Fall foliage still falling groundward. But in the back of many Mainer's minds, is snowsledding on 3500 miles of groomed trails. Families bundle up, and spend a weekend afternoon in the sun going where you can not get by vehicle. From the top of Number 9 Mountain west of E Plantation in Aroostook County, the tracks by your sled where you stop to enjoy the view show a rabbit...heck there are deer prints too. Snow from a tall fir slowly falls in the slight wind that swirls around your sledding party. It sparkles in the breeze as it lands while the sunshine filters thru the fluff. This is great. Unspoiled scenery. Machines off and just the sound of wind in the pine trees. No black flies, no phones ringing..just clean clear crisp air and sunshine while you lean back on your sled to talk about the trail ahead and the section you just witnessed. Laughing, pondering, spending time not hibernating in Northern Maine over the winter. Join a club, come north and rent a machine. The snowsled has an engine with oil injection, sometimes a studded track and carbide runners on the two skis to make it go where you want. Stay on the trail is good advice as if you venture off, you could sink and with 400 to 500 pound machine, do you really want to get a hernia lugging and tugging on the front end and back bumber to put it back on the trail? But make sure you stop and park on the side of the trail...not in the middle of it as other groups will cover ground quickly and may come around the corner behind you and Bingo...you are suddenly a target to avoid. Sunsets, ice fishing, zipping across a field or winding thru the woods...night or day, snowsledding gives your lungs a full dose of Aroostook County fresh air to oxygenate the brain. Shoulders may be a little tired after a 200 mile run, but good kind of tired. Phyical labor and fresh air and plans to do this again with the family. You can buy a decent sled for under $2000 and like any toy, you can spend $10,000 plus if you decide lets go to Quebec or Labrador on a real trip...for a week this winter. Whether a ten mile loop around a lake before supper or the pack clothes and a map for a long journey option, snowsledding is a sport that is addictive. From the days of 50 brands in the sixties and seventies to four major brands now, start looking into purchasing a snowsled to explore Northern Maine on! Get off the couch, put down the tv controller, stop surfing channels!
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