Winter is coming, oh yes, it is. I follow the weather blog of a family friend who predicts weather as a hobby, and although Pete says it’s too early to make an educated guess (watch for his predictions around November), the Boston area could have “a very memorable winter” this year. Coming from a hardened New Englander like Pete, words like these conjure up equate measures of elation (woo hoo! I love snow days!) and despair (but not too many snow days! how many exactly are we anticipating?).
In Bethel, Maine, the leaves are starting to turn, and it’s a beautiful time of year for a road trip to the Sunday River area before the snow hits the ground. On Columbus Day weekend, the Sunday River Resort hosts its annual fall festival. You can buy your season pass and check out the pre-season equipment sales, take in some great music and even better – participate in or cheer on the North American Wife Carrying Championship!! Seriously, this is apparently a very big deal.
Near the ski resort, you can wheel or walk in to the Sunday River Brew Pub, for good burgers, hearty and healthy salads and one of Stoo’s Brews (I heartily endorse the Sunday River Alt). A little further afield, but definitely worth the 30-minute drive to Rumford, is the Gone Loco No View Farm cafe and bakery. Annette, the owner, opens for the season in early October, and if the home-made chocolate she so kindly gifted us is any indication of her kitchen prowess, I will return this winter. The cafe is accessible by outdoor ramp. About a mile down the road is Mt. Zircon, a satisfying half-day hike or snowshoe destination – although you’d have to bring your own equipment if you needed modifications. The views from the top of this 5-mile round trip hike and a pit stop at the No View Farm are a rewarding exploration onto a little-traveled road in the Androscoggin River Valley.
When looking ahead to winter fun, consider the programs offered at Maine Adaptive Sports. Their winter programs run at Sunday River in Maine, beginning in July, and we have had years of truly wonderful experiences with the staff. Through this link for the town of Bethel, Maine, you can do an easy search for rental properties (sea “handicap accessible” in the search criteria). Hope to see you there!