It’s been a busy month in Rangeley this January! The month started off cold and snowy with a beautiful sunny day for Maine Day Skiing at Saddleback. On the first Sunday of the month Saddleback has a “Maine day,” where all Maine residents can buy a ticket for just $29! What a deal! The glades didn’t open until later this month, but the snow was soft and easy to carve in.
Just last weekend was the annual Snodeo, which filled the woods, trails, and restaurants with snowmobilers. Every year they hold this weekend snowmobile event where people come for demo rides, raffles, competitions, parades, marshmallow roasting, a chili chowder cook-off, fireworks and a “blessing of the sleds!” It’s quite an event!
Despite the mid-January thaw the snow has been slowly and steadily accumulating. Each time I arrive at Red Quill there is a fresh layer of light fluffy snow to shovel off the steps and to play in.
The other day I walked out the back steps, my head down, hood pulled tight against the cold, heading to the woodshed to get more wood for the fire. My feet were silent in the fresh fallen snow, and I was lost in my own narrow world as I hurried to get wood and get back inside. A noise startled me and I snapped my head up, momentarily forgetting the cold, and stood staring into the face of a large healthy doe! She had been pawing the ground in the back yard for fallen birdseed. We both stood stock-still and shocked to see each other. Our eyes locked. Neither of us was sure what to do. Then I smiled at her and let out a slow breath. Her breath came out in a similar slow white puff of air. We stared, still amazed to see the other so close. And then I sneezed uncontrollably and she jumped, looked at me, and then trotted away into the woods. I chuckled as she disappeared and quietly reminded myself to look up next time I went to get wood.