Daddy/Daughter Kennebec Adventure

Northern lunch site Kennebec rafting

After 8 previous trips with Northern Outdoors with "the guys", we decided to change things up a bit and bring our daughters. So, on August 1, we drove up to the Forks with 5 of our 11-16 year olds for a new adventure.

Arrived at the lodge around 4:00 and while the girls did some campground sightseeing the dads hung out at the bar and indulged in a little blueberry. We unpacked, settled in, did a little swimming and came up for dinner in the restaurant, where we had a great night-before feast. We had a little more blueberry (for the dads) and went back to our fantastic cabin for the night. We got things ready for the next morning and hit the sack before 11:00.

6:00 came early on Friday morning and after a little extra nudging the girls were out of bed, packed the car and went up for the breakfast buffet before our Kennebec adventure. Aside from having sleep in their eyes, they did seem a little anxious/nervous but after a good breakfast and a bumpy ride to the dam, they loosened up a bit…until they saw the trek down the stairs, with the raft and the river below 🙂 I failed to mentioned that it had been pouring since the night before and we we all soaked even before we hit the river. So, the chill had set in.

One of the things I have done over the years is to request a guide when I book and have been very fortunate to have someone I had requested. This time we asked for Dawn as I know she is a darn good guide and have seen her interact with her guests. I thought it would be great for our girls to be lead by a strong, confident female guide. She did not let us down. She showed up and introduced herself and looked at the girls who looked like wet, cold drowned rats already. She then pulled out a dry-bag and introduced a few of them to some wool leggings, gloves and hats for those interested. All of a sudden, their faces brightened and they were ready to go… so much for the "dads" knowing what specific clothing would be good for them. We tried and Dawn helped us succeed.

Needless to say, our raft of 8 was filled with loud shrieks of fear and excitement on the first few hits, but as soon as we hit Big Mamma and a few girls went tumbling around the raft, they were awakened, if not already, for the rest of the day. In fact, their confidence grew to a such a high level that moved most of them to the front of the raft and taking the remainder of the hits, including Magic Falls from the front, while the dads "paddled" hard from the back. This confidense was awesome to see and Dawn is a HUGE reason for this change due to her great personality, coaching and leading abilities. In fact, we realized very soon, we should just sit back (paddle harder than normal :)) and let Dawn do her thing with the girls. By the time the gorge area was complete the girls were ready to "be dumped". We had a little swim through the smaller rapids, fooled around on the "duckies" and ended the trip with the sun coming out and drying us up before he headed back to the lodge for lunch.

All in all, another fantastic trip (this makes 9 now). The girls have a new found respect for the trip the dads go on annually and want to go and do them now too. Onto the Dead in 2014 for the girls and the dads will hit the Kennebec Turbine Test again – maybe this time we wont flip on Maytag 🙂

Thanks again to the reservation staff, restaurant/bar staff, housekeeping and to our guide DAWN for a great trip. You have hooked another 5 guests and these girls will be back again!!!


Kevin L
Pelham, NH

Rating: 5 *****

Father / Daughter Rafting in Maine


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