoc Lake on their way to Allagash Lake then down Allagash Stream to Chamberlain Lake. It was an all summer affair! Check out our 2020 schedule  for Allagash canoe trips, 4 to 7 days in duration: https://canoethewild.com/2020-schedule/

Dave Conley Master Maine Guide and owner of Canoe the Wild, has been paddling the rivers of Maine and Canada since 1985. During the school year, Dave teaches an outdoor education program at East Grand High School in Danforth, ME, host to the annual East Grand Adventure Race. In the fall, guided moose hunts are offered in northern Maine.

MEET DAVE

I grew up in the mid coast Maine town of Boothbay Harbor with my parents, Ervin and Jane Conley, and three siblings, Tari, Jan, and Mark.  I have fond memories in the fall at the age of 11 getting up hours before sunrise to travel to Pemaquid Stream with my father to go duck hunting. We would launch our wood canvas canoe well before first light, paddle up the Pemaquid Stream, setting out decoys and wait for first light. I think it was here that I fell in love with being outdoors on the water, and I am so thankful for a father that introduced me to hunting at a young age.

As a teenager, my passion for the water continued when my father loaned me $2,500 to buy a used 14’ wooden flat-bottom lobstering skiff, new 25 HP Evinrude outboard motor, and 25 lobster traps to get started. I was able to pay him back in just two seasons. This passion of being on the water continued through my high school years, spending summers on the Sheepscot River pulling traps by hand.

During my college years I worked summers in the family business but longed for a place less crowded than the mid coast region. I found what I was looking for in northern Maine. It was here I developed and oversaw a canoe tripping program in the East Grand Lake area for a summer camp. I enjoyed 21 summers paddling the rivers of Maine and Canada in my Old Town canoe, introducing others to the great outdoors while assisting with developing outdoor living and paddling skills.

Obtaining my Maine Guide license in the early 90’s was a prerequisite to starting my Canoe The Wild guiding business. The tripping season here runs from late May to mid-September, leaving time for other ventures such as guiding moose hunts in the fall from remote camps, overseeing an outdoor education program for students at the East Grand School since the mid-90’s, and selling Christmas trees and wreaths in Central Virginia for the past 27 years.

What I’ve discovered with the guiding business is that there are plenty of people looking for the exact same feeling I experienced at a young age on Pemaquid Stream, a desire to experience the outdoors with a break from daily routines. People of all ages and experience levels take part in our guided canoe trips. Many will take part in canoe camping for the first time this summer. Trip highlights include young people (freed of electronics) flourishing on the river and around the campsite, taking in a simpler way of life such as collecting fire wood, learning to use a saw and ax, building a campfire, catching a fish, hanging around the campfire, star gazing after dark, spotting and identifying wildlife such as moose, and experiencing the song of the loons.

I see a lot of recent growth within the guiding industry for a few simple reasons. Guided trips provide people with a quality, safe, and well-organized experience. Families, private groups and individuals choose guided trips to leave the pre-trip planning, logistics, gear and meals for the guide to take care of.

Each season, we offer about 12-15 trips with 3-5 day trips being the most popular for first timers, and the more adventuresome choosing a week or longer on a whitewater canoeing trip in Quebec.(see 2018 summer schedule).

For more information about Canoe The Wild, Dave’s guiding company, visit their website for at www.canoethewild.comBe sure to check back in May for Dave’s first educational article!

https://www.oldtowncanoe.com/blog/article/canoe-tips-dave-conley