As inevitably happens at the start of a new year, resolutions are made and plans for how things will be different begin to form. There are the traditional resolutions such as lose weight, exercise more, save money, and get organized. While those are perpetually on my list, for my resolution this year, I went a different route. I put together a bucket list of Maine related activities that I want to check off my list. Some are small things, others will require more planning but they are all adventures I hope to have this year.
- Join a CSA | Community Supported Agriculture. This one has been tumbling around my head for a few years now. Usually, I miss the sign-up period as most CSAs need to be ordered in the winter, and my thoughts of fresh summer produce don’t kick in until spring, but this year I am going to use the wonder of technology and set a reminder on my calendar so that I can sign-up. The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association website has a search tool to locate various CSAs throughout the state so I have a great place to start.
- Complete the Maine Beer Trail. The Maine Brewers Association puts out a beer trail map each year listing all the craft breweries in Maine, and they give out prizes based on the number of breweries you visit during the year. My husband and I have probably visited enough breweries to have completed large sections of the beer trail in the past, but we’ve never kept track. This year I want to keep track and submit our successfully completed beer trail map. There’s also a Maine Wine Trail, but it’s probably best to attempt only one alcohol related “trail” a year!
- Visit Moxie Falls. We love to hike and many of our hikes have led to a waterfall at the end of the trail. We even did the ultimate waterfall tour of western Maine this past summer, but we didn’t go far enough north to see Moxie Falls, so that one is on my wish list for this summer. Maybe we can even combine this road trip with checking off a few of the Maine Beer Trail breweries too.
- Kayak in Portland Harbor. This one is cheating a bit since, during the silent auction at the Portland Buy Local Awards, we won a certificate for a sunset sea kayak tour with Portland Paddle, but we still have to make the reservation so there is an action item. This past summer, we took our first kayak cruise in Dingle Bay while visiting Ireland. It was a lot of fun although, being complete novices, we’re not ready to go it alone quite yet so a guided tour of Portland harbor seems like the perfect next step.
- Go Snowshoeing. We’re looking for ways to remain active in the winter so maybe some of our resolutions are traditional after all. We took our first snowshoe hike last winter, and really loved it, so we’re hoping to gear up, and get out for more expeditions this winter. Last year we went with the Maine Outdoor Adventure Club to Sebago Lake for a hike during the Great Maine Outdoor Weekend. They have some other events scheduled this winter too including a Winterfest celebration at Smiling Hill Farm. There are also some moonlight hikes around the state that look interesting. Whatever activities we end up doing, the goal is to get outside more this winter.
- Dine at the Lost Kitchen. We tried to go to this well reviewed restaurant this past year but were unable to get reservations. From everything I’ve read, that’s fairly typical of this magical dining spot tucked away in an old mill in Freedom, Maine. This year, if I do more advanced planning, hopefully we can get reservations. If not, the goal is to explore a few more scattered restaurants around the state. I love the Portland restaurant scene but wouldn’t mind finding a few places outside the city too.
- Tour the Farnsworth Art Museum. Surprisingly, we have never been to this art museum so this year I’m adding it to the list for 2017. It seems especially appropriate given our oldest is in her first year of art school. I think we’ll save this adventure for when she’s home on summer break, and make a weekend of it exploring the Rockland area.
- Volunteer for a 5K. I won’t be running any races in the near future. I’ve always been more of a walker than a runner, but there are a myriad of races throughout Maine and they often need volunteers to help them run (pun intended) successfully. I would like to experience the energy and camaraderie of a race. Although, there’s always the option to walk one too. The Craft Brew Race welcomes walkers. In addition to event specific volunteering, there are many wonderful nonprofits in Maine that I would like to research more, so I can find other ways to volunteer with organizations whose missions most closely align with my personal views.
- Participate in a Clambake. Technically, this is something we do every year. Lobsters, steamers, clam chowder and all the typical clambake goodies are enjoyed regularly throughout the summer in my house, but this year I’d like to do a more traditional beach side clambake along the coast or at one of the many islands dotting the shoreline. There are a variety of different groups that offer them so it’s just a matter of finding the one that fits best for us.
- Take a Boat Ride to See Puffins. This is another Maine experience that I’m shocked we haven’t done yet. It’s such an iconic Maine thing, but it just hasn’t happened so I’m adding it to the list. According to www.visitmaine.com, the best viewing is in June and July, so I have to be sure to schedule this one out too so another year doesn’t go by without a chance to see those adorable puffins.
This is a first pass at what I see as some of my bucket list items for 2017. I’m sure the list will grow and evolve as the year goes on, but I’m hoping to make these ten happen in the coming year. Do you have any adventures planned for 2017?