Two years ago, we kicked off the new year by heading south in our first virtual road trip, enjoying the sea breeze, balmy weather and a tiger or two down in York.

None of that soft living this year.

In a display of 2014 hardiness and sheer shopping will, Bag Lady is going north.

Like, all the way.

Aroostook County, here I come.

I make this trip knowing only a few basic things about The County: It’s very far away. There are potatoes and broccoli. It’s home to a once-active Air Force base that now may be a cover for an underground bunker with mysterious happenings.

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And that’s it.

To recap: Far away. Vegetable lovin’. Mysterious.

Adventure awaits!

* Crochet Baby Sandals, Works of Heart, Caribou, $6

Baby booties are everywhere. But sweet-little crocheted sandals? Pretty novel. Only fits up to age 6 months, so it’s guaranteed these are no walking shoes.

* Baby moose yard art silhouette, Works of Heart, $60

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Advertised as life-size at 4 feet by 4 feet. He’s got a good rack on him, so the “baby” part is a bit deceptive. More like a wee elfin moose.

* Pure Made Maine Maple Whiskey Bottled Syrup, Works of Heart, $60

Syrup you know and love packaged in a glass whiskey bottle. Pour a nip or two on your pancakes. Eat responsibly.

* Pure Maple Sugar, 4 oz., Spring Break Maple and Honey, Smyrna Mills, $3.75

Hard to believe I’ve gone ‘lo these many decades and never seen maple sugar as, well, actual, granular sugar. Can be used in any recipe to replace brown sugar or as a sugar substitute in coffee. Sweet.

* Maine Potato Festival, Fort Fairfield, July 12-20

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To be enjoyed during sunnier days. There’s a potato-picking contest, pet show, human chess game, tractor pull, town-wide yard sale, pageants, parades and the thing is nine days long.

That, my friends, is a festival.

* Simply Naked Liquid Deodorant, 2 oz., Knott II Bragg Farm, Wade, $10

The online description says this mixed-on-the-farm concoction has no color or scent and kills body odor. It does not claim that this is maybe the best name for a farm ever, but I’m happy to do that for them.

* Ployes Original Mix, 1.5 lbs., Bouchard Family Farm, Fort Kent $9
 
Where adventure turns edible. Ployes are, according to the site, “as elegant as a fine crepe, as hearty as a breakfast pancake and as versatile as any bread.” Gluten-free, featuring buckwheat.
 
* Wilderness Cooking in the Home cookbook, Connor Township, $13.50
 
Order directly from author Joyce Reed Damboise. Bag Lady cannot sell it any better than Ms. Damboise herself: “My recipes for beaver, venison and the famous Maine moose will solve your dilemma and cries of, ‘How will I fix it?'”
 
So often have I shaken my fist to the skies, knelt over a carcass and demanded, “HOW?”
 
Features fiddlehead cake and quiche and mincemeat cookies with deer meat. And probably something beavery, just a guess.
 
* Northern Maine Pictures, St. John Valley, small prints $10, 16- by 20-inch posters, $45
 
Nature’s original pop of color. Try to look at some of these vibrant flowers and not smile.
 
* Allagash Ice Caves, various fees
 
From VisitAroostook.com: “This is one of the more visited caves in the state yet shows little underground evidence because most people visiting the caves visit only the first fifty to one hundred feet because the caves are tight, wet and cold.”
 
Hmm. Dare I saw it sounds … mysterious.
 
Best find: Old Log Drivers’ Stinky Feet Soap, 3 oz., Knot II Bragg Farm, $5

Contains a secret ingredient to “help neutralize the bacteria on feet” and is just one of many things in the farm’s Old Log Drivers line — which is also a freakin’ fantastic name.

Think twice: About having Bag Lady over for fiddlehead cake or beaver barbecue.

Ployes? Mmm. We can talk.

Bag Lady’s true identity is protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who would run wild in those caves) and the Customer Service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach her at [email protected] 


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