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    JSTETSER   103,994
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Ambassador Jackie

Sunday, March 03, 2013

John and I left a very snowy New Hampshire, and headed North to a snowier Maine. We were on a mission: Ambassadors for Maine Huts and Trails. www.mainehuts.org/ There was a large group coming in to the Stratton Hut, and we would be there to help our. As ambassadors, we would help staff 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. by greeting the arriving visitors, direct them to facilities, assist with retail sales and membership sales and provide information regarding our overall project. We were ready for whatever! Before heading to the hut, we met with Skye, the director of Maine Huts and Trails in his office in Kingfield, Maine to say hello.
We were excited about the adventure! There was one small glitch: the group that we were supposed to greet backed out at the last minute, and we were in the hut with just the staff. Instead of greeting people, I would write about this lovely Maine location. The hut staff, Ellen, Saphrona, and Dan, were both helpful and friendly-providing some great stories and information as I wrote.

We snow shoed in on well groomed trails. Most people ski in. The three miles started out flat, then gained in altitude as we approached the hut. During the last mile's hike, the crew had erected a snowman telling us that "YOU CAN DO IT!"


Stratton Hut was such a welcome sight! There was another snowman there to greet us. We worked up quite a swet, and were so happy for warm rooms and hot showers when we arrived.

We knew that all around us were magnificent views of two different mountain ranges. It snowed steadily the whole time we were at the hut. A skiier's and snow shoer's delight. Unfortunately, no view shots this trip.
We hung our snow shoes on the outside rack, and went in to the hut.

Right away, I could tell that the word "hut" did not correctly describe this beautiful 5123 square foot facility. This beautiful lodge is also an eco-friendly sustanable place. It is not off the grid as I supposed. It is a net positive place. During their cloudiest month (December), their electric bill was $60. The bill has steadily gone down, and by summer, will be turning an electical profit with their 33 solar panels that are 240 watt each. I asked Ellen why they chose to stay on the grid rather than use battery packs. She told me that "The grid can produce energy much more effeciently than we can." I had never thought of that. The lodge is heated by a Tarm BioMass wood furnace.

There are odor-free Clivus toilets. It is a flush toilet sysem with neopal toilets that use less than 1 cup of water per use. I recieved such an education on alternative energy and on the science behind the systems used at the hut. It is quite an amazing place! When I hear the word "hut", I think of a structure that was thrown together quickly. Stratton Hut was created with the latest technology involved in keeping the electrical usage low.

Ellen and Saphrona prepared a delicious dinner of lentil soup, beef curry with brown rice, blackbean and polenta casserole and a blueberry breeze. It was all delicious! Beer and wine are also available at the hut. I had a chardonay with my dinner. I heard about the scrumptuous meals of ribs, chicken that are also provided. Local beef and veggies are used as often as possible.

The best part of our stay was enjoying their great room. We read, talked and played Scrabble. The heating system is radiant heat. Having warm floors is such a treat. The hut stayed at about 65 degrees. Our room stayed at about 64-65 all night long.

We had our choice of breakfast in the morning, then headed out on the freshly groomed trail. We had a 5 hour drive ahead of us. Trail conditions were perfect!

As we made out way out, we were able to welcome the 30 middle school students who were starting their trek in. It was nice to be able to tell them that they were going to have a great time in a beautiful place with delicious food and a great staff. Maine Huts & Trails, we will be back!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUSUSUZZZIE 3/4/2013 9:32AM

    Looks like a wonderful place. Thank you for sharing!

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MSLZZY 3/4/2013 6:56AM

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DS9KIE 3/3/2013 11:42PM

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68ANNE 3/3/2013 8:57PM

    Beautiful. Glad you had a great trip!

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DEBPRE16 3/3/2013 6:32PM

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CAPECODLIGHT 3/3/2013 5:51PM

    A great place to feed your spirit, and by your dinner description, your body. Thank you for the pictures and info.

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SUSIEPH1 3/3/2013 5:07PM

    how absolutely lovely!!.So glad you had such a nice stay ..
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POPSY190 3/3/2013 1:09PM

    Interesting. Thank you.

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JUSTDOINGIT101 3/3/2013 1:04PM

    I shared your link with my niece who lives in Maine. That looks like fun!

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JSTETSER 3/3/2013 11:20AM

    Hi GrammyEAC,
Yes, it is expensive to bring electricity out into the woods 3 miles. It cost Maine Huts about $30,000. It would have cost as much to bring in the battery paks. there would have been more maintenance on the paks. With the electical lines, the hut can also add electricity, and make the meter run backwards!

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KAYOTIC 3/3/2013 10:57AM

    Thanks for writing about such a treasure! This should be on a lot of bucket lists! (I would want to ski in though...now that I ski, I don't think I'd want to go back to snowshoeing!)

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LOOKINGUP2012 3/3/2013 10:33AM

    Thaat was so beautiful! I have not looked into the trail since 1975. What a surprise. Thanks for sharing your lovely hike.

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1CRAZYDOG 3/3/2013 9:13AM

    Beautiful, gorgeous, awesome! LOVE the sparky snowman. Looks like an absolutely fabulous place to enjoy some of His handiwork in a way that respects His environment!

HUGS

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GETSTRONGRRR 3/3/2013 7:34AM

    WOW, what a great adventure....glad you made the most of it!

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SANDRALEET 3/3/2013 7:26AM

    Out doors is so beautiful Even the snow Can shine like Diamonds.

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TORTISE110 3/3/2013 7:21AM

    Your life is a wilderness travelog! I enjoy your reports from the trail.

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WISLNDR 3/3/2013 7:12AM

    Wow, what a great adventure!

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MARYJOANNA 3/3/2013 7:03AM

  What a great trip and it was obvious everyone enjoyed it!

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GRAMMYEAC 3/3/2013 6:48AM

    Still a wonderful adventure, even if the original stated purpose was scuttled by another group. Sounds like a great "hut"!!! Must have been expensive to bring electricity to an out-of-the-way spot.

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