Looking for free things to do? Here’s a monthly breakdown of free events in Maine for 2019.

A few years ago, my family and I did the Living Well Spending Zero challenge from Ruth Soukup. As part of the challenge, we spent minimal money for the entire month. No groceries, no entertainment, no take-out. We allowed ourselves a small amount of cash at the start of the month for minor necessities, and activities that had already been planned, but that was it. We ate through the food in our refrigerator and pantry, learned to ration our seltzer, and went to some free events like the Fork Food Lab grand opening.

Overall, we did a great job, or at least until the last day of the month when our cat came down with a UTI, and we had to do an emergency visit to the vet complete with x-rays, anesthesia, and multiple antibiotics, all of which negated most of our savings from our zero spend month. Still it was a fun, creative experiment and one we are about to embark on again.  Continue reading

#AtoZChallenge | Z is for Zero Degrees, Staying Warm and Embracing Winter

I went to Iceland in January three years ago. When packing for my trip, I knew I needed to bring warm clothing as we were taking an adventure tour and would be spending most of our time outside exploring. Packing for Iceland wasn’t a problem because the first thing I learned upon arriving is that Maine is colder.

Having the right winter gear is essential if you want to truly embrace winter. You’re not going to have fun if you are cold or wet. So how do I dress for winter? Layers, Layers, Layers. The colder the weather, the more you want add on the layers.
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#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 | 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