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2023 New England Gathering Discussion (March 24 - 26, Sugarloaf / Saddleback)

Tony S

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The 2023 New England Gathering will take place Friday March 24 - Sunday March 26 at Sugarloaf and Saddleback, Maine. For context, please see last year's thread, this year's prologue, and this year's poll.

The 2023 roll call thread is over here. If you are planning to attend, please post your name there. General discussion prior to the event belongs in this thread.

Early days, more to come!

THE SCHEDULE
  • Friday, March 24 - Saddleback - meet at 9:30am near the fireplace on the main floor of the lodge. Ready to ski by 10:00. (NOTE NEW SPRING HOURS == LATER START)
  • Saturday, March 25 - Sugarloaf - meet at 8:00am in the King Pine Room of the lodge. Ready to ski by 8:30. (NOTE THE EARLIER START!)
    • Saturday EVENING, March 25 - 6:00pm group dinner by prior reservation at the Coplin Dinner House - sign up on the dinner thread
  • Sunday, March 26 - Saddleback - meet at 9:00am near the fireplace on the main floor of the lodge. Ready to ski by 9:30.
 
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Tony S

Tony S

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FWIW, my plan is to stay in Rangeley Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, commuting to the Loaf as needed.

I'll attempt to make a limited group dinner reservation for Saturday night.

Yadda yadda.
 
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Tony S

Tony S

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[from the roll call thread]
Commitment is scary and hard, but...

Yeah, nothing is going to be scary or hard at this gathering.

Well, if we are really lucky the driving will be scary! ;)
 

zircon

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I can’t believe it’s not England!
So where's good to stay up there if you're broke cheap? Last time I was up north was the week of COVID shutdown. Stayed in ~Farmington and drove the hour to Sugarloaf. Would Wilton or Eustis (yes I know opposite directions) be too far for Saddleback?
 
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Tony S

Tony S

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So where's good to stay up there if you're broke cheap? Last time I was up north was the week of COVID shutdown. Stayed in ~Farmington and drove the hour to Sugarloaf. Would Wilton or Eustis (yes I know opposite directions) be too far for Saddleback?
Eustis is a great location from a convenience-of-travel point of view. It's between Sugarloaf and Saddleback, as you will have observed. There is nothing in Stratton/Eustis, however.* If that's okay with you, you are good. I have stayed in the Spillover and Mountain View motels more than once.**

Wilton is a bit of schlep. I mean, really, it's not crazy far, but psychologically Wilton/Farmington feels like ... you are not on vacation. Also in terms of evening socializing it puts you at a disadvantage.

* The ONE thing in Stratton/Eustis that DOES get props is the Coplin Dinner House, which burned down and then rose from the ashes. I have not eaten there. Depending on how our days shake out, it's possibly a locale for a group meal.

7:00 breakfast at The Looney Moose is an experience. A large group of locals who are getting on in years gathers there at a big table. They are on the loud side. It's an interesting glimpse into the life of rural Maine.

** I used to really like Mountain View. @KevinF and I stayed there at the last Maine Gathering, like 10 years ago. But last time - a year or two ago - it was not a great experience, whereas the Spillover has improved. My two cents.
 
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James

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Yeah, nothing is going to be scary or hard at this gathering.
Other than driving across NH and Maine in the rain at night dodging Sasquatch hidden by the frost heaves.
Very excited about the Pow at Saddleback!
 

TheArchitect

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We’ll be there Saturday and Sunday. I’m hoping that the schedule will work that we get one day at Saddleback and one at Sugarloaf. I‘m trying to decide where to stay and I don’t want to book at one if we’ll be at the other both weekend days. Maybe Friday-Saturday at one and Sunday-Monday at the other?
 
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Tony S

Tony S

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We’ll be there Saturday and Sunday. I’m hoping that the schedule will work that we get one day at Saddleback and one at Sugarloaf. I‘m trying to decide where to stay and I don’t want to book at one if we’ll be at the other both weekend days. Maybe Friday-Saturday at one and Sunday-Monday at the other?
Yes, I agree we should assume that of the two "primary" days - Saturday and Sunday - we'll have one day at the Loaf and one at Saddleback.

I'm holding off for now on saying which day will be which until the mountains' event schedules ripen.

As mentioned earlier my current plan is to simply stay in Rangeley the whole time, partly because I just don't like to "move house."
 

TheArchitect

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Yes, I agree we should assume that of the two "primary" days - Saturday and Sunday - we'll have one day at the Loaf and one at Saddleback.

I'm holding off for now on saying which day will be which until the mountains' event schedules ripen.

As mentioned earlier my current plan is to simply stay in Rangeley the whole time, partly because I just don't like to "move house."

I like to stay in one place when possible as well. I’m not sure where I’ll stay for this one. Sugarloaf has had lodging deals at past ski shows so I may wait to see what they have, if anything.
 

Wilhelmson

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So where's good to stay up there if you're broke cheap? Last time I was up north was the week of COVID shutdown. Stayed in ~Farmington and drove the hour to Sugarloaf. Would Wilton or Eustis (yes I know opposite directions) be too far for Saddleback?
Once you see a Canadian logger blasting down the route you’ve realize Sugarloaf isn’t too far away, and it’s a nice drive with views of the Bigelows.

Saddleback is almost you can’t get there from here from Eustis, but ts more the dang frost heaves up the access to Saddle, and looking out for moose. It is a nice drive.

The valley used to have some good options for less expensive homes to rent but it has been different the last few years.
 

Wilhelmson

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:ogcool:

I read somewhere (I think) that they paved that road this summer. Can anybody here confirm this?
The hippie super slow Subarus go sloooooo. Fitting and fine but adds to the drive time.
 
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Tony S

Tony S

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:ogcool:

I read somewhere (I think) that they paved that road this summer. Can anybody here confirm this?
They're working on it. In early August - last time up - they hadn't gotten far. I would be surprised if it's been turned into an Autobahn before the ground freezes.
 
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Tony S

Tony S

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They're working on it. In early August - last time up - they hadn't gotten far. I would be surprised if it's been turned into an Autobahn before the ground freezes.
The road has some serious foundation issues, by my layman's eye. I think it was paved hastily 20 years ago and has never been right. Just months after one of the major improvements, in the Berry era, around 2005, big sections washed out catastrophically in a storm and had to be re-done. Bottom line is it's a long road that would probably take more time and money than is available to (re)build properly. Hope I'm wrong.
 

skiki

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The hippie super slow Subarus go sloooooo. Fitting and fine but adds to the drive time.
How did you know I drive a Subaru?
Even if new paving eliminates the, umm, terrain based speed control, I'm sure @LiquidFeet will agree that a friendly local government escort doesn't help drive time any, in a Subaru or otherwise. How long did he trail us, 45 min ?
 

Wilhelmson

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The road has some serious foundation issues, by my layman's eye. I think it was paved hastily 20 years ago and has never been right. Just months after one of the major improvements, in the Berry era, around 2005, big sections washed out catastrophically in a storm and had to be re-done. Bottom line is it's a long road that would probably take more time and money than is available to (re)build properly. Hope I'm wrong.
My layman perspective says they just need about 4’ or maybe 200 or 400 truckloads of fill, redo the utilities, and it should be good. It’s all about the experience anyways.
 

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