Come along in a journey that retraces ancient wisdom and ways from the river out to sea. We begin our journey at Kroka preparing food and equipment for our long journey. Next we head up to Maine to the homestead of a local artisan who will teach us to carve our own wooden paddles! We will meet master canoe builder, Rollin Thurlow, and learn how he builds handmade cedar canoes. We will also enjoy Maine life in the summertime: swimming, paddling, and exploring the northern forests. After a week of preparation we are ready to set off down the Penobscot River, the ancestral home of the Penobscot Nation, which we will follow all the way out into the ocean for our boat’s maiden voyage. Learning the indigenous story of relationship between people and place, we will spend a day with Penobscot guides on Sugar Island focused on native plants and crafts, visit the Penobscot reservation on Indian Island, eat a traditional meal, and learn basketry and other crafts. An exciting day of white water below Indian Island will bring us to where the river becomes tidal and our rhythms shift to paddle with the tides, sail with the wind, and navigate between islands and through fog. We will learn practical leadership skills, become expert ocean navigators, and learn to set camp on the rocky shores and inlets of the spectacular Deer Isle Archipelago. Through it all, we share in the hard work and simple joys of our salty, nomadic life.
Kroka’s annual Canadian Expedition is a capstone experience for students ready for the adventure of a lifetime. Each year we take a team of dedicated paddlers to one of the great rivers of the North: the Ashuapmushuan, Coulonge, Moisie, Broadback, and others. Pristine and breathtakingly beautiful, these rivers drain the vast northern forests of Quebec and Ontario, accessible only by remote logging routes seldom driven. Traveling self-sufficiently downriver, we experience the awe-inspiring beauty of the north country and some of the best whitewater paddling in the East. In the afternoons we make camp along the gravel bars and rocky beaches, gather mushrooms, fish and berries to eat, and sleep under an endless starry sky. Canadian Expedition takes us deep into remote wilderness where the joys and challenges of expedition life bring out our best selves. As we travel to and from the river we experience the cultural lifeways of northern people, visiting with local indigenous communities, post-industrial villages, and the old cities of Quebec and Montreal. Students are expected to dehydrate expedition food and take on advance preparation tasks before the start of the expedition.