Rangeley Maine is a most beautiful place to live. There are some years we get snow for seven months. Yes, we have seen it snow on the fourth of July. Living in the mountains is beautiful, but there is a price to pay. We are the destination. This is not like a place between stops. We are the end of the line. Thus, we end up paying more for a lot of articles. This is just the way it is folks. It does cost money to bring things up over the mountains. Everyone must make a profit to stay in business. This year has been a difficult year to make a minimum profit. But, there are other things we need to consider while living in these mountains. The weather and Mother Nature rules the roost. Too much snow, not enough snow, rainy days, they all impact life up here. The one thing we must consider is traveling to and from the big shopping areas. Going down over the mountains, one passes through different weather zones. This you need to keep in mind especially during the winter months. The contractors that plow snow in this area know this firsthand. We may get only a dusting in town, but upper Dallas gets four or five inches of fresh snow. The rule we had when plowing driveways is “you had to go see”. There is always a big difference from Oquossoc to upper Dallas to Greenville cove. It always seemed no two were the same. This doesn’t even take into account if you are going into Kennebago. Traveling from Rangeley to Farmington, you pass through about four different weather zones. Rangeley may not get snow, but the Beaver Mountain lake area gets four inches of snow.  Then you cross Walden’s flat going toward the S curves. You have to pay attention here. Just as soon as you cross the causeway, there is a small section that sits in the shade. This could be covered with black ice on any sunny day. As you approach the AT crossing, there is another change. Some of this road is nice and sunny and other sections sit in the shade the majority of the day. This area is a big weather change zone. Just because it was sunny in Rangeley, you never know what to expect on these curves. It sits between mountains and is quite a tunnel for different patterns. The next change is of course, Small Falls area. That new hill is a disaster. It can be scary to say the least. If it is ice at all, you are headed right for the guard rail and the brook. There are times, I think the sharp corner was the better option. At least, you knew enough to slow down and trucks could navigate the corner a lot easier than that little hill. You can not begin to breath easy until you pass Madrid center. Usually the roads begin to improve tremendously after that. I have seen times though, my little pickup did a lot of fancy dancing at the top of Cotter Brook hill. That is the hill you travel up as you are going south into Phillips.

Once you finally do all of your shopping, you need to take this into consideration heading back up over the mountain. It just may have been a nice sunny day in Farmington, but now the sun is going down. Those roads that were warm and wet become as smooth as glass. While traveling north to Rangeley as soon as you pass through Madrid center, look out. You need to remember the different weather patterns. Small Falls hill, the S curves, The Appalachian Trail crossing, Walden’s flat, Beaver Mountain Lake, the turn as you go up to upper Dallas. You can relax only when you get to downtown Rangeley. At least once there, you can make a call for help or walk home. All of this you need to take into consideration when you decide you want to live in the mountains of Rangeley Maine. Mother Nature will paint many awesome pictures, but she insists on you learning how to deal with her creativity.

Ken White- been here since ’57  learned the hard way at times.

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