Brewster House Bed & Breakfast (Freeport, Maine Coast)

Category Archives: skiing

White Water Rafting Maine

April 4, 2014 by Scott Gile

For those of us Mainers who love the outdoors, a significant transition marker every spring is the annual four day Reggae Fest at Sugarloaf Ski Resort, http://www.sugarloaf.com/activities-and-nightlife/reggae-festival. A fabulous outdoor event marking the coming of spring with the last days of spring skiing!! If you haven’t participated and you’re a lover of Reggae, skiing, boarding or the outdoors, GET HIP!!

In other miscellaneous news, Amtrak is offering $10 one-way adult fares between Brunswick (one stop past Freeport) and Haverhill, MA on the Downeaster weekends of April 12 & 13, and May 17 & 18. COME UP AND SEE US!! We’ll even pick you up and drop you off at the Freeport Station (call to make arrangements)!! We’re already pretty busy for that second weekend, so don’t wait to make reservations!http://www.amtrakdowneaster.com/deals is the link to Amtrak, but my instructions read you need to call Natalie Bogart at 207-780-1000 x108 to make arrangements.

Ahhhh, WHITE WATER RAFTING, one premier wilderness Maine experience!! If you’ve not had one of these thrill rides, this year is the time! Rafting is a team event, with the in-raft guidance of your personal experienced guide, who is also your boss, calls out instructions and steers the raft. The three rivers we run in Maine, the Kennebec, Penobscot and Dead Rivers, are all dam controlled, and transit pristine wild, beautiful country. The first two are also the primary drainages for the state, the Kennebec enters the Gulf of Maine not far from here, and the mighty Penobscot carved out Penobscot Bay, an hour + east of here.

All full trips run about 4 or 5 hours and cover about 15 miles of river.  Many companies run shorter ½ trips too.  The Kennebec and Penobscot are run year round, depending on daily releases from hydro-elecrtic dams for the ride.  The Dead is run a couple of weekends in the spring and fall, via flood control releases from Flagstaff Lake, east of Mt. Bigelow, across Carrabassett Valley from Sugarloaf, and is the only ride with consistent rapids the entire distance.  The Penobscot run starts east of Moosehead Lake (just south of Baxter State Park), and as the river includes class 4 and 5 rapids, is the wildest ride of the three.  Out family has rafted all but the Dead multiple times and will agree the Penobscot is the most intimidating, although many of it’s later stretches laze bucolically under the majestic Mt. Katahdin.  Most of the rafting companies that run the Kennebec are quartered in The Forks on that River, and you get in below the dam at the West end of Indian Pond, which empties Moosehead Lake (which at 45 miles long is one big a– lake!).

YOU WILL GET WET, so a wet-suit rental is a good idea on all but the warmest days, as the water that emerges from the depths of these big damned lakes IS COLD! All rafting companies have them available, as well as including helmets and other safety equipment. Rides begin with a safety briefing and practicing your teams response to your raft Captains’ commands. Halfway down any trip, you pull over for a scrumptious grilled lunch, hot drinks and of course, the brews flow after any trip, as you watch videos of yourselves negotiating the rapids.

A Google search will produce a number of options, but a place to start might be www.northernoutdoors.com. Most of these are based about 2 hours north of Freeport, and the plan is for us to be your cony refuge after (or before) your adventure! Believe me when I tell you that you can’t have more thrills (& lunch) for under $100!!<

WINTAH’S ARRIVAL

December 1, 2013 by Scott Gile

Scott & Mary
Brewster House Bed & Breakfast, Freeport, Maine

WINTAH’S ARRIVAL BLOG
Today my Dad & I took a little men’s adventure to the Maine Maritime Museum, out to lunch and a Home Depot stop for building stuff.  Cold!  Must’ve been 17 or so Monday AM, still a little snow here and there, after the winter gales of the last 2 days.  Got the flipside Noreaster on the way for the day before Thanksgiving.  Laid in bed last Monday night, listening to the wind lifting the shingles.  Rained buckets Tuesday night through Wednesday, then the gift you see above!
I digress….so, Don (my Dad) and I spent several hours absorbing the amazing models, histories, painting and artifacts at this breathtaking Maine Maritime Museum in Bath.  One of my favorites was the model of the 360’ J. P. Morgan Jr. motor yacht that was built in 1930 at the Bath Iron Works.  It really is a stunning place to experience, and only 20 minutes from here!  It also has a fabulous store with all kinds of books, drawings, artwork, photos, souvenirs, crushed mussel shell coasters, etc.  We plan to replace a lot of the more uninteresting wall decorations here over the winter with Maine stuff.  We know you will enjoy the changes.
Ice boat

We’re also refurbishing several rooms in the inn this winter (when not skiing or entertaining you).  We’re also going to work on the Brewster House Good Times book this winter, so no matter how long you’re here, no matter what the weather is, no matter what you like to do, we’ll have an awesome “on the spot” resource! 
LL Bean is whooping it up big for the Holidays!  Since they erected their enormous tree, every ½ hour on weekend evenings, they have an amazing coordinated music/ light show with their block-wide decorations!  Too bad you didn’t book earlier for Sparkle Weekend!
When you’re a downhill skier, one of the great features of being busy all summer and fall is quiet weekdays in the Winter to visit Sunday River (or “The Loaf”), just 65 miles from here.  This was taken a few days ago!  Ah, we love the corduroy!!!!

If your skiing ambitions are more the cross-country variety, sledding, dog-sledding, horse drawn sleigh rides or the snow-shoe touring sort, come up for the LL Bean Winter Carnival Weekend January 19th & 20th http://www.llbean.com/shop/retailStores/media/docs/121228_MK24535.pdf!!  Believe it or not, we STILL HAVE ROOMS!!  It will take place at the LL Bean Sports Center, near Wolf’s Neck, and advance registration is required, SO PLAN NOW!!
Finally don’t forget FLAVORS OF FREEPORT, including the Chef Signature Series, and Flavors Ice Bar, including a DJ, fire pit and luge to get you slipping and sliding into mid-winter on Friday, Feb. 21st http://www.freeportusa.com/flavorsoffreeport/!!
We have shovels full of winter deals available for you!  See our website and latest newsletter for a summary and GET UP HEEAH!!
    

Discovering the Outdoors … in Winter!

January 29, 2013 by Scott Gile

Our guests at Brewster House Bed & Breakfast are quite familiar with L.L. Bean’s 5 stores and world headquarters in Freeport Maine. Many even enjoy the L.L. Bean Outdoor Discovery Schools during the Spring and Summer months (in the fall, they’re usually too busy looking at our fall foliage!).

But did you know that the Outdoor Discovery Schools in Freeport run in the winter, too? No, not for kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, shooting clays, etc. But for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing!

What? You’ve never tried these great winter activities? Well, now is your chance! The Outdoor Discovery School classes in Freeport run through March 10, conditions permitting (only on weekends, but weekdays, too, from February 18-22). You can snowshoe in the mornings and cross-country ski in the afternoons. They are priced at $20 per person per class, and all equipment is provided!

What a deal! Check it out at the Outdoor Discovery School counter inside the Flagship Store, at the door by the boot!

We got snowshoes not long after we came to Brewster House, and while the photo above is not from an L.L. Bean course, it shows Ruth snowshoeing in nearby Wolfe Neck Woods State Park, along the Casco Bay.

Ruth & Scott
Brewster House Bed & Breakfast, Freeport, Maine

Visiting a Winter Wonderland

February 2, 2010 by Scott Gile

Portland Head Lighthouse - winterHave you ever considered visiting Maine in the winter? Some would shudder at the thought of snow and cold, but it can be the most picturesque time to be here!

We commonly see pictures of the spectacular Maine coastline with its rocky outcroppings and crags in the springtime or summer, or even during fall foliage. Ditto with the lighthouses, standing guard over the shores. Take a crisp, clear, sunny day and add a light dusting of snow, and you have a truly breathtaking photo of the same lighthouse (or stretch of coastline)!

The ideal time to come, of course, is on a sunny day, when the weather is just below 32F (0C) and there is a fresh snowfall (before anyone has walked on it!). Sometimes that is difficult to anticipate, though. To avoid disappointment, consider other types of photos as well – a wonderful lighthouse appearing against the gray skies, with a blanket of snow around it. If you have a light snow falling, it can make for a very interesting photo (though if you must use a flash, be careful that you don’t just see glare on the snowflakes).

Moose - Rangeley, MaineWinter is also a great time to see moose. They normally are more easily found near dawn and dusk, and often in the rural areas near the northern and western parts of Maine (such as Rangeley Lake, Moosehead Lake, or Aroostook County – to name a few), but can appear almost anywhere – especially if snow has made it difficult for them to find food in their customary locations. Just be careful, as they do wander into the roads, so you can round a bend in the road, or crest a hill, and find yourself face-to-face with one of the giant creatures! If you don’t startle them, you can usually get a picture, but don’t try to get too close, as they do startle easily at strange sounds – and they are big!

And, of course there are the traditional winter activities of snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and shopping! Check out the specials on our specials page!

A Cozy Blanket of Snow

January 19, 2010 by Scott Gile

Brewster House, guest entranceOur forecast was for about 3 inches of snow yesterday, but when we awoke there was already 9 inches on the ground and more coming down. We ended up with nearly a foot, at least in our parking lot.

It was the kind of snow, light and fluffy, that makes you want to go outside and make snow angels, running and playing like you were a small child. In fact, our neighbor’s small children were doing just that, enjoying the day off school, as it was a holiday. They sledded down the small hill in the yard, and you could hear the happy voices for a while.

It was also the kind of snow, and chilly, yet mild, temperatures, that makes your cheeks flush when you come back inside, and all you want is a cup of hot chocolate and to curl up by a fire with a good book. Mmmmmm.

The snow was also greatly needed, and appreciated, by the ski operators in Maine’s mountains, as we haven’t had a good snow for several weeks, so this provided a nice addition to the ski slopes. It will also make for great snowshoeing and cross-country skiing around Freeport, and also at the many area locations.

We’re hoping to get out to visit one of the cross-country ski areas nearby, to try that graceful sport.

What is your favorite thing about snow?

Happy New Year!

January 5, 2010 by Scott Gile

Brewster House Bed & Breakfast, January, 2010Our New Year started with a Nor’easter – which we hope is not a sign of the year to come! We were well prepared, as the weather reports had said that a big storm was moving up the Atlantic coast on January 1, and like many big storms, turning to the northeast, toward Nova Scotia. Had that been the entire story, the storm would have missed us.

This time, however, the storm had a backward movement, settling back onto the Maine coast, and dumping feet of snow on Maine, accompanied by strong, gusty, winds. We ended up with about 16-18 inches of snow overnight on January 2, with even more snow north and west of us.

Thankfully, since the snow had accumulated relatively slowly, so by plowing and snow-blowing frequently, the cleanup was quite manageable. By January 3 the temperatures climbed above freezing, and some of the snow melted, then turned to ice overnight, so we had a bit of an icy driveway by January 4, but it is all cleaned up now, and we’re back to normal.

Like many shopping areas, the after-Christmas sales are in full swing. However, unlike many after-Christmas sales, here they continue to get better and better, usually throughout January and February. For example, L.L. Bean is currently in the midst of a Winter Sale, with many items up to 50% off.

If you’re interested in more active pursuits, they have their Walk-On Adventures underway for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. For the more independent, Wolfe Neck Woods State Park and the Coastal Maine Botanic Garden have trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, and a full set of groomed trails, rentals, lessons, etc., are available at Pineland Farms, just a short drive away.

We’re continuing our Shop, Dine & Stay package through January 31, so if you’re coming, book that package for a two night stay and receive a $100 L.L. Bean Gift Card (combine that with their sale prices to really stretch your dollars!) and a $50 gift certificate at Azure Cafe. The package price is $499 (taxes included). Add a third night for just $100.

We look forward to helping you plan your winter getaway!!

Playing in the Snow in Maine

December 8, 2009 by Scott Gile

Brewster House in the snow, December 2009Like much of the eastern United States, we had our first “real” snow of the year this past weekend (real in the sense that it didn’t melt away the same day). The timing was perfect, as thousands of visitors were here in Freeport for the 16th annual Sparkle weekend. Judging from the reactions of our guests, it was a wonder-filled, almost magical weekend!

Now that Sparkle is past, we look forward to a couple of weeks of Christmas shoppers and those who enjoy just one more getaway before the holidays. Then we embark on the remaining projects around the house, as well as a bit of vacation in the early Spring.

Meanwhile, there is lots to do in the winter months in Maine!

Winter activities abound throughout the area. There is snowshoeing and cross-country skiing at nearby Pineland Farms, with miles of groomed trails. They even have a short video to give you a glimpse of it! For the adventurous, you can also cross-country (Nordic) ski or snowshoe at Wolfes Neck Woods State Park in Freeport. The trails there are well-used, but not groomed.

Ruth on snowshoes at Wolfes NeckAre you interested in snowshoeing or cross-country skiing, but need a bit of help to get started? L.L. Bean’s Flagship Store in Freeport has introductory lessons as part of their Outdoor Discovery Program for only $15 per person, December through March as conditions allow on Saturdays and Sundays. Cross-country skiing is at 1:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. and snowshoeing is at 9:30 a.m. and noon. No pre-registration is required, and all equipment is provided.

Of course, when you finish with your outdoor activities, there is a hot cup of cider, hot chocolate, or tea waiting, along with some snacks. Then there are the shops and outlets in Freeport, to help you return to civilization.

You may want to verify with us, or with the places you want to go, that they are open, especially in the early part of the winter, but there are many choices, and so much to do that you’ll want to plan to be here for several days!

Snow! And the leaves have only just fallen!

November 5, 2009 by Scott Gile

We knew it was coming early this year. At least we suspected it. There were even some flurries that didn’t stick a few weeks ago.

Early snow, Brewster House B&B Freeport, Maine 2009Last night the weatherguessers said there was a chance of flurries during the night, but the weather has been so erratic, that they haven’t been right 24 hours in advance often enough to give that much credibility. But upon waking up this morning and glancing out the window, there it was.

Of course, this being Maine after all, early snows are not unheard of. Before moving here we were visiting in late October one year and there was a large snow – several feet, in fact. But that was in the mountains, not near the coast. So this is a bit different, for us, anyway.

Here it is all the same. The photo shows our back yard, looking down from the second floor of the house, about 7:00 a.m. today. The snow is continuing to fall, making the prediction of “possible accumulations of up to an inch” look quite likely.

This is predicted (!) to stop this morning, with possibly a bit more this afternoon, but the high temperatures are in the mid-40’s, so it isn’t likely to stick around long. And the snow removal here is unbelievably quick and thorough, so we normally have no trouble with snow on the roads.

Still, all this early winter weather makes it likely that the snowshoeing and cross-country skiing (all within only a few minutes drive of Brewster House) will be excellent this year! Are you planning to visit?

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