#AtoZChallenge | V is for Views of the Artist’s Bridge in Newry Maine

Covered bridges bring up feelings of nostalgia as your mind wanders back to an earlier time. They are the poster child for idyllic countryside drives and simpler times. Maine has nine covered bridges remaining according to the Maine Department of Transportation site on historic covered bridges.

Covered bridges at the center of a snow-covered scene are a quintessential New England image. While covered bridges are not specifically a winter thing, they do look even more lovely painted in white.  Continue reading

#AtoZChallenge | U is for Unrelenting and Unending

Winter has some wonderful moments. There is deep beauty to the landscape during the colder snow-covered months. When it arrives covering everything in white, it makes me smile.

I love winter.

There are no mosquitoes or ticks to bother us during our hikes and the overall pace is slower and peaceful. You can snowshoe under the stars during a full moon hike or sit by the fireplace, sipping wine and binge watch the latest Netflix show while snuggled under a blanket. There is so much to enjoy about winter. Continue reading

Winter

#AtoZChallenge | T is for Trees and Trail Markers

In the winter, when the trees have shed their leaves and all that remains are the bare branches some unique, interesting natural sculptures begin to appear. I’m drawn to trees that are different and I don’t think I’m alone because many of the trail markers that I see on our hikes are placed on the most unique trees.

Some trail markers are painted on to the trees while others are actual tags that are attached and as we’ve grown in our hiking experience we’ve gotten a lot better at spotting them. Fortunately, at least for us, it seems to be a little easier in the winter which is good because the actual trail can be more challenging to find when the ground is covered in snow and you can’t always trust the trampled path of those that went before you. Sometimes they wander off the main trail so you need to rely on your trail markers. Continue reading

#AtoZChallenge | S is for Solo Italiano and Maine Restaurant Week

While cold temperatures may encourage you to stay in and hunker down, there are some enticing winter incentives in Maine to get you to venture outside. One of my favorites is Maine Restaurant Week which takes place at the beginning of March each year. Maine Restaurant Week is a week-long series of food related events throughout the greater Portland area.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day so what better way to start this food celebration than with a breakfast cook-off. Chefs put forth their most creative breakfast dishes in a friendly competition. I blogged about our visit to the cook-off a few years ago in my post Incredible Breakfast Cook-Off 2016. It was a wonderful event. I highly recommend it.

Last year we attended Spirit Quest, a self-guided walking tour through Portland, where local restaurants compete in a cocktail and small bites pairing competition. It was another delicious experience and a great way to visit many of the local Portland area restaurants. Continue reading

#AtoZChallenge | R is for a Rocky Waterfall and Trekking Through the Snow

The sign letting us know we were only 1,000 feet from the entrance to Screw Auger Falls prompted us to slow down. We’d been to the falls before which I blogged about in my post Hiking Maine | Following in the path of the Ultimate Maine Waterfalls Road Trip so we had a general sense of where we were going. As we got closer, the lack of a break in the snowbank confused us until we saw the sign for the entrance resting on top. Apparently the parking lot to the falls is not open in the winter.

We debated continuing onto our next destination but knew the falls were only a short distance from the entrance so we pulled the car onto the shoulder and parked. After scrambling over the snow bank, we saw a single row of footprints leading in the general direction of the falls. I mirrored the steps and began the short hike to the falls. Occasionally, my weight would push through the top layer of snow plunging my leg into the unknown and slowing down our progress. We proceeded with caution. Continue reading