I took a little break this weekend for something a bit different. I was invited to be a judge of the Whoopie Pie Baking Contest at the annual Pine Tree Ride-In in Newport to benefit the Pine Tree Camp. “How hard can it be?’ I thought. Well as it turned out, it wasn’t hard, but difficult. I was paired with two professional cooks for the judging panel – plenty of pressure there. we sampled a dozen whoopie pies in two categories, “classic” and gourmet.” Most of them were pretty darn good – is there such a thing as a bad whoopee pie? When our work was complete, I was pleased to note that the first and second place awards in both categories was unanimous. I was even more pleased when I learned that the first place pies in both categories were baked by my friend Sonia Erskine, an active member of the Dixmont Gold Crest Riders. Sonia is a pie maker of some renown, and I’ve enjoyed more than a few of them at suppers at their clubhouse.
Dining on the trail can be a great experience, and a homemade meal at a club house is likely the reason I tend to add a few pounds every winter. Clubs around the state offer meals, usually right alongside the trail, and in 18 years I haven’t had a bad one yet.
Breakfast is an excellent starting point to stoke up on some carbs before hitting the trails. The Northern Timber Cruisers in Millinocket are open for breakfast every weekend in season. You can start your day off like this:
That’s an Everything Omelet with home fries and toast. That will take you to at least mid-afternoon even on the coldest of days. The also offer homemade soups and stews for lunch, and fill the clubhouse for their regular turkey suppers.
Other great breakfast spots are the Quad County SC in Springfield and the Washburn Trailrunners in Washburn. Washburn also has a great lunch and is right on the railbed in the heart of Aroostook County.
Chances are there will be a place to grab a bite to eat just about wherever you’re riding – you are out riding aren’t you? Check the calendar of events on the MSA Calendar page to find a few places to stop by. These great meals are also another benefit of joining an MSA club either locally or where you ride. Bon appetite!
And speaking of riding, conditions are still excellent in many areas of the state. Plus as we learned today, the groundhog has seen his shadow, so we’re in for at least six more weeks of winter. And the weatherman is pointing to a significant storm coming up in the next week. Check out the latest trail conditions and treat yourself to some time outdoors.
See you on the trails!