550 Miles in the Northcountry

A winter weekend trip to visit family in Northern Maine is a 4.5 hour jaunt across the frost heave covered secondary roads of Northern New England. It can be taxing in daylight hours and good weather but this trip started as darkness arrived, in torrential rain, and at a few degrees above freezing.

Conditions worsened as I approached Maine. Large snowbanks created ponding issues on the road. Several times I hit deep puddles covering the entire lane. Even at 55, the tires cut through the water and there was no real drama. I arrived at my destination tired but safe.

The front passed through overnight and temperatures dropped below freezing. We awoke to a good coating of ice but still left early morning to go to a ski area one hour away. The Hakkapeliitta R2 SUVs handled the icy conditions with ease.

After skiing, we drove one more hour to a remote village to go snowmobiling. Frost heaves, inadequate maintenance budgets, and huge lumber trucks abuse the roads such that conditions reminded me of a 3rd world country. At one point I hit a pothole that I was sure had blown the sidewall of a tire but miraculously the tire and rim remained unscathed. This must be a result of the solid XL construction of the Hakkapeliitta R2 SUVs.

The next day, I reversed the process and had an epic road trip back to Vermont. Luckily the trip back was in daylight hours and clear skies so I made it home with no problem.[gallery link="file" columns="1" orderby="ID"]

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