This morning, Wallace took Hansel and Gretel back to cross the famous Kennebec River. This is the only part of the trail that a thru-hiker is instructed to take a mode of transportation other than his feet. The Kennebec is apparently too deep and dangerous to ford, so the trail guide says to take “the ferry” across the river. Now the ferry only runs between 9 and 11 am, so it was very important that Hansel and Gretel get there on time. Wallace delivered them will little difficulty. Eager to see this dangerous river and the special ferry that would bring them safely across, Hansel and Gretel made there way towards the bank quickly.
Their arrival was accompanied by a hearty laugh. At the bank of the river stood a man wearing a brown knit wool cap that was pinned up on one side and had a feather sticking out of it. It sort of resembled a Robin Hood hat if you can imagine it. His hair was very long and he had a beard of course. When he opened his mouth to speak, Hansel and Gretel counted about 6 existing teeth, all of which were pointing in different directions and were stained yellow, maybe ever brown. This was a serious hill-billy man.
The grand ferry they had anticipated turned out to be a 3-person canoe captained by this toothless, bearded, Robin Hood hill-billy. Further more, the river itself was as calm as can be. Hansel was pretty sure he could have walked across it quite safely. The “ferry driver” could only take two people in his boat at a time and there were already 3 people waiting at the shore so Hansel and Gretel had to wait a little while.
When it was their turn to cross, Toothless Robin asked them to sign a release form and gave them life jackets to wear. Looking at this docile river made the need for life jackets seem like the most ridiculous thing ever. This whole situation was just ridiculous. Maybe at different times of the year the river is more treacherous, but today, the danger element was seriously lacking. When it was their turn to cross, Hansel took the front seat and assisted with the paddling. Toothless Robin paddled in the back and Gretel got a free ride in the middle. The most difficult part of the Kennebec crossing turned out to be showing up on time! I suppose after 2,000 miles of adventure, it doesn’t hurt to have a less eventful river crossing.
Happy trails and dental floss!
In the words of Gretel: "The especially not-so-epic crossing of the Kennebec via canoe."
Hansel paddling in the front. Note the oh-so-necessary life jacket.