2 miles 3 km Sheldon Springs Portage - Sheldon Junction
Sunny and hot
Russ “found” us this morning and came to say hallo. We had woken up late and after chatting with him we were only on the river at 9.45.
We paddled up to Sheldon Junction Bridge and tried to find a way up. It is like mountaineering getting the boat and kit up to the road.
In front of us now is a long portage past Abbey Rapids and we do not have a working canoe cart. We order an ice cream from the ice cream parlour, sit down at a table under the trees and think about our predicament. We have started this journey with the intention to do everything unassisted. Unlike yesterday it is developing into a hot muggy day and we cannot comtemplate a double portage along the road with no wheels. The problem needs to be solved.
After long soul searching, we decide to ring an outfitter for help to transport us to somewhere where we can get some new wheels. We ring Montgomery Adventures and get an answer machine. After an hour we have no reply and purchase some Internet megabytes from our Dutch phone provider and send them an email (hurrah for my iphone I bought just before this trip).
I get a prompt reply by mail to try another phone number. We make contact with Keith. He would like to help but he cannot come until his wife returns. We should ring again at 1pm. We ring again at 1 pm and he will come and get us around 2.30. We ask the owner of the ice cream stand is she minds if we stay put at her table under the trees. That is fine. She even offers that if we cannot arrange a lift, she will ask her husband with his truck to take us.
Do we want a lift or do we want to walk without a canoe cart?
A insight into American culture. I am surprised how many people drive and stop for an icecream. Many are locals.
Keith turns up at 2.30 and we explain our predicament. He suggests he takes us to Enosburgh Falls where there are repair workshops and hardware stores and we can probably get our wheels fixed.
Keith spends the whole afternoon with us while he takes us from one place to another searching for wheels and then to a repair shop to get them fixed onto the hubs. What a great friendly and patient guy he is. He kept on saying "No bother, I like helping people" and we are extremely grateful. We now have two new tires and inner tubes and some extra spacers on our portage trolley. Let us hope it works. This is model number 3 since starting.
Changing types on small wheel hubs is not easy. It takes 3 guys to get the new tires on. They pronounce that changing tractor tires is much easier.
It is now early evening, our cart is fixed but we need somewhere to stay.
Really we should go back to the start of Abby rapids to continue the trail uninterrupted but there is no campsite there.
We make a decision to go to Richford and stay at the Gray Gables Inn. That was a difficult decision* to make because it will cost us our 2* rating for the trail and we have missed part of the Missisquoi river.
But we cannot thank Keith enough for all the time and trouble he took to get our canoe cart fixed.
Amersfoort 12 august 2014
*We regret this decision for evermore. Having made this decision we then later shuttled the Grand Portage and the Dead River (no water).