It’s been so long since I’ve made a blog post! So much has happened since last summer – I left Portland, changed jobs, and made another cross country road trip.
I find myself here in Maine, a little amazed by the choices and chances that landed me here. Last Summer my partner Taylor and I decided we wanted to move out of Oregon and back to the east coast. There was a number of reasons for our decision that I won’t get into here. But I will say that since leaving Oregon, particularly Portland, I have had nothing but fond memories. I already miss it. It wasn’t always easy when we were there, and by the end I was excited to get out of the city, but Portland certainly left a mark in my soul. It really was the place I became an adult, or at least the first true adult version of myself.
Where I am now could not be more opposite of Portland. I’m working for Appalachian Mountain Club, the oldest environmental conservation club in the country (Yes, even older than the Sierra club!) AMC protects lands, waters, forests, and trails in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions, and aims to educate the public on environmental health, ecology, and conservation. They provide recreational opportunities for the public and inspire the next generation of outdoor leaders. I had heard of the AMC prior to working for them, but am only beginning to understand the extent of influence they have on the future of environmental conservation and outdoor recreation in the Northeast. I could not be more thrilled to be a part of it.
I work at Little Lyford Pond Camps, one of three AMC lodges in the 100 mile wilderness of Maine. Lyford is the most rustic of the three, originally built in 1873 as a logging camp. Before AMC came along, logging was the main economic force in the 100 mile wilderness. Since 2009 Lyford has been a sporting lodge for skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, boating, fly fishing, and much more. We provide guests with private cabins, three home cooked meals a day, hot showers and a sauna.
In the Winter, staff like myself travel mostly by snowmobile. To get to the nearest plowed road is a six mile drive from Lyford, which means that guests have to park in the winter parking lot and ski into the Lodge. This makes for quite interesting logistics as we schedule to pick up guests’ gear from the parking lot and distribute suitcases and backpacks to the correct lodges. Most guests do a “lodge to lodge” trip, meaning they spend a night or two at each lodge, skiing the lodge-to-lodge trail during the day. Since there is little to no cell service, we communicate via radios that also reach game wardens and Greenville, the closest town and AMC base, police and fire station.
Our energy is a combination of solar and diesel generator. When the generator fails, which does happen, we have a booster that is essentially a giant back up battery that makes it so we can still communicate to the outside world in the case of a black out. Luckily, the lights in the lodge and cabins, as well as the hot water, ovens, and stoves, all run on propane gas. There are wood stoves in every lodge and cabin that keep us nice and toasty.
It’s quite an operation we got going here that I am excited to share more about in future posts. Subscribe to get all the stories!