Faces of the 2014 Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race

Watching the Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race is addictive. Once I find a seat on the bank of stream, I can sit for hours (and do) watching paddlers navigate the rapids. Every couple of minutes, something exciting happens. And this year, due to the high water level and swift currents, the race was especially challenging.

Somehow, I managed to get a prime seat by the bridge that spans the stream after Six-Mile Falls, one of the most difficult section of rapids in the race.

Many racers opted to portage around the falls, but for those who chose to paddle over them, I was watching, and so were hundreds of other spectators, gathered on the banks of the stream, cheering them on, whether they navigated the falls successfully and remained (relatively) dry in their boats, or ended up swimming in the frothing water. We applauded their efforts. And boy did they put on a show.

I brought my camera, of course. And looking back on my photos from the event, I see a trend: hilarious facial expressions. So thanks again, racers, for an extra laugh. Maybe I’ll join you next year. But by the looks of it, I’ll have to practice my paddling — and swimming.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the names of all the people featured in the below photos. They were moving rather quickly, after all.

Aislinn Sarnacki

About Aislinn Sarnacki

Aislinn is a Bangor Daily News reporter for the Outdoors pages, focusing on outdoor recreation and Maine wildlife. Visit her main blog at actoutwithaislinn.bangordailynews.com.