Update from Emma Carlson, Program Director of Summer Wilderness Trips We’ve had some rainy days recently; they make me smile. When perfect, cloudless days come in a cluster (as they have at times this summer), it’s easy to get lulled into thinking that they’re the norm. Wrong. The norm in Maine is swinging from blue sky to thunderstorm and back again; from cool, starlit nights to hot, sticky ones that make you think you’ve stumbled into a rain forest. Leah Kramer-Heyman, who works in the WT office, told me today that her mother once sent her a saying by Roger Miller (who may or may not be the composer of “King of the Road”): “Some people walk in the rain; others just get wet.” At Chewonki, we teach kids to walk in the rain! This is a great thing. Think about the drought in California and fires in the Northwest. In so many ways, rain is good. Rain gives trippers a chance to refine their wilderness skills in a real-life setting. They need to remember exactly how to set up a tarp and a tent. If they do it wrong, things get wet. If they do it right, nothing feels better than putting on dry socks in a downpour. Weather is an unforgiving teacher, but an effective one! On we roll, rain or shine. North Woods Canoers have been enjoying Chamberlain Lake after successfully completing the challenging Mud Pond Carry. This is a long carry and notorious for being wet (there can be up to 2 feet of standing water on this part of the trail) but co-leader Nate Smith send word that it wasn’t bad at all (that’s what he thought, anyway!). Umbagog Whitewater Kayakers have been adding to their bags of tricks by practicing each day on the lake and the Rapid River. They are building muscles and skills in preparation for bigger rapids to come! Penobscot Whitewater Kayakers have been practicing their rolls with gusto. They recently ran the Big Eddy rapid, the first longer rapid they’ve tackled. It’s right next to their campsite, a nice place to step up to this new challenge. In the 100-Mile Wilderness, Maine Appalachian Trail Backpackers A (northbound) have hiked across the Barren-Chairback Range and on Tuesday reached the summit of White Cap Mountain. Tonight, they are putting their feet up beside the East Branch of the Pleasant River. Meanwhile, Maine Appalachian Trail Backpackers B (southbound) have climbed up and over the successive peaks of Bigelow Mountain, named after one of Col. Benedict Arnold’s majors, who climbed it in 1775 to see what he could see en route to invading Canada. The group’s now hiking toward Sugarloaf and Saddleback mountains. Weather has required some itinerary changes for the Mariners but they’ve proved to be a flexible crew. The up side is that they’re covering more miles and seeing more places than planned! They recently visited an especially quiet cove on Isle au Haut and hiked around Marshall Island, a large and uninhabited island. In contrast, they’ve also dipped into lively Bar Harbor. Maine Coast Kayakers recently enjoyed a rest day in the sunshine on a special island in Muscongus Bay. This private spot, which we’re able to visit thanks to the generous owners, feels almost enchanted. It’s one of my favorite islands on the coast. Hard to believe, but our intrepid Boatbuilders will be heading back to Chewonki on Thursday. They recently enjoyed a stop on Russ Island, off Stonington. I’m guessing they may have paddled from there over to nearby Green Island to take a swim in the fresh water of the old quarry there. The Northeast High Peakers bid farewell to the Adirondacks and are now adventuring in the mountains of the Gaspe Peninsula in maritime Quebec. They’ll spend a week in this beautiful area before heading back to Maine for a final week in Baxter State Park. Enjoy the weather–whatever it is, wherever you are!