RANGELEY, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Imagine carrying and paddling hundreds of pounds in a canoe for hundreds of miles... then being robbed.
It happened to a Maine couple.
In the town of Rangeley, Maine, inside Sarge's pub... A couple of strangers are thanking a swift current for getting them indoors ahead of schedule.
"We got off the boat launch and were like, oh geeze," says Lauren Plummer. She is originally from Stonington, Mass. but works as a Wilderness Therapy Guide in Stowe, Maine. "I've got to put on my sneakers and my wool socks because it's pretty cold."
Taylor Steeves and Plummer had just paddled and portaged more than a dozen miles through freezing rain.
"We're getting pretty used to it," says Steeves from Standish, Maine. He and Plummer work together at Summit Achievement. "Still pretty sore and you've got to stretch out and shake the cobwebs in the morning but you know that you've got a mission."
740 miles in 40 days, they say.
"We are on day 23."
It's a rough journey... Even for a couple of Wilderness Therapy Guides.
"Unfortunately we hit some really tough rapids and the water got really shallow and boney and in the spirit of our coin phrase, longevity," says Steeves. "We said it's smarter to go around this."
The couple says they were on the Nulhegan River in Vermont and Lauren was carrying their 70 pound billy bags while scouting on foot for a place to pull off.
"There was no people or not many cars so I figured it was alright. And put the bags down," says Plummer. "And as I walked back to get the canoe with Taylor... I kind of had this feeling. And I was like, I think the bags are a little too close to the road. So I brought them back a good 10-15 feet back into the treeline behind a couple of trees and walked away."
Steeves recalls: "cresting this hill with the canoe when we saw this white pickup truck, you know slowly off with $2000 worth of our gear... And more importantly, memories."
Nearly everything was taken: cell phones, passports, journals, and a digital camera that had captured all the images from the first half of their journey.
"We don't have anything to continue going," says Plummer. "We felt really defeated."
That is when friends, family, and even people Taylor and Lauren had just met offered to help.
The Executive Director of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail says often highlights of the trip are people's generosity... so the news of the theft came as a surprise.
"We haven't had a whole lot of that on the trail in the past so we were really sorry to hear that," says Kate Williams. "We have great admiration for Taylor and Lauren for doing what they needed to do to get back on the trail and finishing the trip. I think that says a lot about them."
The order in which paddlers complete the trail is tentative, says Williams, however Steeves and Plummer are projected to finish 58 and 59. The Northern Forest Canoe Trail was completed in 2006.
"There is nothing forseeable that could ever make us quit on the trip or quit on each other," says Steeves.
"Just one day at time," says Plummer. "It goes for the trip, and it goes for us in our lives."
On May 26, Plummer fell ill and sought treatment at the Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington. She and Steeves say they plan on finishing the trail and hope to be back on the water within a matter of days.