Weekends were created for flocking to places you love and pursuing your passions. Those 48 hours are to be spent wisely. But, when you catch a long weekend – you need to have an even better attack plan for those 72. Now for me, I have a lot of outdoor passions – camping, fly fishing, hiking, ice fishing, skiing, boating and drinking cold beer (in a tent, indoors or outdoors) – and I can chase them all right in Rangeley. That’s independent of season or weather forecast. I’ve spent summer days at wilderness tent sites near Cupsuptic Lake in some of the worst thunderstorms and in the reverse season gone skiing and snowshoeing when the wind chill was well under 20 below.
These past three days, we rented a rustic cabin on the West Shore of Rangeley Lake, 30 minutes to the outskirts of town. The first order of business after unpacking is always cranking up the fireplace – or – cracking a beer, it’s debatable. As our camp heated up, we opened a map to plan a late afternoon snowshoe trip around the expansive woods of the property. It wasn’t far into our walk when four deer darted out in front of our path. You don’t need to FIND the wildlife here, they FIND you.
The next morning, we set a crockpot of chili to low and headed out for the ski slopes. Conditions on Saddleback are decent – they were missed by a lot of the recent storms that hit other mountains, but there’s still a solid base and the artificial stuff is blowing hard. We left the lodge at the right time to watch a beautiful sunset beyond the mountains across Rangeley Lake.
On day three we visited with my buddy Keith who owns Acadian Seaplanes downtown. He recently purchased a helicopter to offer tours of the area in winter. An amazing experience and pretty affordable – the incredible view is something you won’t forget. Afterwards, we headed over to The Red Onion for drinks and grub – one of my favorite spots that stays open for the winter. We wrapped up just in time to head back to camp, put our feet up and play a few games of checkers in front of the fire.
Things Not To Miss: