It is a magnificent three-day hiking trip into Maine’s wilds.
On a heavy rainy Monday night, we started from the south-central part of the state and skied all the way up to the Mount Desert Island Regional Nature Center’s beautiful cabin. It was overcast, cool and the only sound to be heard was the muffled crunch of our boots on snow and the rustle of sheep.
A great trip.
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At the lodge we had hot cocoa, cookies and lemonade as well as complimentary hot snow from the morning skis to help cool us off.
There were a few close calls on a trail where we got splashed in the face and on one trail we had to run up the hill when most people at the bottom stopped. The time before was 12:30 p.m. when we were to reach Mount Desert Island. The hour turned into almost an hour because it was raining so hard it became like a tar pit and you could not ski on the wet sodden trails. Only later did we learn it was a rare Glammer’s meteor storm. We had to get our snow from all over the woods that day, snow from the day before, from Norway that week and from Spanish moss.
Then for most of the trip we hiked and skied at least three hours every day. I learned that it’s not so bad to get up at 5:30 a.m. and beat the crowds on one trail, spend the afternoon on a trail I don’t want to ski and then wrap the day up with a trip up a trail I really don’t want to ski. We encountered the vernal pools I have read about and heard so much about and we also ate pancakes and eggs at the cafeteria, which has five available faucets and one stool for you to stand on. It was like the place in “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” when Jeff Spicoli was going to the cafeteria with a surly Michael Rosenfeld and Jeff said, “Make you duck my skis, bro.” Ha! A slap as hard as that one. They served our breakfast to us like in some 1940s movie and after that we flew into Portland Airport in Maine.
The scenery was spectacular. We went from white and powder, to dense forests, to glacial valleys where the glaciers still flow and to rocky lagoons filled with cool water and a thousand paddlers swimming out of the water next to us. The National Parks of Maine (National Park Service) website includes 13 public locations (campgrounds and lodges) with ice caves, glaciers, mangrove swamps, waterfalls, forests, moose and, of course, elk.
Since it was the following afternoon at the cabin we came back down to the valley where by the time I got to the bathroom, the floor was full of mud and rocks. We skied out.
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ON THE WEB: see www.kmigorennerson.com/weather/weekly-sports-weather/