There’s still ice on some lakes and ponds but the first paddlers have begun making their way from Old Forge, N.Y., to Fort Kent, Maine. Traveling by canoe, Emma Carlson of Farmington, Maine, and Emily Rooney of Fairfax, Vt., launched Tuesday and plan to complete the 740-mile journey through four states and one Canadian province in 40 days. Kate Williams of the nonprofit Northern Forest Canoe Trail says the first paddlers setting forth from Old Forge after the ice melts is becoming a rite of spring. The group says the women will be traveling without aide of cell phones, computers or GPS. They’ll be communicating via postcards with students at two schools in Maine.