A caravan in winter

4 years ago

I heard this once, “Let’s take our hearts for a walk in the woods and listen to the magic whispers of old trees.”  An adventure of a lifetime. It’s what we’re all looking for, right? One of the assets to living in Aroostook County is how close we are to the Canadian border.  On the weekends, my husband and I often cross into Canada to enjoy a little lunch or some shopping. 

The Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce is hosting a guided tour through the North Maine Woods in caravan style to Quebec City.  The Maine- Quebec Winter Carnival Caravan has been a County tradition since 1957. The scenes through the woods are breathtaking and amazing.  Vistas of snow-covered trees, the sun shining through, the snow bunny hopping by. Perhaps a moose sighting? You never know. 

The Maine- Quebec Winter Carnival Caravan participants will meet at Dean’s Motor Lodge in Portage Lake at 6 a.m. on Feb. 14, 2020, for a delicious breakfast.  Once bellies are full, the caravan will begin traveling through the North Maine Woods. 

Each vehicle receives a two-way radio so we can all talk to each other.  One certain gentleman will regale us with stories and history to help us understand the woods in better detail as we journey through.  Do you remember getting walkie talkies when you were little? My brother and I received a set for Christmas one year. He’d run and hide upstairs to see if I could still hear him. Well, it warms my heart to think that I get the chance to play like this again.  Actually, I think I’ll be driving and one of my friends will get the cheerful and fun task. I just might be jealous. 

The North Maine Woods are stunningly beautiful.  If you have never had the honor of this experience, picture the beauty.  The ride is peaceful and gorgeous. And you feel safe, nestled in the middle of the line with cars in the front and back.  You are with people who know the area and have driven it for 60 years, some of them. The whole idea that it is guided takes away any worries of getting lost. 

Henry David Thoreau said it nicely, “I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees.” This is an opportunity to ride instead of walk, however, the outcome is the same, I think. 

The cost to participate in this trip is $35.  The cost covers the effigy (carnival pass) for the Quebec Winter Carnival, too.  The hotel and meals are the responsibility of the participant. WOW! What a deal! 

We will cross into Canada at the St. Pamphile border crossing.  We will present the mayor with a lovely gift from Maine. I don’t know what that will be yet, so that means you must come to find out what it is.

Then we will drive the rest of the way to Quebec.  The Quebec Annual Winter Carnival is beautiful. The snow sculptures.  The snow slides. Snow castles. The amazing parade. Ice sculpture workshops. The hot cocoa. The croissants. 

At the Carnival, experience the Christie North Slope, the brand-new snow sliding site, that features a huge slide called the Christie Descent.  This 300-foot-long incline launches from a pad built right on Grande Allée street. Thrill seekers are welcome! 

Don’t forget about the parade, which is always a treat.  The magnificent parade takes over Grande Allée. The Hydro-Québec Parade offers a sustained stream of electro and rock music, colorful lights, circus feats, spectacular dance numbers and impressive moving performances. 

Dress warm and see the lights, enjoy the food, and have a great time.  This is an event that you wouldn’t want to miss. Fight those winter blues, sign up for the Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce’s Quebec Caravan trip today.  

The deadline to sign up in January 31. Write to us at info@CentralAroostookChamber.com or call us at 207-764-6561.

LaNiece Sirois is the executive director of the Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce.