This mornings fog is just beginning to lift on Chewonki Neck. It is the start of another typical typical day in the Wilderness Trip Office. Over the weekend we have had check ins from all of the extended trips that are in the field. Yesterday the first of the cabin trips departed with the Xanadu Yurt traveling north to Big Eddy Campground and a week of whitewater kayaking on the West Branch of the Penobscot. This morning after an early breakfast South Hall cabin headed north to the West Branch for their 5-day canoe trip from Lobster Stream to Chesuncook Lake and Umbazooksus. The West Branch is a classic northwoods canoe route that is steeped in history. Tribal member and director of natural resources for the Penobscot Nation, John Banks is quoted in the book, Above the Gravel Bar, the Native Canoe Routes of Maine, “We are the river. The river is us, it is in our viens. It is the absolute center of who we are as tribal people”. Over the course of the summer Chewonki groups will travel the West Branch and many of the historical canoe routes that have been traveled for centuries by the Penobscot, Micmac, Passamaquoddy and Maliseet tribes who are now collectively known as the Wabanaki. Also leaving Chewonki Neck is the group from Shang Tu. This morning they loaded their sea kayaks and paddled away from the Chewonki waterfront heading for Castle Island and the first night of their 7-day paddling trip. Over the next week the group will travel through Hockomock and Nubble Bays, cross the mouth of the Sheepscot River, pass Ocean Point and complete their trip after paddling up river to Damariscotta. It s hard to believe but today we begin the first of our extended trip resupplies. This afternoon staff will meet up with more provisions for both Maine AT Backpack and the West Branch Explorers. Both groups will rendezvous on the Appalachian Trail near Katahdin Ironworks at the stand of old growth pine know as the Hermatige. After the resupply the Backpackers will continue north toward Mount Katahdin and the Explorers will head south to the Drew Valley where in a few days they will switch backpacks for canoes and travel to the West Branch of the Penobscot. This morning we also had check ins from our sea kayakers who are spending a foggy rest day on Harbor Island and the Mariners who have arrived at Hurricane Island in Penobscot Bay. Five Week Trips Yesterday we welcomed the Boatbuilders Expedition and George River Expedition Participants. This year is the 25 anniversary of Chewonki’s Boatbuilder program. We are happy to welcome back kayak designer and builder Bil Thomas to work with our boatbuilders. Bill is a full-time sea kayak builder and teaches at the Wooden Boat School. This is the 20 anniversary of the George River Expedition and tomorrow the group will leave before the crack of dawn to begin their drive to Sept Iles Quebec where on Thursday they will load canoes and gear onto the Quebec North Shore and Labrador Railroad for the 12 hour trip to Schefferville Quebec. In Schefferville they will spend the night at the McGill University Sub-arctic Researc Station and early the next morning they will begin their canoe journey on Lac Attigamagen. Twenty five days later they will paddle into the Inuit community of Kangiqsulujjuaq on the shores of Ungava Bay after traveling through some of the most remote country in the northeast.