Waking up to the crisp and cool morning was exceptionally pleasant. I laid there toasty warm in my sleeping bag as a stiff breeze rustled the fly and sang through the trees. The humidity had finally broken, the sky was blue and the air was fresh. I was surprised to see it so windy at only 6 a.m. Whitecaps had formed on the water thanks to the extended fetch of Long Lake. Luckily for me this was a tailwind. Boy was that some tailwind! I covered the 10 miles remaining on the Lake in just over an hour while practically surfing my boat from one bump to the next. Gleefully I would watch my bow start to pearl as the wave lifted the stern of my boat. A few paddle strokes and I would fly over the next hundred or so feet effortlessly within the body of the wave.
Again I entered the Moose River. This time the waterway featured more quick-water rapids instead of the slow moving upstream body. The tailwind served me well for the remainder of the day across Brassua and Little Brassua Lakes. Making my way to Moosehead Lake was made more difficult since the same wind was then across my direction of travel to Hardscrabble Point.
For the first time in many days I was able to lay out all of my clothing, open my hatches and dry every last piece of equipment. Before the sun got low I set out to reach the fire tower atop Mt Kineo. The view was astonishing. Aside from a few aspirational pine trees I was the tallest thing around and was privy to a 360 degree view bathed in the peachy tones of the setting sun.
Wind still out of the West but I needed to go North. Despite being on the water by 5:45 a.m. there were still waves and whitecaps that were large enough to break over my deck. Reprieve was found by hugging the western shoreline as a windbreak. While doing so I enjoyed the early morning sun and how it scattered across the roiling unprotected water. I also enjoyed the camps along the shoreline. Unlike the new construction that I saw in the Adirondacks, the camps along Moosehead Lake looked as if they’d been there a while. Never in a run down sense but in an older well-respected homey way that spoke to the nature of their owners who truly care about the property and its condition.
The Northeast Carry from Moosehead into the West Branch of the Penobscot was straight and flat. Along the road there was a spring with such delicious cold water that I drank until my teeth hurt.
I began looking for a campsite around 4 p.m. I had intended to go to Big Island. The sites were full. I tried the next site downstream. Also full. I paddled another few miles to Pine Stream which was fortuitous since I was welcomed by a beautiful sunset and in the morning, a moose.