If you grew up in a state where a snow shovel is foreign, odd, seems out of place, then climbing on a high powered machine, snow sledding in Maine could strike you as odd.
Maine is a four season state and all of them are spent outdoors as much as possible.
The exception in winter is bundle up, dress a tad layered, warmer.
Because on a snow sled zipping down a freshly groom ITS trail, the wind chill factors add to whatever the red in the thermometer registers on the temperature scale.
Maine is a rural state and special because she is under populated, insulated up here in the right hand corner.
Less people means more wildlife and unspoiled territory to explore, discover in Vacationland. So to see the best sights means getting to places not accessed by car. Not available for every Tom, Dick and Harry to take in and enjoy without a little effort.
Hiking, cross country / down hill Maine snow skiing, biking is one way to get to the places few get to see except in images, photos of Maine. But climb on, turn the key or pull the cord to fire up a rumbling Maine snowmobile.
See how much fun steering it is going to feel on to any loop in the 14000 mile Maine ITS snow sled trail system.
Sitting high a top a Maine snow machine headed to a warm, cozy, diner or lodge to get something to eat trail side. To stop at an ice fishing shanty for a quick game of cribbage or cards before continuing on the Maine snow sled trail. Being in the great out doors dressed with high tech warm gear that breathes, that does not restrict movement. While you fill your lungs with fresh air. Your cheeks get a healthy pink glow. And any restless energy, anxiety is removed.
Get into shape lugging, tugging when you learn the hard way to stay on the groomed, hard packed Maine ITS trail. Even with lots of power and reverse gear, the machines are approaching the 500 pound weight limit .
Not easily man handled like the older models back in the 60's and 70's styles. That you could pick up with one hand and sling around driving them on one knee and leaning to take the corners, curves.
Slide a digital camera in to the top zippered inside pocket of your Maine snow suit or ski jacket too.
Because memories from your ride in the snow through fields, twisting woods trails and across a frozen Maine lake are worth capturing. Keeping, framing, hanging on a den wall.
Putting under a refrigerator magnet or posting on social media sites. So your friends get off the couch this winter too. And stop the wasteful, winter time killing until spring locked indoors. Hibernating and missing out.
Especially after the tinsel, ho ho ho, eggnog, pointed party hats and nose makers are put away for good. When the set of holidays wrap up, conclude. And the real meat of winter settles in around Vacationland. Study up on the Inland Fisheries And Wildlife's Maine Snowmobile, Snow Sledding Laws, Regulations.
Winter wonderland seen driving from cranking your head 360 degrees, perched on a Maine snow sled as you notice moose, deer, black bear, rabbit and fox tracks.
Or when stopped trail side on a hill top. For that nasty habit a smoke. No black flies to avoid this time of year. During the break as you stretch the legs and arms out.Rotate the shoulder joints.
Climbing off the basically now only four models of snowmobiles to wet the whistle. To refresh from all that energy expended huffing and puffing. Pulling out a snow sled that got a little too close to the edge of the groomed trail. And dropped out of sight.
I remember Johnson Ski Horse, Skiroule, Sno Jet snow sleds that taught me plenty about mechanics. Tinkering into the night. To be able to ride tomorrow with friends, cousins. Sometimes getting a tad frustrated from always the "tinkering for one hour to ride two" norm on the older 1960's vintage snowmobiles.
Making your own snow sled trail to get places where there was no wide, smooth, groomed one to spoil us like today.
WARNING: You may gawk, jaw drop and have a hard time keeping the mouth closed from the reaction to out of the world Maine panoramic views. When everyone in the Maine snow sledding party suddenly stops joking, talking, socializing. Drifting off into collective thousand yard stares at a distant unorganized "Township" this "Range" that mountain range. Where there are no signs of man. Finding only left alone, lost in time natural settings that's change seasons four times a year. Filled only with wild animals, virgin timberland and crystal clean waterways in the lower sections. All there is in the hundreds and hundreds of thousands of rolling wooded acreages. Growing timber in this 91% forest land in the unpopulated regions in Maine's sixteen counties.
Studying a Delorme or sled ITS trail map for a little less traveled new side loop. Checking GPS readings to figure out where you've been. Hearing the self appointed "trail boss" arguing we needed to take the last fork in the trail but grumbling about being over ruled. Gazing out over the vast expanse of drop dead gorgeous beauty during a nature call in Maine .
Find your place in this space. Make plans to tap in to several Maine snowmobiling adventure this winter.
Join a Maine snow sledding club and pitch in to help maintain old routes, create new trails and build bridges to ford waterways.
And remember, Maine snow sledding, snowmobiling is a privilege not a right.
Without respect for private Maine land owner the trails criss cross out over and due to the property owner's generosity. His love of the sport of snow sledding, the neat engineered network will shrink. As one by one, trail use is restricted or removed. Because enough bad apple snow sledders don't "tread lightly". Or work hard enough to stay on the trail. To not cause damage to the Maine land and environment surrounding the natural setting we are all so fond of and respectful of in Vacationland.