Well, as if the snow covered wilds of Hooksett, New Hamphire weren’t wintry enough for me, I’ve just returned from an excursion even further north to the winding, icy mountain roads and deep woods of Rangeley, Maine. I think it’s going to be a new holiday tradition that when the time comes for the world en masse rises up to celebrate the turning of it’s arbitrary calendar to a new number I’m going to make a point of getting as far away from the human race as possible. So I went where the deer and moose outnumber the people.
I may need to go even further, though. Rangeley is becoming a bit of a tourist stop. Skiing, snowmobiling, hiking and what are a big portion of the local economy so there is that flood of outdoor enthusiasts from Massachusetts and places south. They can be ignored easily, though, as they tend to spend so much time doing shit during the day they can’t hang when the clock turns past 8:30 pm.
Luckily, it’s still Maine. Meaning, it’s stuck about 50 years in the past and there are an abundance of people who have intimate knowledge of grain alcohol and enjoying making homemade bombs out of leftover fertilizer.
Like Larsen Fournier, former local Game Ranger who was fired for falsifying moose dung counts and selling bootleg hunting licenses on the side. He’s perfected a recipe for brewing moonshine out of parsnips that can make you hallucinate like a motherfucker. If you don’t mind the profuse sweating, shortness of breath and constant urge to find the nearest axe and start swinging, the shit is killer. He’s also known locally for single handedly starting the LSD/Nicotine Patch trend.
One night he helped me steal a snowmobile from the Border Patrol and we went on a 3 a.m. run through the endless miles of backwoods trails they maintain up there, cranking it up to 90, screaming and firing off rounds from an assortment of old shotguns he’d had lying around his trailer. Ended up just east of Mattawamkeag before the engine blew up and the beast threw us into some brambles in a logging clearing. We hiked to the local town and had homestyle breakfast at a local diner called Bear Spoor before Larsen dumped a pot of home brewed on the head of Stephen King’s publicist.
I fully admit, though, I did spend one day skiing on Saddleback Mountain (pictured above). I had no choice as the one person I trusted not to act like a dork during the holidays, my bodyguard Dave, had brought along his family and wanted to take his five year old daughter skiing for the first time. So I indulged.
Now, I’m not the best skier, mostly because I never learned how to stop so there were a few issues with other folks on the mountain, notable that guy I knocked into the snow making machine on that Black Diamond run up top. I would have apologized, just like I would have to that dude I pushed off of the chair lift when I was scrambling to get my flask out of my jacket, but when you’re doing a buck ten and can’t stop screaming, there’s little room for politeness. Anyway, a few wind abrasions and a potential cracked rib aside, it was good fun.
I happen to know that Dave and his daughter had a fucking blast, that’s for sure.
Anyway, I’m back here at the bunker now and socking myself in for the bleak months of winter to come. I’ll be writing a lot more as there’s a ton of stuff swirling about inside this mess of a head that I need to get out so check back at intervals to see what spills out.