Saturday marked a significant change here at Maine Outdoors. When we started a very long time ago short canoe trips for visitors to the area were a significant part of the plan. Over the years canoe trip sales have dwindled. I do not have a good explanation; at first it was the rise of interest in sea kayaking. For a brief while we offered sea kayak trips although the interest in that waned over time and was eliminated.
We continued to have canoe trips available although for about ten years the number of trips we ran has been very low and for the last few years only one was in the books for entire seasons. After a while even I can read the handwriting on the wall and the canoe trips were removed from our list of offerings this winter.
Two of the canoes on our trailer were Old Town XL Trippers, 20 feet long and very stable. Interesting that Old Town produced fewer than 100 of these in any year. They could carry me and two or three kids who were not always interested in sitting still with ease. They also could easily handle a trolling motor or small outboard. Boats I came to depend on for a lot of tasks. However they were heavy even when they first arrived and I was much younger; on and off of the trailer was not easy even 10 years ago.
Last summer I determined that alone I simply could not handle one on and off the trailer. Argy and I spent a couple of days at Red River Camps and the conversation turned to those stable and able canoes. In short order a price was agreed on for mine and Saturday Jen came down to take them away to the Deboullie country in Northern Maine.
Sad, I suppose but pleasant to think that they will still be in service in the far north being paddled on remote ponds by folks fishing for native trout. Even if we are not offering canoe trips any longer. We still have a few 17 foot Old Town Trippers on the trailer just in case things change.