Skiing in Maine offers bargains in March

When I think of Maine, I think of leaping off barnacle covered rocks into the ocean and eating clams dipped in butter in Ogunquit like I did one summer when I went there to visit a high school friend. She was was working as a waitress at a hotel resort and I was a kitchen grunt and laundry girl at a kids camp–the only way I could afford making it to camp as a high schooler. Whenever else I’ve been to Maine, the theme has been the same–beach seafood,and leisurely strolls. Just recently I’ve thought of a different scene.

A friend of mine–a different one–just emailed me this week with news that he expected to be skiing in Maine until April. He lives near Portland. With the 70 degree weekend we’re having in Ohio, I’d say my one-day pass for tubing at Snow Trails will go unused. Maine is a different story. If I lived there, I’d go tubing and more. Perhaps, I’d dust off those cross-country skis of mine propped in a corner of our basement.

With the snow that socked in the northeast the beginning of this past week, the skiing in Maine has had an extra boost. The Ski Maine Association Web site offers links to each of the Alpine and Nordic ski areas and tells when it last snowed at each. Most places just got fresh snow.

The events page on the site offers a list of the myriad activities that are going on through the middle of April. I have to say the 22nd Annual Parrot Head/Bust N Burn Festival sounds intriguing. It’s taking place at Sunday River, April 3-5. Here’s an article in from last year about the event. Key lime pie, Jimmy Buffet music and skiing are involved.

As a note, Sunday River is offering lodge and ski packages through March with an even greater price drop during the middle of the week. If you buy lift tickets ahead of time, you get a 10% discount. The Ski Maine Association also is offering discounts through the Maine Winter Activities Pass. Before you head somewhere, check out the deals.

The photo is of Sugar Loaf. College students who show ID can ski for $39 during mid-week days. That means Mon.-Thursday.

For those looking for skiing longer into the season, I’d seriously think about heading to Maine. Surely you can find steamed clams to dip in butter which could tide you over until summer.

Here’s an events page for what to do in Ogunquit in the winter. On Wednesday nights at Tapas and Tini’s there’s Divine and Dine–where you can have a choice of entrees that come with side dishes for $9.99. The deal ends the beginning of June.

The photo from Maine Coast Semester is of a winter trip to Holbrook Pond. Maine Coast Semester offers wilderness trips year round for adults and young people. Just another way to see Maine in the winter–or any season.

Amazing Race contestants: What does it take exactly?

What does it take to get picked as an Amazing Race contestant team? In this Columbus Dispatch article, there’s some insight. Victoria Hunt, the female part of the Columbus-based married couple team–Brad and Victoria, who are competing in Amazing Race 14, tried out for Survivor several times.

She never made it onto Survivor, but when she showed the powers that be a photo of her husband, Victoria was bumped over to the Amazing Race with Brad in tow. It helps that both of them are attractive and fit. Like Victoria, hubby Brad is an exercise hound. Along with rock and ice climbing, he kayaks, mountaineers at high altitudes and power-lifts. Not only does he participate in marathons, he is in ultra-marathons. Frankly, it sounds as if he could answer the casting call for a good looking, silver-haired Batman.

As for Victoria, she is an avid skier, but I hope she has more experience than Ohio’s offerings. Snow Trails and Mad River Mountain are fun–but even I ski those, and I’m no skier.

According to Victoria, the show is looking for folks who “have an opinion” since this makes for interesting TV. Based on the article, I assume Brad and Victoria made it at least through a couple legs of the race. I wonder if they made it to Romania and Siberia, two new destinations this season? The filming started right after Halloween, spanning 40,000 miles and seven other countries.

For a rundown of the other Amazing Race 14 contestants, click here.

Two ski experiences: Borovets in Bulgaria and Snow Trails, Mansfield, Ohio

Last night I did some Ohio skiing. It was nothing like this high speed ski experience of Balkan ski champion Cristo Angelov when he took on one of the ski trails at Borvovets in Bulgaria–not even close. Borovets is Bulgaria’s oldest winter resort. First , there are moutains. Snow Trails, where I went near Mansfield, about an hour north of Columbus, has what I would call mountain-like hills. The higher mountains in Ohio are to the south when you hit the Appalachians.

Taking a high speed ride with Cristo is a thrill. The angle is from his perspective so it seems like you are doing the skiing. All you see of him is his shadow. Sections of this YouTube video posted by skivid look a bit like an arcade game. I kept expecting people to get knocked over with some sort of graphic noises to show their demise. No accidents, but once Cristo does give a “Don’t move warning.”

For the Snow Trails version of skiing . . .

This YouTube ski video from Snow Trails posted by welljei two weeks ago shows the contrast between the two skiing experiences. There was more snow last night, though. Plus, it was dark. Still it was fun, and for those who are interested in a low key, easy to get to ski experience in the Midwest, I do think it’s worth heading there.