Saturday, April 15, 2006
Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race
They're out there. They've been driving by the house since dawn, despite temps in the 40's and the drizzly rain. Caught sight of a car parked in the field entrance last night - they're probably going too, it's too cold for serious necking this time of year, particularly in the little jobbies that pass for cars today. (Damn, I never thought I'd miss the backseat of a '53 Chevrolet!)
Where are they all going? The 2006 Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race, that's where. Already, they've loaded up on huge mounds of buttermilk pancakes, miles of pork sausage and tanker trucks full of steaming coffee at the Grange Hall breakfast. Serious competitors were in line at 6:30AM to pick up their numbers and have been on the water ever since, jockeying for an advantageous starting position.
Some have been paddling now for two and a half hours and are about to appear at the most accessible place for public viewing -- Six Mile Falls (so-named as it's six miles, more or less, from the confluence with the Penobscot River in Bangor). They should be just now appearing on WABI-TV, riding the limited amount of whitewater we have this year (no snow equals no runoff and low water for the race) to the cheers and jeers of the crowd. We call them "river vultures," these folks who come out to hoot and holler at the racers as they make their way through the often treacherous rocks and ledges.
UPDATE - WABI canceled coverage, the rat bastards! Grumble, grumble.