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Kayaks (and canoes) vs. Bikes

09/02/2014
A kayak awaits launch into the waters of Sebec Lake at Peaks-Kenny State Park. That's Mount Borestone in the background.

A kayak awaits launch into the waters of Sebec Lake at Peaks-Kenny State Park. That’s Mount Borestone in the background.

Maine vacationers like to strap bikes and kayaks to the top of sport utility vehicles like Wisconsin deer hunters showcasing a fall kill.

It’s a personal identifier. A flag of pride; and a sign of what you did over the weekend.

It’s also very practical.

I don’t want chain grease or river water in my backseat anymore than I want deer guts in the trunk.

As Jen and I drove northbound on I-95 over the Piscataqua River into Maine last week, we decided to survey southbound traffic. How many vehicles would be hauling bikes, kayaks or canoes?

It was late on a Saturday afternoon. The second to last weekend of August. Traffic came at us like the Daytona 500 racing for a green flag. These were people headed home after a summertime stay in “vacationland.”

It’s about 35 miles from the Maine/New Hampshire border crossing in Kittery to the Biddeford exit, just south of Portland. Jen and I counted 63 bikes  and 46 canoes or kayaks attached to southbound vehicles. In 40 minutes, we saw more than two vehicles with bikes or watercraft every minute.

If hunters produced those kind of numbers, deer would be extinct.

A recent Maine Office of Tourism report, said almost 19 million people visited the state in 2013. More than half of those visitors enjoyed some type of outdoor activity. Most people went to the beach or spent time on the water, 7-percent of those outdoor enthusiast used a kayak, 4-percent spent time in a canoe and 6-percent rode a bike.

Me and Jen? We had two bikes bolted to the roof of our truck.

But if someone knows were we can get a cheap canoe, we’ll make room for that too.

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One Comment
  1. FORESTENG@aol.com permalink

    Hi Mark, great post. In the fall, you’ll see a fair number of cars and trucks heading south with their animals draped over various vehicle body parts. Usually more variety than you see here. Sometimes you see this:

    John

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