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Help - I'm Stranded in Jackman,Maine

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
I'm in the basement of Bishop's Motel in Jackman, Maine, about 17 miles and 30" of snow away from the Canadian border. I should be on the slopes of Le Massif now. As it is, I feel fortunate to be here at all.
I think this day started about three days ago. I drove to Portland from my home in Sedgwick last Friday to pick up my boy who was flying in from Rochester (RIT). He got in 27 hours late due to snow. While waiting I caught the new Bond and Transporter movies. Great testosterone boost. And then I went mad from listening to a day's worth of airport Christmas music. So collected him Sunday at 3:00am and turned for home, arriving at 7:00am. We all planned to get ahead of the next storm by heading out at mid-morning. But did not get out till 1:00pm. And by then the snow was flying. But this was supposed to be a southern/central Maine storm. Surely, as we headed north to the Canadian border, we would drive out of it. And it looked that way - for a while.
Slow going on Rt 95 and then Rt 2 west to Skowhegan. Light snow was a seduction luring us deeper into the snow web. The sun set and the snow intensified. Things were not going according to plan. I do not know why Detroit is failing. The valiant '03 Dodge Grand Caravan trudged on tenaciously. Was more the studded Hak 2's than the van's experience (219k miles) that propelled us forward. Did I mention that we are also hauling a 4x8 covered trailer with our gear in it? My new favorite song, "Stand By Your Van."
Knuckles whitened. The minutes ticked into hours, and 45 mph turned into 15-20mph. It was not so much the traction that was intermittent, but the visibility,which was also intermittent. A glazed windshield. Funny how white out conditions can make the hilliest and twistiest road appear flat and straight. And you look not straight into the mezmerising eyes of the beast, but to the sides for the snow banks which become your white lines. The hills were the worst, and the worst of them reminded me of the Perfect Storm when the captain willed his battered boat up the face of that merciless behemoth. As I put the hammer down to keep up some speed, I could almost hear Scotty's entreat, "Captain, I'm given 'er all she's got." Pretty much knew that if we floated off the road, or just lost grip, it would have been a very cold (2 degree) night in the van. Stopping was out of the question as momentum was our only ally. No one behind us. Or ahead of us. Except the line of tractor trailers and logging trucks stuck on a hill in the opposite lane. And the acrid smell of sacrificed tire rubber. Even the fluffy white can cripple the big rigs with a burnt rubber alchemy that turns snow into ice.They all remained humbled except the mean, impatient pulp truck that met us in our lane as we crested the hill. Donner Pass. Donner Pass Donner Pass.
Never have I been more grateful to see a "Reduced Speed Zone Ahead sign." Jackman, the snow oasis. Reason caught up to us as we weighed our options in the belly of the beast. Ajoining rooms at Bishops marked the return of sensibility, and circulation to the knuckles.
Overnight, the 10" on the road at snooze time multiplied to 30" this morning. A big blow even for this neck of the woods. A jack-knifed trailer truck and beached State plow truck on the road north have given us some quality time here in Bishop's basement. Did I mention that there is just one road in and out of town? Just got the news that the road has cleared. I for one am thankful for warm room at the inn (not even the stable) in this oasis in the snow. Or more appropriately for our family, the miracle of Hanukkah played out in a most unexpected way last night.
I wish you all safe travels and warm basements when you need them.
Update - the lovely Bishop's person just reported that another logging truck just jackknifed just north. We are here for at least another four hours. And here I sit.
Sysifus
post #2 of 25
Could be worse, we could still have no snow! When you do finally get moving the skiing will be, well, EPIC!
post #3 of 25
Turn around, go to skiing at Sugarloaf?

Bishops is a fun place, but I'm usually snowmobiling through, not trying to go skiing. Man, the more I hear about this, the more I wish I drive home (from RIT) on Saturday...
post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 
The Loaf reports the full 30." Would definitely head there if not for the fact that I have about $2k invested in a chalet and tickets at Massif. Have already missed two nights. Ironic. Ususally we got to Saddleback over Christmas, and it always rains. Always.This year....
And Massif got only 8" of fresh (but has about 7' of natural already.
Moral - never go skiing with me over Christmas. krp8128, my boy says hi. If I had known he was not going to get out till Sun am, I could have given you both a ride. Any new on Bristol?
post #5 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by deliberate1 View Post
krp8128, my boy says hi. If I had known he was not going to get out till Sun am, I could have given you both a ride. Any new on Bristol?
20 trails, 18"-30" depth. I thought about going Saturday, but for $53 I decided to stay home and mount/tune some skis instead.

What major is your son in?

I'll be heading out of here tomorrow (Tuesday) at about noon, looks like I'll miss the weather here and in Maine.
post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 
What major is your son in?

New Media Marketing a hybrid program in the B School and Graphic program. Is a soph. You?
Drive safely. Heard some weather coming in on Wed. Want to thread that needle.
post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by deliberate1 View Post
What major is your son in?

New Media Marketing a hybrid program in the B School and Graphic program. Is a soph. You?
Drive safely. Heard some weather coming in on Wed. Want to thread that needle.
I'm in the Mechanical Engineering program, a 5th year (senior). I had a roomate for 3+ years who was New Media Design.

Yeah, weather is supposed to get bad again here tomorrow night and then Wednesday in Maine. I'm picking up some extra hours at work today/tomorrow then getting the heck out of here...
post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by krp8128 View Post
I'm in the Mechanical Engineering program, a 5th year (senior). I had a roomate for 3+ years who was New Media Design.

Yeah, weather is supposed to get bad again here tomorrow night and then Wednesday in Maine. I'm picking up some extra hours at work today/tomorrow then getting the heck out of here...
Happy and safe trails.
post #9 of 25
I feel for you man, I grew up in that area of Maine. Party with all the snowmobilers at e the bahhr.
post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JDoyal View Post
I feel for you man, I grew up in that area of Maine. Party with all the snowmobilers at e the bahhr.
Can you believe it, not a sled in sight. Even they stayed home last night. Pu**ies.
post #11 of 25
"Stand By Your Van"

White knuckle driving a White Ribbon Of Death sucks, especially while dodging 18 wheelers. I once got stranded in an ice storm for 2 days because the state patrol closed the interstate. I ended up at a Best Western that had no electricity. There was a card game in the lounge that went non stop for the entire time with people joining in and dropping out. I broke even. Good thing because there wasn't any discount despite the motel not having heat, hot water, or any power at all. But, the drinks were cold
Happy trails and glad you didn't wreck
post #12 of 25
I went on a hunting trip to Jackman about 6 years ago. I feel your pain they have 2 restaurants Mama Bear's Den and the Four Seasons (Obviously no relation!).

The not-so-supermarket has about 4 ailses. toilet paper and dinty moore stew.

The hunting guide we had was a putz and he told me to follow a non-existant trail in the woods to find a treestand. I stayed on the road and paid some local $50 to drive me back to my cabin.

Good News is that you are not too far from Canada.

Good Luck, get out quick, and never go back!!!!

1 Consolation.....

Mamabear's Den had the best blueberry pie I ever had.
post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnysdg View Post
I went on a hunting trip to Jackman about 6 years ago. I feel your pain they have 2 restaurants Mama Bear's Den and the Four Seasons (Obviously no relation!).

The not-so-supermarket has about 4 ailses. toilet paper and dinty moore stew.

The hunting guide we had was a putz and he told me to follow a non-existant trail in the woods to find a treestand. I stayed on the road and paid some local $50 to drive me back to my cabin.

Good News is that you are not too far from Canada.

Good Luck, get out quick, and never go back!!!!

1 Consolation.....

Mama Bear's Den had the best blueberry pie I ever had.
Damn, sounds like you got Jacked, man.
Had dinner at Four Seasons. Deadly. Bkfst at Mama Bear's. Pretty good. Alas, they must pull the blueberry pie off the menu when the snow reaches 24."
For dinner, I am thinking of cooking the Dinty Moore "Jackman Style." Heat up the van and shove the can next to the catalytic converter. Now that's some eatin'.
From Bishop's basement.....
post #14 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
"Stand By Your Van"

White knuckle driving a White Ribbon Of Death sucks, especially while dodging 18 wheelers. I once got stranded in an ice storm for 2 days because the state patrol closed the interstate. I ended up at a Best Western that had no electricity. There was a card game in the lounge that went non stop for the entire time with people joining in and dropping out. I broke even. Good thing because there wasn't any discount despite the motel not having heat, hot water, or any power at all. But, the drinks were cold
Happy trails and glad you didn't wreck
Could always be worse. No doubt. Got to go. I hear our wine bottles exploding the the back of the U Haul.
From Bishop's basement.....
post #15 of 25
"Had dinner at Four Seasons"


Dinner?

Ok, lets call it that since you probably ate it at dinner time.
post #16 of 25
Forget TV, I might watch this thread for entertainment tonight! Good luck out there.
post #17 of 25
What's with all the hate towards the Four Season's?

IIRC that is our go to spot when snowmobiling in the area...
post #18 of 25
Thread Starter 
Update. dinner (yes, dinner) at Moma Bears. Same table as breakfast. Only one that fits us all. They pulled out the dinner menu - well, its the inside of the breakfast menu. We have been in town just 24 hours and I think we are famous. Waitress (no servers round here) already knew that we ate at Fours Seasons last night. Keeping track of the competition. The only other resturaunt in town. And right across the street from each other. Guess we were kind of hard to miss. The folks who drove out of the blizzard in the ancient Caravan dragging the U Haul, dropped on their knees and kissed the snow covered pavement - all illuminated by the Bud Light sign. Kind of religious if you are of that persuasion. Great tomato soup at Mama Bears. 86 on the bluberry pie. Only thing they had was the sugar cake and carrot cake. Personally, I don't do so well in public with carrot cake. I have a rather large moustache (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v5...52127_3923.jpg) and I do as well with cream cheese frosting as I do with ice. So we are all back to Bishops Motel (very nice folks). We grabbed a now frozen chocolate pie out the U Haul and will watch some movies on the room 20" screen. It may not be crusin' at Massif, but it is good vibrations with the family. Isn't that what it is really all about? A great family story lasts longer in the collective memory than a great run. Thanks for all your well wishes. Bet when you got up this morning never thought you'd be thinking about Jackman, Maine. Funning thing what trail life can take you down. Man plans. God chuckles,
Out from the basement....
post #19 of 25
Your tribulations made for some entertaining prose in that original post. Hope you don't spend all eight nights of Hanukkah in Jackmanukkah.
post #20 of 25
Were the specials at Mama bears and 4 seasons the same?

........Whatever the truck brought.

Happy Chanukah!
post #21 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesj View Post
Your tribulations made for some entertaining prose in that original post. Hope you don't spend all eight nights of Hanukkah in Jackmanukkah.
Now that would make for "eight crazy nights"! Honestly, I wandered the loney street of Jackman last night looking for a lonely menorah in the window. Bupkis. And homefries is the closest we are likely to get to latkes. Safe to say that the six of us got Jackman as close to Silverman as it is ever likely to get. Jamesj, if you are of our persuasion, I wish you a chag sameach. If of the other, warmest Christmas wishes.
Leaving the basement....
post #22 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnysdg View Post
Were the specials at Mama bears and 4 seasons the same?

........Whatever the truck brought.

Happy Chanukah!
How did you know? No kidding. The menus were essentially interchangeable. All except fo the shrimp scampi my prodigal son had last night at Mama's. Call me a snob, living on the coast of our great state, but who would have thought you could get a good shrimp scampi in the middle of the north woods. And on the second night of Hanukkah, no less. Apparently you can.
Warm Hanukkah greeting to you and yours
Going down to the basement (for breakfast)....
post #23 of 25
If you ever get to Le Massif and the weather is decent that place is gorgeous and fun.
http://www.theweathernetwork.com/ind...8&switc hto=f
post #24 of 25

Area's terrain(for AT) is nice..but lodging is rural!.;-)

D, need to watch the forecasts/weather-forecasts for up heeah! As you were met with.....from the lower-lying Forks on up to the higher-terrain border, weather systems can get stalled.... FWIW..a lot of small mountainous XC/Tele terrain around..for future ref...! ;-) It's a fun area for kids in late Winter....

$.01
post #25 of 25
Thread Starter 
Out from the basement, and back home.
Well, we finally did make it out of Jackman on Tuesday, and arrived at Le Massif several hours later. Had three days of just amazing skiing on what is a sensational mountain. First day, packed pow. Second, 8"pow/packed pow. And yesterday, a couple inches of new on top of a packed powdered sugar base. Put the new Blizzard Cronus and Dal Krypyons to the test. Glorious.
Appreciate all your support and well wishes during our ordeal, and wish all my pals here happy trails.
David
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