Mini vacations in Maine.
During COVID, the ability to venture up into Maine has been tougher on some states than others. I always remind anyone planning to cross the big green southern bridge to check with www.me.gov . To know for sure who’s on the naughty or nice list and gets a travel pass depending on your state’s high or low coronavirus numbers .
When you live in Maine, vacations closer to where you live in the state happen a lot.
You are already here. Being socially distant and practicing safety pandemic protocols is not so hard due to our small Maine population. No traffic or grid lock slowing travel down in Maine. Outdoors any season is the reason we hang our hat in Maine over any other location.
This past Martin Luther King weekend, a quick trip mini instate vacation to Millinocket Lake happened.
The New England Outdoor Center is a hidden facility ideal for couples, families, small groups to tap into some Maine recreation.
My first experience with NEOC was white water rafting the Penobscot River.
The flow of water out of hydro electric dam controls the speed of the watery ride through Exterminator and other creatively named river locations.
Paddling hard, digging into the rushing cold river water for right, left or lift directions hollered out by the guy or gal sitting on the back of your bright yellow colored raft. Sometimes it’s “HOLD!” shouted out which means one arm raised high holding your paddle. While other reaches for the short rope secured to the raft floor as a wall of water enters your boat and hits whoever sat up front the hardest of river ride companions.
My youngest son Elliot was a river guide on the Penobscot River for Northern Outdoors during college summers.
Working in the River’s Edge Restaurant nights, helping tourists with wet suits and water vests work up an appetite and to stay in the boat days.
This weekend no climbing into a raft or holding a paddle. It’s winter which means snowmobiling, cross country skiing. To hike up and down twisting groomed woods trails wearing a pair of snow shoes. Everyone well distanced on the trail. Being a ways up I-95 into the belly of real Maine means less campers, more Maine all to yourself.
Sections of Millinocket Lake cleared of snow and flooded with water from a couple ice fishing size holes to make it smooth and polished.
No Zamboni used to erase the cracks from the outdoor ice surface between spirited pond hockey periods. But I could hear the “he shoots, he scores” from across the lake as my party snow shoed out across it.
The crunch of snow mixed with the sound of a light wind as fresh clean air fills your lungs. While admiring the Maine’s highest mountain and the supporting cast of foot hills around Mt Katahdin. That rise up and populate Baxter State Park’s forever wild legacy created by one smart, unselfish Maine governor.
It was Percival Baxter who knew best the perfect gift to leave behind for the many generations to come to enjoy.
Outdoor enthusiasts who would make the yearly pilgrimage to the Baxter State Park area via the quickest route available. And for as many times possible to sneak up into Vacationland to unplug and recharge in Maine.
New England Outdoor Center has other Maine sporting locations too.
Have stayed in The Forks to paddle down the Dead and Kennebec Rivers. Those trips white water rafting are a change of scenery. But those boat rides don’t begin to compare with the thrill of the maneuvering around rocks and water pockets. Hang on for a fast ride excitement no matter how many times you float fast down the Penobscot River. Check out the New England Outdoor Center (NEOC) website for lodging, meal plans, vacation packages.
Here’s a quick video of New England Outdoor Center lodging, the setting in Millinocket Maine run and gun collected to share from last weekend’s visit.
Needing a mini vacation in Maine and way over due?
Are you getting a little stir crazy and developing cabin fever from the weight and length of the pandemic?
Need to fill your lungs with fresh clean Maine air?
Your eyes and ears and nose with the sights and sounds and smells of outdoor all natural Maine?
There are plenty of options to rent a cabin or stay in a lodge trail side for whatever your favorite outdoor recreation up here in Maine. Maine sure is the way life should be. Pick an area and see the options in your Internet search.
Mini vacations in Maine.
The sheer size of Maine makes the statement sound like an oxymoron. Because travel tiime to get to and from Maine can eat up a big chunk of your small window of time that you wished you could spend in Vacationland.
It’s like a flight to the moon or a distance planet and so much of the resources of fuel and time are eaten up in the Maine vacation travel mode element.
I see it when say a real estate buyer from Rhode Island is eight hours away. When they are up to their small camp on forty acres up in Maine and it’s Sunday morning. They are well aware if we don’t get on the road to start the trek back to their home state, it’s going to be a hard week ahead. You can hear the clock ticking as soon as you wake up and have to think about breaking camp up in Maine.
The older you get the more difficult it becomes to make long road trips.
Mini vacations in Maine don’t allow enough time and involve a lot of prep work. Gearing up, staying awake, getting all packed up and leaving before the crack of dawn. To race up to Maine arriving very late on a Friday night and trying to jam in as much fun as possible while road weary. Then tearing home, arriving dog tired and exhausted. Trying to rise and shine to get up Monday morning to begin another work week where you lost the weekend to properly prepare for the nine to five. To function on all cylinders in following days back in the dog and pony grind. Trying to get stretched back into their routine. The one all shook up by how long it takes to get up in, around and down hill back out of Maine.
Living in Maine full time still means travel to access all her goodness.
But when you can shave off four, five or more hours of travel time it means an extra refreshing mini vacation. Out of the car and not pinned behind the wheel plying the trails. Seeing the sights, sampling the local food and traditions. Tickling all the senses. The folks that appreciate Maine most often have something very different to compare it to where crime is high. Just like the cost of living. The price you pay in populated centers where folks are not the friendliest and just too many in number on all four sides.
What’s your favorite spot in Maine to return to through out your life?
What do you hope to do in Maine that is on your bucket list to cross off that you dream about doing? I long for the Canadian US border to open up for free traffic to resume. As a Maine border town on the boundary line, the locals miss how easy it is to leave the country for a day. Winter is a season like all the rest, we are outdoors and not stuck inside. Ever taken a mini vacation in Maine over the winter months?
Maine, our lower population and big supply of open space awaits to create safe pandemic sensitive vacation options.
Itching to head north to switch into mini vacation in Maine mode? Quick trips up into Maine. The further you go, the more space and lower the Maine vacation costs you enjoy. Not everyone gets to all four corners of Maine to discover the special places that don’t get the ink. The Maine coastal tourist traps get most of the press and winter recreational fun is lost on snowbirds that beeline out of state to warm climate locations. But for those of us who hang around, that are nestled in the cozy corners of Maine small town living have a blast. You have the trails pretty much to yourself.
Mini vacations in Maine, is that part of your New Year’s 2021 resolution in the months ahead?
This past weekend saw lots of folks with the same idea to hole up up in Maine at a sporting retreat. Mini vacations in Maine to cure the suffering of cabin fever. Don’t waste a Maine winter and take advantage of the lodging and meal deals. Exercise outdoors on your mini vacation up in Maine. Lots of options, does not have to cost an arm, leg or duplicate organ. Maine, the way life should be.
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