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 | 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

#AtoZChallenge | Q is for Quiet and Winter’s Slower Pace

When we bought our house in Maine, it was a true Maine camp having had a series of haphazard additions in the previous decades that left it with little charm other than the backyard which had lake frontage and gorgeous views. Sadly, those views were obstructed by an enclosed porch that circled the back and side of the house. But, it had an abundance of knotty pine and one good viewing spot in the kitchen.

One other thing it did have that we hadn’t expected was heat. It was usable year round. Our original thought had been to only spend summers in Maine but since there was heat we started making the trek up on weekends in the winter. Continue reading

#AtoZChallenge | P is for the Pier at Palace Playland in Old Orchard Beach

Amusement Parks are decidedly not a winter activity in Maine. The rides sit deserted and motionless against the cold, quiet sky. The boardwalk is closed as the seasonal shops are locked up and windows shuttered. Only a handful of people walk the empty beaches.

The hallmark of Palace Playland in Old Orchard Beach is the Pier but it is especially lonely in the winter. With no people strolling its wooden planks, it appears abandoned as it waits for summer to return while braving the winter storms that batter it.

Sitting on its pillars at it juts out into the ocean, it is fully exposed to the elements. Continue reading

#AtoZChallenge | N is for the Noyes Trail in Norway and Skiing Past Tense

I use to ski. If there were a way to make that statement not just past tense, but past-past tense it would be more accurate. It has been at least thirty-five years since I skied last but I have fond memories of being on the slopes even if my first attempt did result in frostbite. Fortunately, my toes thawed.

My childhood best friend’s family skied every weekend and I was lucky enough to tag along on many trips to the ski resort. There was also an active ski club in my high school. Every Friday night, we headed to the mountain. Skiing is big in Maine. Continue reading