mikerider

RDL 2021: Plan B

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Well RDL gang and others who are interested, I think we need to look ahead and get a jump on things should Quebec be a no go next season. Maine might be the logical plan B. Thinking areas with the best snowfalls, best grooming, best places to stay, most trails etc., would probably come down to Jackman, Millinockett and Aroostook County (Caribou or Shin Pond area).  Areas mentioned are listed closest to furthest travel distance and most used areas to least used sledding areas.  Hard to say if the trails will be extra busy or extra quiet due to the economy etc.

All that is needed to do is find that perfect place to stay that meets our needs of cost and ability to socialize, and on site restaurant. I will do a little research on this.

Let's hope for the best, but be prepared for second best if necessary. Its going to be a long summer.

mike

 

 

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Makes a lot of sense Mike ! Im feeling RDL will be good by January but who knows.

 

This exercise will surely show how special RDL Universel is......Im afraid.

Strictly for consistent riding with reasonable traffic Caribou then Milli are best from my experience. Jackman can get crazy IMO.

Finding a nice hotel with good food is pretty limited anywhere in Maine as good as it is for sledding.

Of course we are comparing it to Disneyland. (RDL Universel)

 

 

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I agree Mark,  places to stay in the heart of Maine's snow belt won't be as good, but hopefully at least something cozy for all where we can gather for that all important beer or wine in the evening. Thanks for the heads up on Millinockett, the place I am least familiar with, but have been hearing very nice reports in recent years. I have lots of experience in the other two areas, but it has been a long time since spending any time at them. 

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Hi Mike 

It is funny you did this post as I have had the same thoughts going through my head. Quebec has more than 50% of all the cases in Canada and this isn't going anywhere quick. There are 24982 cases as of today. I am trying to stay positive and look forward to a great winter season 20-21 but you never know what the future holds! Stay safe everyone and keep your fingers crossed that Quebec gets this under control! On a side note, Lisa and I were supposed to be arriving in Lisbon Portugal today after a transatlantic cruise. Not!!! Saw this picture from Western NFLD on FB taken this week.

 

Andy

81454041_10159082477147646_1395745976131518464_n.jpg

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I was riding those areas in Maine in the mid 80's then headed to Quebec in late 87. I found those Maine trails to be filled with a lot of weekenders from Boston, going from bar to bar, trails were a little narrower and weekend warriors had too much courage after a few beers. Maybe a lot has changed over the years as it has gotten a little out of their reach financially.I do not think anyone really knows what next season is going to bring us, but I do know winter sports are a big part of many Canadians financial existence...I sure hope a safe way to get back to the best trails in the world happens.

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Andy,    Glad you posted as it gave me hope that maybe New Brunswick might be open even though Quebec may not be.  NB would be a nice alternative. NB might have some better lodging alternatives than Maine. On the downside, the entire US/Canada border may be closed. Sorry about your trip to Lisbon. That you and Steven both like to go to Portugal makes me think it might be really nice there.

Bob,   I live in Maine and have rode all the snow belt areas since the 60's. It is better today than the craziness of the '80's. Lack of Quebec quality lodging is a factor in many Maine areas.         Talking about a Plan B is better than talking politics!    lol

mike

 

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Funny the Plan B topic should come up.  Our group had a Maine trip planned back in 2013.  We thought it might be worth a try.  A few days before we were supposed to leave, it turned warm, rained.  Calls to the hotel operators in the area showed very little promise that we would have a successful trip.  Were were to leave on Saturday.  When I was driving home on the Thursday before, I was talking with my brother, he said, how about the Michigan UP.  I said, what difference does it matter which way the trucks head on Saturday, give me an hour.  I then called another in our group, he goes be the QR name of Banker.  He's at home with access to his computer.  He likes the idea and says, give me an hour and I'll call you back.  He calls me back in 45 minutes.  The UP has snow from Sault Ste. Marie to Wisconsin, first two nights of a saddlebag trip booked.  We actually finished planning the route and booking lodging while we were driving there on Saturday morning.   Sault Ste. Marie > Grand Marais > Marquette > Tip of the Keewenaw Peninsula > Ironwood > Munising > Sault Ste. Marie.   It was a good ride.  We hit the snow conditions just perfect.  Not much traffic until the Friday afternoon on our way back in.

I told the gang as we have started to talk about the 2021 ride, we may want to dust off that Maine trip just in case. 

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Maine winter weather has been really up and down past several years. I have gotten use to the more dependable Quebec winters to the point I have only ridden a couple times in Maine over the last 15 years. So many times I have driven thru Maine's snow belt on my way to Quebec only to be glad I wasn't riding Maine that week.

No late ride Mike, but that is certainly hopeful news;

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I've rode all over Maine over the years and no doubt Aroostook County is the best, nothing like Quebec but that is where I will be going if Quebec is shut down. The Presque Isle Convention Center wasn't too bad, they have a bar & restaurant with gas next door. But I ain't fussy either as long as it is clean.

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Joe,     Spent hours looking up places to stay in Maine and there isn't much. I agree, PI Convention Ctr.,  and the Caribou Convention Ctr., looks the best of anything out there. I am guessing??? the  Caribou Convention Ctr. might be new.  (Wow, have we been spoiled staying in Quebc).

mike

 

 

Edited by mikerider

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1 hour ago, mikerider said:

Joe,     Spent hours looking up places to stay in Maine and there isn't much. I agree, PI Convention Ctr.,  and the Caribou Convention Ctr., looks the best of anything out there. I am guessing??? the  Caribou Convention Ctr. might be new.  (Wow, have we been spoiled staying in Quebc).

mike

 

 

My go to spot in Maine is the NORTHERN DOOR in Fort Kent. Gas station next door, restaurants within walking distance or by sled, police station next door to get trail pass, border crossing across the street into New Brunswick, Trail access to all points N/S/E/W. Skidoo/Yamaha/ Polaris dealers nearby ect. Also cross border from the border trail on the east side.

Hotel is clean, great staff, safe for trucks and sleds.

And the border trail opened up that had been closed for a while. ESCOURT STATION.( ITS92, Allagash

 

 

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Mike we are down to 6 active cases here in NB and guys are still riding off-trail in the Christmas Mountains area. All indications are that we will be back to the new normal within a few weeks to months. As far as riding the northern half of NB has some great riding and a long season. There are resorts on the Miramichi River "Ponds & Wilsons" that cater to sledders and several hotels in Miramichi City. The Bathurst area is the snowmobile capital of the Maritimes with the Atlantic Host and Dannys being 2 of the top destinations. Campbellton has several hotels also catering to sledders and of course, there is Moose Valley a sledders heaven. As long as the border issue is solved everyone would be good to go! Pics are from FB this week northern NB.

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Just to Add to the pool of Maine places.

We stayed here MANY years ago. It was clean and Conti Breakfast. The Gas Station\Store next door had pizza that was surprisingly good.

http://baxterparkinn.com/

It was no Delta or Universal.... Beggars can't be choosers if the Border is closed.

GutZ

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Thanks Andy.  Atlantic Host looks like a perfect place to stay.  I would be fine pitching a tent, but the group I ride with need their pillows fluffed and chocolates left at the foot of the bed each day.  ( JK )          When spending 8 to 14 days at a place it really adds to the vacation to be somewhere that is nice. Atlantic Host looks perfect. I can't believe NB only has only six active C-19 cases, that is incredible. It is really difficult to see how next winter plays out with the US/Canada border. I would guess ether the entire border opens or doesn't,  not just some province borders. But a scenario could play out that the border opens and only NB opens their trails and QC does not. Wow, wouldn't NB be some crowded!!! with folks from everywhere.

Gutz,   I am with Jak's thinking, if stuck in Maine, then Aroostook County. it is  Although New Brunswick sounds like a better alternative to Maine if that scenario can play out.                                          Rangeley, Maine is my favorite area to spend time and has some great lodging, but, trails can be crowded and  too many sharp turns everywhere.

 

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1 hour ago, mikerider said:

Thanks Andy.  Atlantic Host looks like a perfect place to stay.  I would be fine pitching a tent, but the group I ride with need their pillows fluffed and chocolates left at the foot of the bed each day.  ( JK )          When spending 8 to 14 days at a place it really adds to the vacation to be somewhere that is nice. Atlantic Host looks perfect. I can't believe NB only has only six active C-19 cases, that is incredible. It is really difficult to see how next winter plays out with the US/Canada border. I would guess ether the entire border opens or doesn't,  not just some province borders. But a scenario could play out that the border opens and only NB opens their trails and QC does not. Wow, wouldn't NB be some crowded!!! with folks from everywhere.

Gutz,   I am with Jak's thinking, if stuck in Maine, then Aroostook County. it is  Although New Brunswick sounds like a better alternative to Maine if that scenario can play out.                                          Rangeley, Maine is my favorite area to spend time and has some great lodging, but, trails can be crowded and  too many sharp turns everywhere.

 

Mike

I'm just thinking out loud,  IF the border to NB or QC is closed everyone wont fit in the The County.... Unless we use Bunkbeds....hmmmmm

Stay Safe

GutZ

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8 hours ago, Andyman said:

Mike we are down to 6 active cases here in NB and guys are still riding off-trail in the Christmas Mountains area. All indications are that we will be back to the new normal within a few weeks to months. As far as riding the northern half of NB has some great riding and a long season. There are resorts on the Miramichi River "Ponds & Wilsons" that cater to sledders and several hotels in Miramichi City. The Bathurst area is the snowmobile capital of the Maritimes with the Atlantic Host and Dannys being 2 of the top destinations. Campbellton has several hotels also catering to sledders and of course, there is Moose Valley a sledders heaven. As long as the border issue is solved everyone would be good to go! Pics are from FB this week northern NB.

 

 

I can't believe you did not mention Serpentine lodge, your second home in New Brunswick.

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6 hours ago, mikerider said:

Thanks Andy.  Atlantic Host looks like a perfect place to stay.  I would be fine pitching a tent, but the group I ride with need their pillows fluffed and chocolates left at the foot of the bed each day.  ( JK )          When spending 8 to 14 days at a place it really adds to the vacation to be somewhere that is nice. Atlantic Host looks perfect. I can't believe NB only has only six active C-19 cases, that is incredible. It is really difficult to see how next winter plays out with the US/Canada border. I would guess ether the entire border opens or doesn't,  not just some province borders. But a scenario could play out that the border opens and only NB opens their trails and QC does not. Wow, wouldn't NB be some crowded!!! with folks from everywhere.

Gutz,   I am with Jak's thinking, if stuck in Maine, then Aroostook County. it is  Although New Brunswick sounds like a better alternative to Maine if that scenario can play out.                                          Rangeley, Maine is my favorite area to spend time and has some great lodging, but, trails can be crowded and  too many sharp turns everywhere.

 

The Host is the perfect spot to stay nice rooms, nice bar and restaurant, and lots of parking and inside heated storage for your sled no charge! The trail runs through their yard. They are a very big supporter of the local club and always have dead flat groomed trails to the door.

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Well, New Brunswick is certainly beating out my beloved state of Maine.  

Serpentine Lodge just looks small. I came across Wilson's Sporting Camp's web site by accident and that looks nice, but so far the Host has my vote.

 

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Thanks, Andy,  that is a great video and makes New Brunswick an easy first choice should Quebec not open up next winter. Trails look amazing. I know when Skidoo420 and I made the loop from Moose Valley to Edmunston back to RDL, every inch of NB was smooth as silk. During that ride, I can't tell you how many cars came stop to let us cross the road. Says a lot of the New Brunswick people and their hospitality.

If anyone needs a little taste of sledding during the off season, this is a great video to watch.

mike

 

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Only 36 Virus related hospitalized in entire state of Maine now. Great news.

Only 5 people (the other 3 people are now recovered) currently listed as infected in the entire (huge) Aroostook County....Snowmobile Country.

Thinking/hoping that the border is going to be open to sledding New Years !

 

Yes, Our fearless Maine Governor has even Aroostook County business extended in the shutdown last week....shut down for 4 more weeks. She cant tell the difference between the City of Portland (or NYC).... and Ft Kent.... apparently. So harmful. 

Hopefully there are restaurants and hotels up there left to go to this winter. New Brunswick is looking better by the week.

Looking forward to summer getting here. Same time..Cant wait to ride again. 🙂

Edited by EastMark

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