Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race

Paddle To The Sea....On DVD

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This has absolutely nothing to do with the Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race, but I thought I'd toss it onto the blog anyway. Janus Films and Criterion (a high quality, class act when it comes to film restoration and releases) are bringing a classic short film from 1966 to DVD this week.

Based on the classic children's book of the same title by Holling C. Holling, this film version of "Paddle To The Sea" was nominated for an Academy Award.

Many people around my age group (40ish) might remember this film from our grade school days, when dinosaurs ruled the Earth and our teachers used Bell & Howell 16mm film projectors in the classroom. Directed by Bill Mason, the 28 minute film depicts the travels of a schoolboy's hand carved canoe in the Great Lakes region of the upper Midwest, all the way to the Atlantic Ocean.

While I'm not a corporate shill, it's worth noting that the DVD can be purchased for a bit less than $12 on Amazon, for example. I'm looking forward to watching a short subject film I haven't seen since I sat next to (and flirted with) Danielle Hornsby in the 4th grade.

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Bangor Daily News Race Video & Article

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And I'd be remiss in my blogging duties if I failed to mention John Holyoke's post race article.

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Lost & Found Box (2008)

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If you have lost a boat and/or other gear, you may post your information here for others to see. Good luck!

Conversely, if you are a good samaritan who has found something belonging to someone else (or spotted it somewhere) and would like to try to alert the owner, this is a good place to give it a shot. Thank you for your help!

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Kenduskeag Water Lookin' Good For All Paddlers!

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Over 700 paddlers are registered for the 2008 race, not counting race day registrations!

Powerhouse paddlers Robert Lang (eleven time winner of the Kenduskeag) is returning to the Kenduskeag this year, and Trevor McLean will be participating in this year's race as well.

And from today's Bangor Daily News, quoting Bangor Parks & Recreation director Tracy Willette:

"I think the stream is at a pretty good level for everybody. Not too low, not too high," Willette said. "I think it’s going to be a pretty good course for everybody. I think the technical paddlers, the experienced paddlers, will enjoy it, and I think the beginners and recreational paddlers will have a good course to run."

Read the rest of John Holyoke's article here for more information and last-minute tips!

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Group Paddle Today, And You're Invited!

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The general public is invited to participate in a hands-on "preview" of the whitewater sections of the Kenduskeag Stream today!

Meet up near the area where the Kenduskeag Stream enters the Penobscot River (near the Sea Dog) at 4pm. You and your boat will be shuttled to Six Mile Falls, and you can paddle your way back to town under the guidance and tutelage of experienced paddlers who will go at your pace and skill level. Bring a dry change of clothes for when you get back to town!

This event is hosted by MaCKRO, the Maine Canoe & Kayak Racing Organization.

PS - on race day (Saturday) a special open house event will take place at the Sea Dog restaurant following the race, at 3pm. There will be snacks and live entertainment provided for anyone who wishes to attend after the race. And if you'd like to join MaCKRO, a special introductory rate of just five bucks will get you there.

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Old Town Canoe Offers Prizes For Fastest Boats

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Celebrating 110 years in the business, Old Town Canoe has offered to award a canoe to the fastest overall craft in this year's Kenduskeag, as well as an Old Town canoe to the fastest Old Town canoe, and an Old Town kayak to the fastest Old Town kayak in the race. Sweet!

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Portage Points (Maps)

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Six Mile Falls Portage (Optional Portage)

Flour Mill Dam (Mandatory Portage)

Maxfield Mill Dam (Mandatory Portage)

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Portage Update: Maxfield Mill Dam Area

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As some of you know, there is construction underway at the Valley Avenue bridge, a project which is scheduled to last into June.

There have been some concerns about the construction site and materials impeding the mandatory portage at the Valley Avenue intersection area (known as the Maxfield Mill Dam). Plastic fencing, rebar rods and work trailers are in the path of the portage, for example.

However, Parks & Recreation and a supervisor at the construction site have both mentioned that there's no reason for concern. A path will be cleared through the construction site and the area will be made safe for a portage on race day. No worries!
PS - the water looked GREAT today! Should be a blast. Remember to preregister if you haven't already.

Thanks to Clayton Cole and Pat Davis for providing info.


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A Passel Of Race Prep Information

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Jeff Owen of MaCKRO leads the Kenduskeag
sessions at the Paddle Smart event in Bangor
on April 12, 2008.


In case you were not able to attend Paddle Smart 2008 this past weekend which featured special Kenduskeag-related sessions, I took some notes and have posted them on the information page on my canoe race website. I hope you find this information helpful in prepping for the race next Saturday.

By the way, if you'd like to scout out the stream from Six Mile Falls to downtown Bangor in your boat, members of MaCKRO will be hosting an informal paddling event on Friday, April 18. Meet up with other paddlers near the finish line in downtown Bangor (near the Sea Dog) at 4pm. You'll go to Six Mile Falls and paddle (at your own pace and skill level) back to town.

Jeff Strout of the Bangor Daily News wrote a handy article about choosing a kayak that is right for you. So if you are in the market for a new kayak (heck, even if you're not) read Jeff's article here.

John Holyoke (also from the BDN) wrote an article a few days after last year's race - and his article is worth revisiting nearly a year later. "Sage Advice From a River Vulture" can be found here.

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Stream Conditions Report #1 - Kenduskeag and Souadabscook

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Here's a stream levels report which can be taken with a grain of salt, but I've decided to post it anyway as I am receiving many queries from out-of-towners looking to do the race. They want a general idea as to what they can expect this year, so here goes!

Much can change between now and April 19 as we know. There's still a good amount of snow and ice to melt off, and we may be in for a rainy weekend. We'll have to see how much rain we get during the week leading up to the race. It's worth noting that many veteran paddlers do not even bother to scout the stream until a day or two before the race. Yup, it can change that quickly. Therefore, a final stream conditions report will be posted on the eve of the race (Friday). Stay tuned!

But just for kicks, here are some videos of the Kenduskeag stream as of Thursday, April 10:

Six Mile Falls Video - My initial observation is that it's looking good. Not quite as high as last year, although as with last year, there is some noticeable flooding in the field near the Hudson Road where the vultures usually gather. While the flooding is not as bad as it was last year, it could limit spectator access. Lots of ice chunks coasting through. (Pat Davis could probably give us a better insight as he lives nearby and knows the stream well).

Shopping Cart Video - Water level is high enough that you can't stand on the banks easily, and there's a good swift current at the Shopping Cart but not as much of of that "hungry hydro scary water" that we saw last year. (Here's a photo from last year to give you an idea). As a side note, I'm told the Valley Stream bridge is undergoing renovations and will be out of service until June. Also, the parking area closest to the Shopping Cart (down the road from the Harlow Street Bridge) is torn up and closed off - so parking is not available there. Keep this in mind if you need someone to pick you up in that area after a trial run of the stream.

Flour Mill Video - This is a mandatory portage, so it's nothing a paddler would worry about. I just thought I'd toss it in here for the heck of it. Note that the boulder in midstream in this video was completely submerged at this time last year, so the water levels, while very good, are not as high this time around. For now, anyway!

Souadabscook Stream Video - Last but not least, if you are doing the Souadabscook Stream Canoe race (aka "The Sou") the day after tomorrow, I've included a short video from the Emerson Mill bridge. Lookin' good! I think this will be a fun race. A lot of the rocks are covered nicely, seems to be a good strong current there. There was a choppy section just downstream from the bridge with some decent standing waves. Can't remember if it was like that last year or not.

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