Last Blast on the Dead River: The Fall Rafting Finale
It’s the first Saturday in October, you have a steaming mug of Carrabassett Coffee in your hand, sitting on your cabin porch watching the fog rise over Martin Pond, the sun hitting the red, orange and gold leaves.
You walk over to the main lodge for a hearty breakfast and rafting orientation. It’s the final weekend of rafting season, the last chance to fly through 16 miles of continuous whitewater on the Dead River. The river will be running at 6000+ cubic feet per second. The guides’ excitement is palpable — they only get to run the Dead 8 times each rafting season — and October may just be the most spectacular time on the river.
After safety orientation, you gear up, wetsuits, helmets, splash jackets. Guides like Victor or Schaub entertain you on the ride to the put-in with bad jokes and local history. The changing trees put on a show out your window. You’re ready to hit the rapids!
Miles and miles of class 3 and class 4 rapids, which Guide Luke DiSilvestro once described as a “crescendo of intensity from top to bottom.” At first you take a seat near the back of the raft, it feels safer. By the time you reach Big Poplar you’ve moved to the front of the raft. You want a front row seat for the big hits.
Your adrenaline is still surging as you approach the take-out, only a few miles up the road from the resort, where your celebratory pint awaits. While enjoying a cookout, photo slide show and video recap, you laugh at the expressions on your friends’ faces when you hit the big rapids, faces you didn’t see through all that whitewater. You can’t wait to share the photos with your friends that missed your epic adventure.
After you relax in the hot tub, the Saturday night Cornhole Tournament starts on the deck. The Halloween Party gets rocking in the lodge. It’s Last Blast weekend, and once you’ve experienced it you’ll know why our guides were so excited to begin the day.