Tag Archive | "Maine"

In The Maine Woods: AMC’s Gorman Chairback Lodge & Cabins

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My cabin at Gorman Chairback.

My cabin at Gorman Chairback.

by Everett Potter

A slow day of fishing is quickly forgotten when a decent fish finally takes the fly. Granted, this sounds like a truism of the kind that my beloved Yankee grandfather might have said to me as we fished in Maine together decades ago, but it had the ring of truth to it on this day. My pal Frank and I had spent five hours fruitlessly casting towards the shoreline of beautiful Long Pond in northern Maine with nary a rise. It was hot July day and Frank had hung it up an hour earlier and had somehow managed to wedge himself cross wise on the seat of the small boat being piloted by Registered Maine Guide Casey Mealey. Frank’s afternoon torpor was turning into a sunburn just as a 14 inch landlocked salmon violently snagged my much-flailed Eastern Green Drake and put up a tremendous fight before I caught and released him. By this time, Frank had sat up, grabbed his rod, and began casting as if his life depended upon it. That’s all it took to turn a slow July day on a beautiful and remote Maine pond into an afternoon to remember. My second landlocked salmon during the evening hatch sealed the deal.

The view from the cabin at Gorman Chairback.

The view from the cabin at Gorman Chairback.

Long Pond lies an hour from Greenville, Maine in the middle of the woods at the end of a maze of dusty logging roads. The remote and pristine nature of these waters and this land are due to the vision and largesse of the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC), which set out to buy and preserve large tracts of Maine wilderness more than a decade ago as part of the Maine Woods Initiative. The AMC now has about 70,000 acres in northern Maine, east of Moosehead Lake, and its holdings overlaps the famously difficult 100 Mile Wilderness section of the Appalachian Trail. In the decade since the original purchase, the AMC has restored and reopened two remarkable wilderness lodges and their attendant cabins in this area: Little Lyford Lodge & Cabins (see my story on Little Lyford here) and Gorman Chairback Lodge & Cabins. A third lodge, Medawisla Lodge & Cabins, is being restored and will open in 2017. What makes the AMC’s work especially heartening is that they’ve kept the essential flavor and attributes of these 19th-century traditional Maine sporting camps. These are one and two bedroom cabins with wood stoves and gas lamps, even as the AMC reaches for LEED certification for their energy-efficient lodge at Gorman Chairback.

In January, the AMC made news yet again with the purchase of “scenic and ecologically significant lands on and around Baker Mountain in the 100-Mile Wilderness region.” The purchase was completed with assistance from The Nature Conservancy.

“Baker Mountain was surrounded by conservation lands, but the Baker Mountain tract itself was not protected,” said AMC Senior Vice President Walter Graff. “It was ‘the hole in the doughnut,’ and this purchase of 4,311 Acres by AMC and its conservation partner, The Nature Conservancy, has ensured that this ecologically significant land will be protected.”

It’s a move that conserves the second highest peak in Maine between Bigelow Mountain and Katahdin, as well as the headwaters of the West Branch of the Pleasant River, a vibrant wild brook trout fishery. Having fished that area during my stay at Little Lyford a couple of years ago, in the very shadow of Baker Mountain, I can testify to the abundance of wild brookies to be found in those waters.

 

The Lodge at AMC's Gorman Chairback Lodge & Cabins in Maine.

The Lodge at AMC’s Gorman Chairback Lodge & Cabins in Maine.

This time I had a chance to experience Gorman Chairback Lodge & Cabins. Originally built as a private camp in 1867, it was acquired by the AMC and opened as an AMC lodge in 2011. Nicely sited on the shores of Long Pond, it feels a bit less rustic and more summer camp-like than Little Lyford and features a central “green” Lodge building for meals and lounging, twelve cabins (some of them a few feet away from the shoreline) and a bunkhouse. There is wonderful swimming in Long Pond, which gets surprisingly warm by mid-summer, and that’s one of the major draws for the families that flock here.

Paddling on Long Pond at AMC's Gorman Chairback Lodge & Cabins, Maine.

Paddling on Long Pond at AMC’s Gorman Chairback Lodge & Cabins, Maine.

Still, there were plenty of couples as well, and a more relaxed vacation vibe here than at Lyford, which tends to attract more hard core fishermen and hikers. There is a motley fleet of colorful kayaks and canoes that guests can take out for a paddle or for fishing. Long Pond is indeed long enough so that an end-to-end paddle, never minding the various coves and islands, takes a couple of hours. Crowds are not an issue: I counted a half dozen rustic houses on the entire body of water. With the AMC’s canoes and kayaks so readily available, and the waters so calm, this place is ideal for an after dinner paddle to watch the sunset over the mountains, or even better, to watch moose up close. On two nights of our stay, a bull moose meandered through the weeds in a cove not a hundred yards from camp.

There were grown ups who kayaked and read on their porch and took short hikes, families that seemed to spend most of their time in the water, and a disciplined gentleman of a certain age who swam the crawl every day for at least an hour. Only a handful were actively fishing and truth be told, the fishing was slow, the price one pays for visiting in July when the water and the temperatures are warm.

 

Lounging in the Lodge at AMC's Gorman Chairback Lodge & Cabins, Maine

Lounging in the Lodge at AMC’s Gorman Chairback Lodge & Cabins, Maine

Our lakeside cabin at Gorman Chairback was rusticity itself, with a covered front porch where you could sip morning coffee or an evening beer and listen to the loons. The interior, with two beds, gas lighting, and a woodstove, was classic Maine camp comfortable. Meals are hearty and homemade, served family style at long tables. Unlike Little Lyford, Gorman Chairback even has a beer and wine list, and a half decent one at that.

We paddled and we fished, and ended up on a couple of bushwhacking hikes to reach ever more remote ponds, one of the benefits of staying out in the wilderness. The AMC leaves a couple of canoes at each of these ponds, so the reward for a mile long walk is the chance to glide out by paddle power on a pristine pond with only wildlife for company. In the four years since it opened, Gorman has emerged as the favorite lodge among AMC members, booking up quickly in summer and also in winter, when it pairs up with Little Lyford for cross-country lodge-to-lodge skiing experience.

“Each camp has its own character,” says Graff, who was visiting Gorman Chairback during my stay. “Lyford is like a little village and it’s all about hiking and fishing. But Gorman Chairback is about the lake, about kayaking and swimming and fishing as well as hiking.”

Medawisla is next for AMC but Graff says that it requires a complete rebuilding.

“It’s in rough shape,” he says. “We will build a new lodge and cabins by the waterfront, and they will have housekeeping options. It has great views of Mount Katahdin and it will be close enough to Little Lyford and Gorman Chairback to become part of our lodge-to-lodge cross country experience.”

 

Dining area at AMC's Gorman Chairback Lodge & Cabins, Maine

Dining area at AMC’s Gorman Chairback Lodge & Cabins, Maine

The AMC, which was founded in 1876 to preserve New Hampshire’s White Mountains, has long been associated with that state. But Graff is quick to point out that it has been part of neighboring Maine’s efforts to preserve and protect for nearly as many years.

“At our headquarters, we just came across a photograph of AMC members going up Mount Katahdin,” he says. “The date was 1886. We’ve been in Maine a long time.”

Visit the AMC for more on Gorman Chairback Lodge & Cabins

Active Travels: Cross-Country Ski Hut-to-Hut in Carrabassett Valley, Maine

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Skiers-at-Flagstaff-Lake-300x199By Steve Jermanok

Even as New England ski areas make it more and more enticing to venture their way, adding an array of exciting activities like tubing and ziplining, many of us want to avoid the crowds. We savor the opportunity to get lost in the wilderness, breathing in the scent of pines in relative quietude. Add a sport that will wipe away the worries of the world and you’ll quickly remember why we treasure New England. This week, I’m going to discuss 5 ways to get lost in the New England wilderness this winter.

Maine Huts & Trails is a nonprofit organization determined to build 12 backcountry huts over 180 miles of trails in the remote western mountains of the state. A year ago, they unveiled their fourth property, Stratton Brook, overlooking the 4,000-foot peaks of Carrabassett Valley. When the 180-mile route is complete, it will be the longest groomed ski trail in the country. But there’s no need to wait. This winter, you can choose to stay at one of their four comfortable lodgings and go out on daily excursions, or opt for self-guided or guided cross-country ski trips that lead from one hut to the next. Each of the four huts is spaced about 11 miles apart, so people can reach it within one day of cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. The ultimate adventure is a four-night, five-day package that includes 50 miles of skiing and spending each night at a different property. All meals, shuttle for gear, and lodging are included in the price ($414 for members, $474 for nonmembers). Nightly rates at the huts start at $79 for members, $94 for nonmembers, including lodging and meals.
Steve Jermanok As a columnist for National Geographic Adventure, adventure travel expert at Budget Travel, and regular contributor on outdoor recreation for Outside, Men’s Journal, Health, and Sierra, Steve Jermanok has written more than 1,000 articles on the outdoors.He’s also authored or co-authored 11 books, including Outside Magazine’s Adventure Guide to New England and Men’s Journal’s The Great Life. His latest book is Go Now! Put Your Life on Pause and See the World. He’s currently an adventure travel expert at Away.com and blogs daily at  Active Travels.

Steve Jermanok As a columnist for National Geographic Adventure, adventure travel expert at Budget Travel, and regular contributor on outdoor recreation for Outside, Men’s Journal, Health, and Sierra, Steve Jermanok has written more than 1,000 articles on the outdoors.He’s also authored or co-authored 11 books, including Outside Magazine’s Adventure Guide to New England and Men’s Journal’s The Great Life. His latest book is Go Now! Put Your Life on Pause and See the World. He’s currently an adventure travel expert at Away.com and blogs daily at Active Travels.

 

Biking to 5 Lighthouses Outside Portland, Maine

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Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine

I spent my 50th birthday on Saturday biking with my extended family of ten on a guided day ride on the outskirts of Portland. Led by Norman Patry, owner of Summer Feet Cycling, we biked along the scenic shoreline of South Portland and Cape Elizabeth to five lighthouses. They included such picturesque gems as Bug Light, the smallest lighthouse in operation in America, and Portland Head Light, painted by the likes of Edward Hopper. Near Portland Head Light, we bought lobster rolls from a food truck and dined overlooking Portland Harbor. The lobster rolls were excellent, chockful of fresh meat, and you could order them Maine-style (with mayo), Connecticut-style (lightly buttered), spiced with curry (loved it) or wasabi. Washed down with locally made Eli’s Blueberry Soda and topped off with ginger molasses cookies from Standard Bakery in town, it was a perfect Portland meal. The ride ends at Kettle Cove, a small beach, just past Two Lights State Park. Summer Feet offers a slew of other bike trips in Maine including a self-guided 3-day ride near Kennebunkport that sounds enticing. But if you only have a limited amount of time in the state, this 5-hour ride gives you a good taste of Maine and comes highly recommended. 

 

Steve Jermanok Working as a columnist for National Geographic Adventure, contributing editor at Budget Travel, and regular contributor for The Boston Globe, Men’s Journal, and Yankee Magazine, Steve Jermanok has written more than 1500 articles on 80 countries. He’s also authored or co-authored 11 books, including Outside Magazine’s Adventure Guide to New England and Men’s Journal’s The Great Life. With his wife, Lisa Leavitt, Steve launched a boutique travel agency, ActiveTravels.com, in May 2012. His clientele includes many people in the travel business, including Steve Kaufer, founder of TripAdvisor (designed his honeymoon to Turkey), and Mark Snider, owner of The Winnetu Resort on Martha’s Vineyard and The Nantucket Hotel on Nantucket. You can follow him @ActiveTravels

Steve Jermanok Working as a columnist for National Geographic Adventure, contributing editor at Budget Travel, and regular contributor for The Boston Globe, Men’s Journal, and Yankee Magazine, Steve Jermanok has written more than 1500 articles on 80 countries. He’s also authored or co-authored 11 books, including Outside Magazine’s Adventure Guide to New England and Men’s Journal’s The Great Life. With his wife, Lisa Leavitt, Steve launched a boutique travel agency, ActiveTravels.com, in May 2012. His clientele includes many people in the travel business, including Steve Kaufer, founder of TripAdvisor (designed his honeymoon to Turkey), and Mark Snider, owner of The Winnetu Resort on Martha’s Vineyard and The Nantucket Hotel on Nantucket. You can follow him @ActiveTravels

Steve Jermanok’s Active Travels: Maine Windjammer Week

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Hauling aboard the Lewis R. French. Photo by Bridget Besaw Gorman.

Hauling aboard the Lewis R. French. Photo by Bridget Besaw Gorman.

Returning from Acadia National Park one summer with the family, we wisely timed our return drive to coincide with the annual Camden Windjammer Festival the last weekend in August. More than 20 tall ships arrive in the picturesque harbor to take part in the festivities. We enjoyed an all-you-can-eat lobster feast on the deck of a schooner and then watched a talent show as crews sing sea shanties. A firework show tops off the night.
This summer, there will be six gatherings of the schooner fleet. It’s a festive time to be aboard one of the schooners:
June 9 Schooner Gam 
To kick off the summer season, the entire windjammer fleet ties up together in Penobscot Bay to enjoy live music and take walking tours of each vessel.
The grand sail parade enters picturesque Boothbay Harbor, where you’ll enjoy
concerts, crafts, and fireworks.
July 4 Great Schooner Race
North America’s largest annual gathering of tall ships race from Islesboro to Rockland. After the award ceremony, enjoy live music.
July 11 Maine Windjammer Parade
This time the grand parade of sails heads past the mile-long Rockland Breakwater, providing spectators with stunning, close-up views.
Aug 39-31 Camden Windjammer Festival
Festivities include a parade of sail, maritime heritage fair, fireworks, chowder challenge, schooner crew talent show, family scavenger hunt, outdoor movies and more.
September 9 Wooden Boat Sail-in
The last gathering of the fleet takes place in Brooklin, Maine, the headquarters
of WoodenBoat Magazine and WoodenBoat School. Expect live music and boat school tours.
I want to thank the Maine Windjammer Association for allowing me to rekindle fond memories of past sails this week. I’m excited to return this summer!
steve   Steve Jermanok As a columnist for National Geographic Adventure, adventure travel expert at Budget Travel, and regular contributor on outdoor recreation for Outside, Men’s Journal, Health, and Sierra, Steve Jermanok has written more than 1,000 articles on the outdoors.He’s also authored or co-authored 11 books, including Outside Magazine’s Adventure Guide to New England and Men’s Journal’s The Great Life. His latest book is Go Now! Put Your Life on Pause and See the World. He’s currently an adventure travel expert at Away.com and blogs daily at  Active Travels.

 

Steve Jermanok’s Active Travels: Rafting Maine’s Dead River with Northern Outdoors

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Large snow accumulation this winter translates into a better than average volume of whitewater come spring thaw. This is only enhanced by May and June dam releases, where the fast moving current results in a rip-roaring, adrenalin-pumping ride. Look no further than the Dead River. It’s a long drive on logging roads to reach the Spencer Rips put-in, but once there, be prepared for a glorious run on the longest stretch of continuous whitewater in New England. The Dead churns along 16 miles of almost nonstop Class III and IV rapids. There are no bridges, roads, or other signs of civilization until the end, just an exhilarating romp through big water on rapids with names like Minefield, Humpty Dumpty, and Big Poplar Falls. Go with a reputable outfitter like Northern Outdoors, who have been introducing clientele to Maine whitewater since 1976.

Rafting Maine's Dead River with Northern Outdoors

Rafting Maine’s Dead River with Northern Outdoors

Scheduled dam releases are May 25, May 31, June 1, June 7, and June 8. Cost for the full-day adventure ranges from $89-$109 per person, including lunch and a guide, with a minimum age requirement of 15 years old. 

 

 

steve  Steve Jermanok As a columnist for National Geographic Adventure, adventure travel expert at Budget Travel, and regular contributor on outdoor recreation for Outside, Men’s Journal, Health, and Sierra, Steve Jermanok has written more than 1,000 articles on the outdoors.He’s also authored or co-authored 11 books, including Outside Magazine’s Adventure Guide to New England and Men’s Journal’s The Great Life. His latest book is Go Now! Put Your Life on Pause and See the World. He’s currently an adventure travel expert at Away.com and blogs daily at  Active Travels.

L.L. Bean Outdoor Discovery Schools

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Steve Jermanok’s Active Travels: Thoreau’s “The Maine Woods”

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Kevin Slater and Steve Jerrmanok paddling down the West Branch of the Penobscot River in Maine.

Kevin Slater and Steve Jermanok paddling down the West Branch of the Penobscot River in Maine.

 

As an outdoor writer based in New England, I’ve spent a good deal of time following in Henry David Thoreau’s footsteps, from climbing Monadnock and Katahdin to walking the shoreline of the upper Cape to swimming in Walden Pond. In 1864, the great naturalist and philosopher published his book “The Maine Woods” that chronicles his exploration of the remote Maine waterways. In October 2009, I had the good fortune to paddle down the West Branch of the Penobscot River following his route. Our guide was Kevin Slater, a legendary Maine paddler who learned these rivers and the skill to carve his own canoes and paddles from his mentor who he simply called, “the Old Timer.” We spent four glorious days on the water, with few other paddlers, spotting moose, bear, loons, and osprey. In the backdrop was mighty Katahdin, the end point of the Appalachian Trail. The story appeared in an issue of Sierra Magazine, the publication of the Sierra Club. If you want to paddle with Slater on the Penobscot, contact him at Mahoosuc Guide Service

 

steve   Steve Jermanok As a columnist for National Geographic Adventure, adventure travel expert at Budget Travel, and regular contributor on outdoor recreation for Outside, Men’s Journal, Health, and Sierra, Steve Jermanok has written more than 1,000 articles on the outdoors.He’s also authored or co-authored 11 books, including Outside Magazine’s Adventure Guide to New England and Men’s Journal’s The Great Life. His latest book is Go Now! Put Your Life on Pause and See the World. He’s currently an adventure travel expert at Away.com and blogs daily at  Active Travels.

 

Steve Jermanok’s Active Travels: Apres-Ski Dining Favorites in New England

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Apres ski dining in New England

Apres ski dining at Solstice Restaurant in Stowe, Vermont

For my latest Liftopia blog, I was asked to divulge my favorite après-ski dining choices in New England. After a day of hitting the slopes, I’m not content with a beer and a hot tub. No, my body craves a good meal. I’ve made it a habit to find the finest places in town to dine. They run the gamut from casual pizza joints to innovative continental cuisine.

At the base of Stowe, Stowe Mountain Lodge went overboard to use as much indigenous wares as possible, so there’s real Vermont birch twisting around the columns and the marble on stairs leading to the bar comes from Lake Champlain. The resort also prides itself on using local produce. At Solstice Restaurant, expect Vermont-based artisanal cheeses, microbrewed ales, and locally farmed vegetables and meats.
For skiers heading to Okemo, a favorite in Ludlow is DJ’s. You have to love a place that still features a salad bar in this day and age, included in the price of an entrée. Grab a booth and get ready to dig into the chicken marsala, salmon, and ravioli dishes. Best yet, they have my favorite Vermont ale on tap, Switchback.
For a town with a year-round population hovering around 1300, there are a surprising number of good dinner options at Loon. Start at the mother and son run Gypsy Café on Main Street. The eclectic menu features Indian-style chicken samosas, Middle Eastern lamb loin dipped in the best hummus this side of Tel Aviv, Mexican fajitas, and a spicy Thai red curry duck. Wash it down with one of their strong margaritas and you’ll understand why the place feels so festive.
Started in 1998, the Flatbread Company now owns ten pizzerias from Maui to Whistler. Yet, it’s their locale in North Conway, near Cranmore Ski Area, that has the Granite State all abuzz. Maybe it’s the Zen-like ambiance with all those Tibetan designs and the massive wood-fired clay oven plopped down in the center of the room. But I happen to think it’s the Coevolution, topped with roasted red peppers, red onions, olives, goat cheese, garlic, and mozzarella. Much of the produce is from local organic farms and you can taste the difference.
In Bethel, Maine, you can usually find me at Sud’s Pub after a day of skiing Sunday River, downing one of the 29 beers on tap. Located inside the Sudbury Inn, start with the hot Sudbury wings or a cup of tasty clam chowder. Then choose between the burgers, pizzas, or entrees like grilled sirloin tips or blackened salmon. Happy dining!
steve  Steve Jermanok As a columnist for National Geographic Adventure, adventure travel expert at Budget Travel, and regular contributor on outdoor recreation for OutsideMen’s JournalHealth, and Sierra, Steve Jermanok has written more than 1,000 articles on the outdoors.He’s also authored or co-authored 11 books, including Outside Magazine’s Adventure Guide to New England and Men’s Journal’s The Great Life. His latest book is Go Now! Put Your Life on Pause and See the World. He’s currently an adventure travel expert at Away.com and blogs daily at  Active Travels.

Steve Jermanok’s Active Travels: Maine Hut-to-Hut Skiing

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Skiers at Flagstaff Lake, Maine

Skiers at Flagstaff Lake, Maine

Even as New England ski areas make it more and more enticing to venture their way, adding an array of exciting activities like tubing and ziplining, many of us want to avoid the crowds. We savor the opportunity to get lost in the wilderness, breathing in the scent of pines in relative quietude. Add a sport that will wipe away the worries of the world and you’ll quickly remember why we treasure New England.

Maine Huts & Trails is a nonprofit organization determined to build 12 backcountry huts over 180 miles of trails in the remote western mountains of the state. A year ago, they unveiled their fourth property, Stratton Brook, overlooking the 4,000-foot peaks of Carrabassett Valley. When the 180-mile route is complete, it will be the longest groomed ski trail in the country. But there’s no need to wait. This winter, you can choose to stay at one of their four comfortable lodgings and go out on daily excursions, or opt for self-guided or guided cross-country ski trips that lead from one hut to the next. Each of the four huts is spaced about 11 miles apart, so people can reach it within one day of cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. The ultimate adventure is a four-night, five-day package that includes 50 miles of skiing and spending each night at a different property. All meals, shuttle for gear, and lodging are included in the price ($414 for members, $474 for nonmembers). Nightly rates at the huts start at $79 for members, $94 for nonmembers, including lodging and meals.
steve1   Steve Jermanok  As a columnist for National Geographic Adventure, adventure travel expert at Budget Travel, and regular contributor on outdoor recreation for OutsideMen’s JournalHealth, and Sierra, Steve Jermanok has written more than 1,000 articles on the outdoors.He’s also authored or co-authored 11 books, including Outside Magazine’s Adventure Guide to New England and Men’s Journal’s The Great Life. His latest book is Go Now! Put Your Life on Pause and See the World. He’s currently an adventure travel expert at Away.com and blogs daily at  Active Travels.

Steve Jermanok’s Active Travels: Maine to New Brunswick on Snowmobile

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A snowmobile ride from Maine to New Brunswick

A snowmobile ride from Maine to New Brunswick

Last January, I flew to Presque Isle, Maine, the northern tip of the state to pen stories for The Boston Globe and Men’s Journal on snowmobiling from Maine into New Brunswick. Aroostook County, Maine, is the largest county east of the Mississippi River, known by avid snowmobilers as one of the top locales in the country to sample the sport. Potato farms connect with long dormant railroad corridors, seemingly endless logging roads through dense forest, and iced-over lakes and rivers to create a mind-boggling 2300 miles of snowmobile trails. But that’s not all. Simply bring a passport and you can cross into the province of New Brunswick to add another 4,000 miles of trail, half of which flows through state forests and parks. That was too good a story angle to pass up.

In the morning, I met Kevin Freeman at his sled shop in Presque Isle. Freeman, a former professional snowmobile race, has logged more than 250,000 miles on snowmobiles in the region so he knows the routes like the back of his hand. He hooked me up with a 110 horsepower Ski-Doo, insulated snowmobile pants, jacket, helmet, and panniers so I could bring a change of clothing for an overnight in Canada. On a 250-mile weekend jaunt, we headed west to Portage Lake to have lunch at Dean’s, a favorite snowmobile stop known for their fish and lobster stews. Then we hit ITS 105, leading northeast from Washburn to Stockholm, a narrow and level railroad corridor where you can easily reach speeds of 75 miles per hour.
At Hamplin, I went through Customs on snowmobile. The Canadians didn’t blink. But when I returned the next day into America, the guy was asking me questions for 20 minutes, like I was some sort of snowmobiling smuggler. “How come your passport is filled with stamps to Israel, Kenya, Ecuador?” “I’m a travel writer.” “Step aside from the snowmobile, please.”
On the New Brunswick side, I snowmobiled with Ross Antworth, general manager of The New Brunswick Federation of Snowmobile Clubs. He led me across a long suspension bridge that glides above the St. John River. Then we made our way to the New Brunswick interior on logging roads past mills and on railroad beds where snowed-over balsams stood like spectators at a marathon. We spotted deer and the rare white ermine that call this forest home.
To top it off, when I returned to Presque Isle, I went out that night with an incredibly talented photographer, Paul Cyr, who’s made a name for himself shooting the northern lights and wildlife. In typical Maine fashion, he humbly insists he’s an amateur photographer. Yeah, and Hendrix is an amateur guitarist. Check out his magnificent work online and then read my story.
steve  Steve Jermanok As a columnist for National Geographic Adventure, adventure travel expert at Budget Travel, and regular contributor on outdoor recreation for Outside, Men’s Journal, Health, and Sierra, Steve Jermanok has written more than 1,000 articles on the outdoors.He’s also authored or co-authored 11 books, including Outside Magazine’s Adventure Guide to New England and Men’s Journal’s The Great Life. His latest book is Go Now! Put Your Life on Pause and See the World. He’s currently an adventure travel expert at Away.com and blogs daily at  Active Travels.

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