After our kids moved to Georgia, we found ourselves looking for a way to stay closer to family but without going over the 200-mile round trip via car each way every month. Since our kids were still under the age of 7 (the youngest at 6 and the oldest 8), we wanted to go somewhere that had reasonably low costs and relatively easy distances for trekking through the great outdoors.
We ended up with the notion of Skiing into Maine — embarking on a route that traverses both Canada and the states of Maine and Vermont. This Nordic skiing trail is difficult and challenging, if not downright dangerous. But it’s also incredibly scenic, so we took to it immediately. In the summer, these trails can be a nightmare, as frozen roads make most of the area impassable to heavy trucks. By having we ski to be home by the middle of the summer, we got to avoid a lot of that hassle. We also found ourselves surprised by how easy the trails were after the area had come so close to freezing over. What we underestimated was how brutal the winter would be. We had really planned for the rainy-slope portion of the trek by bringing a BSA (Biking Club of America) pack that allowed us to easily carry a few other items with us, but that didn’t help at all in the mid-October mountain snowstorms.
We do admit the weather was challenging, and it made us both reconsider the feasibility of some of the objectives we had set for the trek — such as seeing a bear. But as the sun melted the remaining inches of ice on my daughter’s trail at sunrise on Oct. 31, and we were grateful to have avoided nearly any snowstorms, we were elated to know that we were on the right track.
To guide us through what we had feared, our guides from 2-by-4 Cross Country Skiing Vermont helped us leave our mark on Maine’s outdoors with rugged skill and an impressive knowledge of New England history.