Patapedia River Part II (The Kedgwick River)

June 10, 2009

Patapedia (Continued)

On to the Kedgwick River

Once we got back to Arpin’s we rendezvoused with Kathleen and Patrick who would be joining us for the Kedgwick portion of the trip.  We reloaded te trailer with four canoes and all of our gear and all seven of us piled into the Land Cruiser and once again, hit the dusty trails.

Reload

Reload

Roland's Fluffy Companions

Roland's Fluffy Companions

Close Quarters

Close Quarters

Our put in site on the Kedgwick River was at the Kedgwick Forks, where there was a spacious loading area.

I asked Roland take a photo of the new crew before he left with the truck and we paused for lunch before hitting the river.

The New Crew

The New Crew

The put in spot had a beautiful fishing pool and a spotting tower to look down into the pools to see the fish. Roland said that in the summer when the sun shines down at the right angle, you can see the fish shimmering in the light. Hundreds of them, he says.

Trout Spotting Tower

Trout Spotting Tower

From the top, the circular staircase looked like a fiddlehead.

Fiddlehead

Fiddlehead

We have a lunch in the tower which offers shade and a fabulous vantage point overlooking the river ahead.

Lunch in the Tower

Lunch in the Tower

In keeping with the nature of this trip, after lunch we seem to be in no hurry. Moon takes the opportunity to cast a line out over the Kedgwick to try her luck.

Moon Fly Fishing

Moon Fly Fishing

A short while later we make our way onto the water and head downstream. We’re not on the water for more than 15 minutes before some fiddleheads are spotted and we stop to pick some. It doesn’t take Patrick and Kathleen long to figure out, just as I did, what type of canoe trip this was going to be (that is, a leisurely one).

Fiddleheads

Fiddleheads

Beth takes this time while the others are busy filling their hats with fiddleheads to cast her line in.

Opportunity

Seizing an Opportunity

Fiddleheads

Fiddleheads

Trillium

Trillium

Now, it may seem that we spend more time off the water than on, and that may very well be true, but the purpose of a trip like this is simply to enjoy yourself as much as possible, and be in no hurry.  I believe we accomplished both of these tasks quite respectably. The two fishers were together in a canoe and we agreed that if we lost them, that we would continue on without them, knowing that they likely had found an irresistable pool to cast their flies into. We continued on in this manner for a while before realizing, quite tragically that this canoe also contained all of the appetizers. When we realized this we decided to stop in a nice spot in the sun (as today was quite a bit cooler than yesterday) and wait for them to come around the corner.

While we waited, I decided it would be a fine spot to go for a swim, so I got into my bathing suit and walked upstream a ways so that I could float down. This proved to be a fair bit more difficult than it was on the Patapedia as the water here was much more shallow and I had to float feet first while almost crawling along the bottom downstream. The water was cold and refreshing until I joined a small stream which contributed to the Kedgwick from the same side we were on. This water was much clearer and MUCH colder than the river water in the Kedgwick. One pass down the river was enough for me today and I dried off and sat on the rocks of the beach, sunning myself like a snake catching the first rays of the hot spring sun.

When they did arrive, we were still in no hurry and they tried our little rest spot, hoping for a bite.

Presentation

Beth's Presentation

Presentation

Moon's Presentation

Again, we head further South and the trees explode into a pale green collage, lighting up the river valley on either side until the river winds out of sight again.

Kedgwick Green

Kedgwick Green

Turning a corner we spotted a large bull moose who seemed more annoyed than frightened at our presence. Either way, it loped along the shore and disappeared into the woods. This is where we stopped and made camp for the night.

I followed the moose tracks into the woods and found a forest floor that had been swept away by the rising water, ferns and trillium had replaced the debris and moss, and beaver and moose tracks criss-crossed the smooth, clean mud.

White Trillium

White Trillium

Moose Tracks

Moose Tracks

Flood path

Flood path

Ferns on the Floor

Ferns on the Floor

Campsite on the Kedgwick

Campsite on the Kedgwick

Burn Mark

Burn Mark

Stillness

Stillness

This next photo taken from our campsite reminded me of evenings in River John where we would sit and watch the sun cast long shadows from our dinner table.  Mom would always say, “You know, I just love the way the light hits the trees like that, with that golden light and the dark clouds behind.”  And we would know, as she never misses an opportunity to point out when the light hits the trees like that.  Since she wasn’t around, I took it upon myself to point it out.  Beautiful istn’ it?

Evening Light

The way the light hits the trees like that

Pink Clouds

Pink Clouds

Patrick brought with him a frozen salmon which he smoked over the fire in his smoker.  This would have been a five star meal at any restaurant, but out here, in the open space of the Northern New Brunswick wilderness, it was a masterpiece.  Of course, served with fresh (only the freshest!) fiddleheads.

Smoked Salmon

Smoked Salmon

Then, as it tends to do once bellies are full and all of the day’s chores are done, the day turned into night.  The night sky here had such a texture that you feel as though you could just reach up and touch it.  No photo will ever describe the sense of connectedness, and simultaneously the sense of aloneness that looking up at the night sky with no light pollution can bring.  It’s something that humans have been doing since the dawn of time, and will continue to do, because no matter how many times I look up at the infinite space, each time is a new and brilliant discovery for me.

Milky way

Milky way

In the morning, I got up and made black bean burritos for breakfast.  I had made the filling at home and dehydrated it, so it was just a matter of reconstituting it and heating up some soft tortillas.  I also brought some grapefruit as a pre-burrito appetizer and of course, lots of hot coffee.

Black Bean Burritos

Black Bean Burritos

Grapefruit

Grapefruit

Enjoying Breakfast

Enjoying Breakfast

Morning Sun

Morning Sun

After breakfast we broke camp and took our time gathering our belongings.  It takes no time at all for our things to be strewn about the whole island once we move in, but it doesn’t really take very long to pack it all up again either.

Breaking Camp

Breaking Camp

This is where I slept, by the river.  I think they were the only two trees on this island (just barely) big enough to hold me.

Waterfront Property

Waterfront Property

We continued along in the usual way, stopping frequently for pee breaks and snack breaks.

Beth is enjoying herself

Beth is enjoying herself

There were many more birds here as well, swallows and sandpipers were everywhere!  Here is a swallow’s nest in the sandy cliffs where erosion has exposed a nice spot for the bird to make a home.

Swallows Nest

Swallows Nest

Kedgwick

Kedgwick

New Bridge and an Old Bridge

New Bridge and an Old Bridge

We crossed under a bridge into cabin country again, where each side was dotted with fishing camps.  During one stop, Tess spotted a Northern Parula which wasn’t shy at all and let me get fairly close to take these photos.

Northern Parula

Northern Parula

Now the rain was surrounding us and threatened to spill on us any moment.

Threatening Rain

Threatening Rain

Rain

Rain

Me again

Me again

We stoppe here for a snack of figs and walnuts and some fishing time.  It began to rain quite steadily so we decided to press on.

Fishin' in the Rain

Fishin' in the Rain

Characters

Characters

Popcorn keeps Popping

the Popcorn keeps Popping

Birch

Birch

A while later, we stop for lunch.  We find a nice spot up on the left where there is a grassy opening that seems welcoming.

Lunchtime

Lunchtime

Though it has stopped raining for the time being, it doesn’t look like it’s over.

Storm Clouds

Storm Clouds

New Buds

New Buds

We look around for some fiddleheads and in doing so, Beth finds some Duchman’s Breeches, a member of the Bleeding Heart sub-family.  Here I also found two grocery bags worth of beer cans as well, which were thrown into the woods.  Luckily, among the garbage was a grocery bag as well, which proved useful in their collection.

Duchman's Breeches

Duchman's Breeches

And, as it promised, the rain arrived just as we embarked again.

Rain

Then comes the Rain

We heard some distant thunder and we wondered out loud whether we should be on the water or not.  Counting the seconds between lightning and thunder we guessed about twenty miles away.  Then with no warning, a flash of light came that we could feel on our faces, then the most horrendous crack of thunder.  I thought to myself,”man, that’s loud” and then the actual sound came,.  “KA BOOOOM”  It knocked the wind out of me.  This was followed closely by the sound of Beth’s whistle and we hurried to the shoreline and got out of our boats.  Two canoes behind us ended up on the other shore up stream and when all were safe, we waited.

Open Up

Open Up

Then, after the lightning settled a bit and moved on, the rain came harder than ever before.  The sky opened up and the rain just dumped on us.  The wind on the river made patterns in the surface and the rain was unlike anything I had seen before.

Thunder and Lightning

Thunder and Lightning

Upstream

Upstream

Once it seemed to have passed we entered our boats again and prepared to make our move, but the lightning just then came back and forced us to the shore again.

Grab the Bailer

Grab the Bailer

Once we were certain that the rain was letting up and the lightning had passed for good, we continued downstream again.  Not far from this spot was the end of Fall Brook which dumped into the Kedgwick River.  There was a campsite here and, no surprises here, a set of falls.

Falls Brook Falls

Falls Brook Falls

This was our last stretch of Kedgwick River before we entered the Restigouche once again.

Kedgwick River

Kedgwick River

Once the Restigouche was in sight, the sky turned blue and the sun appeared again.  We could see the storm clouds retreating in the distance revealing a beautiful blue sky and the warmth of the sun was a welcome change from the last several hours of rain.

Meeting the Restigouche

Meeting the Restigouche

We roped our canoes over to the landing area at Arpin’s, unloaded and washed out our canoes and tumbled onto the lawn where we removed our wet rain gear and enjoyed the afterglow of another wonderful wilderness adventure.

End of the Line

End of the Line

Restigouche

Restigouche

Last Look Back

Last Look Back

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10 Responses to “Patapedia River Part II (The Kedgwick River)”

  1. Paul, Glad you enjoyed the canoe trip. Wonderful pictures and trip discription. I was in the area a few days later and spent a wonderful day with Andre Arpin scouting out a few spectacular waterfalls. Nice shot of Falls Brook Falls.

    Nick

    • gypsyproductions said

      Thanks Nick,
      We had such a wonderful time up there. We almost didn’t have time to go check out the Falls Brook Falls, but I’m glad we did. I’m sure there are so many more hidden wonders in that area. You could spend a lifetime in there discovering places that leave you breathless. See you around.

      Cheers!
      Paul

  2. Muriel said

    Wow! so many great shots and comments.
    I love the final shot here, looking back at the canoes. I move along with you with your photos and descriptions. You have my attention!!

  3. dan said

    hi, im trying to establish where about these photos are?
    are they actually on the kedgwick river?
    is this near the town of kedgwick or is it nearer the mouth of the river Restigouche by the sea??

    • gypsyproductions said

      Hey Dan,
      Yes, these photos (at least in the last post here) are from the Kedgwick River. The Kedgwick River runs parallel to the Patapedia (in the first post in this story) ends up at the Restigouche at Andre Arpin’s place, which is closer to the town of Kedgwick. This link: http://www.canoerestigouche.ca/english/journey.htm
      shows a good map of where we were.

      Thanks for reading,
      Cheers!

      Paul

  4. dan said

    you say ‘at least from the last post’ that these pics are from the kedgwick river. do you mean the page that says patapedia part 2? this page is all from the kedgwick river yes? (apart from the last few pics where you meet the Restigouche river?

  5. dan said

    around this whole area, can you tell me are the trees only big on the river banks like in your photos or are they just as big further away from the river? are the same species of trees found away from the river also??

    basicaly is the forest on the river banks the same as further away from the river?

    • gypsyproductions said

      Hey Dan,
      Yeah, the post called Patapedia part 2 is all from Kedgwick River, up until we meet the Restigouche. And I don’t actually know what’s deeper in the woods, we honestly never left the river. I’m interested to know why you’re asking. It really is a supremely beautiful area!

      Cheers!
      Paul

  6. Chris Lantz said

    Paul,

    Really enjoyed your Blog. I noticed some of you fishing. Are you residents of NB fishing public water or did you have a salmon guide with you? Am planning a canoe trip with our 2 boys to that area in June and would love to include a little fly fishing here and there.

    Thx

    Chris Lantz
    Charlottetown

  7. Darrell said

    great photos, next time we will have to try the Pat. Have been going in the fall and the water has been a little low.

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