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Published: January 20th 2010
Greenville, ME=Little Alaska
As we walked away from his truck/shop with freshly caught scallops in hand the local fisherman responded to the next customer in a thick Maine accent: "oh, I don't do Lobstuh, they make me nuhvous." We chuckled to ourselves at that comment. The fisherman had told us that he needed to sell twenty-one more pounds of scallops, so he could go home. The man spoke politely, was in no hurry, and very personable. A charming interaction.
It was that interaction with the Fisherman that provides an excellent demonstation of life in the quaint little town of Greenville, Maine: charming, peaceful and inexpensive. Nestled on the banks of Moosehead lake (Maine's largest lake) and near the majestic mountaintops of Big Moose Mountain, Greenville provides an excellent winter getaway.
My girlfriend and I, both DC/Baltimore residents, decided to make the lengthy drive (roughly 12 hours at a liesurely pace) north for a long weekend. As we crept farther and farther north the snow became thicker and thicker. As we left the interstate for the small county roads we encountered warnings about moose crashes (Greenville is touted as having an extremely large moose population, outnumbering humans three
Nearby Small Town of Kakadjo
Evidence of how small and remote this area was. The picture is the city sign for a small town just north and east of Greenville named Kokadjo. We took this picture near a massive throng of on-looking snow-mobilers.
We arrived at night to our massive two story two bedroom cabin. Inside we had a full kitchen, full bath and satellite tv. The house could have easily held eight comfortably, but we it all to ourselves for a romantic weekend away. The best part: we paid a little over $100 per night to stay (use vrbo.com).
The next morning we awoke to the peacefulness of the wilderness, a stark contrast from the sirens and horns of the big city. The scenery from our heavily wooded cabin was beautiful: snow covered birches with distant mountaintops.
We decided to grab lunch down town and a local restaurant called Auntie M's which featured a great array of simple breakfasts and hearty dinners (and they were liberal with the coffee, which I liked). We enjoyed a slow meal, enjoying the local culture and taking in the views of the lake and small town square populated with souvenir shops and other various shops (Note: much of the weekend, we cooked our own meals, including those scallops we bought, but there are numerous bars and restaurants in the area that offer pub food and local faire for those less culinarily inclined). The meal wasn't fancy, but it hit the spot.
"Thanks for coming," the waitress said with a genuine, apprecitaive smile as we paid for our meal and walked out to explore. The politeness and the easy going nature of Greenville was quite memorable. Truly, from the gas station attendant to the souvenir shop employees, every person we encountered treated us as friends.
There are many outdoor activities offered in Greenville. While we did not participate in any of these activitites (due to time constraints), Greenville has a great bit to offer in the Winter months: skiing/snowboarding at nearby Big Squaw Resort, icefishing on beautiful Moosehead lake, hundreds of miles of snowmobile trails for any of you "sled-heads" (the gas stations are used more by snowmobiles than cars in the winter), or snowshoeing in the many parks that are scattered about the Moosehead lake area.
Greenvile is also a great gateway town. For those looking to travel to the "poor man's Europe," Greenville can act as a great pass-through for anyone going to Montreal at a relative stones-throw drive of 140 miles (you can groove the entire way to awesome Franco Canadian radio).
We wished we could have stayed longer. Although I have never been, Greenville could most aptly be described as a Little Alaska. This quiet old town offered everything for a peaceful romantic getaway: great food, privacy and peace. Outdoorsy families and groups looking for a new adventure could easily find satisfaction as well. If you need some time away from the city or just need some time away, Greenville is well worth the drive (watch out for the Moose!).
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