Member Trip report

Trip to a camp on the St. John River


Trip Report/Photos from BillyB1976

Featured Photo

Al Cowperthwaite, who works for North Maine Woods, had to go to a camp North Maine Woods leases at the site of the former Nine Mile Bridge on the St. John River.  He got a report that trees had fallen onto the roof and he needed to go remove them.  I found out about this trip through email exchanges, and asked if I could tag along.  He said I could.

Besides removing the trees from the camp, Al had to stop at the campsite at Second Musquacook Lake (Squirrel Pocket) to deliver a picnic table. The picnic tables are in sections and put together onsite.  I helped nail some of the sections together.  If the table falls apart, it is not my fault!  LOL  :)

We continued west to the camp on the St. John River, stopping at Clayton Lake along the way.  Clayton Lake is basically a logging depot, and many of the buildings have been there since at least the early 1920's.

The last mile of the road to the camp was rough but passable.  Al got to work cutting the trees down.  My job was to toss the branches and cut up sections of the trees off to the side. 

For anybody who watches Maine Cabin Masters, that group restored this camp in May 2015.  At that time they went by Lost Cabin Hunters, and that was a precursor to the TV show.  This is an old trappers camp, and is over 100 years old.

Once the job at the camp was done, we headed to the Quebec border at St. Pamphile.  Al had to read the electric meter for the checkpoint there.  The meter is actually on a pole a few feet on the Canadian side of the border, so he had to check in with Canadian customs to let them know what he was doing.  I stood on the U.S. side while he was reading the meter.

Al also needed to go to the checkpoint to pack up personal items from the couple that used to work there.  They had left personal items there last fall because they planned on working there this year when the checkpoint opened in May.  With COVID and the border restrictions, that checkpoint did not open this year.  Just a few weeks ago the wife of that couple died.  The husband will not be returning to work there, so Al and I had to pack up their personal items. 

The husband lives in Portage, and Al wanted to drop the items off.  That plan was going well until we reached bridge construction that blocked the road.  There was misinformation regarding the location of the bridge construction.  I thought the bridge was beyond were we needed to turn onto another road to continue to Portage, but I was given incorrect info.  Because of this, we had to turn around and go back 23 miles and take another road.  Because of this, Al decided not to deliver the items that day, because it would be late when we got back, and would wait until Thursday.

This was a long day, traveling around 248 miles on woods roads.  We did see a few moose in the evening, and plenty of partridge.  Al hit a partridge with his truck! We got out to look for it, but couldn't find it.  Al is a hunter, and shot one partridge on the trip.  He tried a couple more times, but missed.  

BillyB1976 Posted Oct 8, 2020 at 9:38 PM

Thank you for the comment JPHiker. :)

JPHiker Posted Oct 8, 2020 at 8:44 PM

Good work, and great story

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