HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Running and Celebrating in Rangeley, Maine

The last few years we have been fortunate to celebrate Thanksgiving at our timeshare at Rangeley Lake Resort.  Rangeley is a magical place where you can get away from city life and enjoy the beauty of the outdoors and an easy going pace to the day.  I know the timeshare industry is often a scam, but Rangeley has served us well.  Early on we felt like we threw away our money, but for the last five or six years, the maintenance fee has been more than worth it.

Upon arriving, “Rangeley Rules” go into effect for adults and kids alike.  This essentially means that there are no rules.  If you want to sleep in and then take a nap after breakfast it’s OK…Want to wear pajamas all day? That works…Skip dinner and go fishing? Yup…Start the day off with a run and crack that first libation at 9AM?  No problem (adults only).  We love it and the kids love it.  More than the place, it’s the lack of  Rangeley Rules that really make our stays there magical.

This year we headed up after work on Monday evening (a one day work week is AWESOME) and started the festivities that included unpacking, lighting the fire, and taking it easy in our cabin before a restful sleep.

Tuesday turned out to be such a great day.  Katie and I started the morning with a run in the area.  Can’t avoid some crazy hills, but it was a great start to the day:

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Tuesday morning’s Welcome to Rangeley run.  Man! It was 15 degrees (wind chill was 5 degrees) and the hills are killer here, but it was a great start to an awesome day.

After the run, we had a breakfast feast highlighted with Tonga Toast (pretty much French Toast coated with Fruity Pebbles).  We discovered this recipe at The Bayou Kitchen and it has been a traditional first breakfast in Rangeley for us.  Rest of the day included a trip to the pool in the main lodge, a few spirited games of Jenga and Apples to Apples,  a dinner of Katie’s amazing homemade pizza and an afternoon trip to downtown.  I was excited to purchase these beauties:

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A new pair of Darn Tough cushioned hikers.  More cushion than I’ve had, but they have been great so far.

After another relaxing evening, our Wednesday “Friendsgiving” started our with another Rangeley Run:

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My Wednesday morning run through downtown Rangeley before a day of celebration, cooking, eating , and libating.

When we go to the resort for Thanksgiving week, we usually have to check out on Friday.  A couple of years ago we had the brainstorm that we should have Thanksgiving Dinner on Wednesday and enjoy the leftovers on Thanksgiving Day rather than trying to pack them up for the drive home on Friday.  It has been great and really stretches out the “holiday feeling”.

No Thanksgiving for us is complete without our background music which is an endless loop of these two classics:

  1. “Alice’s Restaurant” by Arlo Guthrie
  2. “Thanksgiving Day” by Ray Davies

They never get old!

Before really getting into the cooking, I discovered that I was short a couple of items to prepare for the day.  Katie was gone with our vehicle, so I had to improvise with an unplanned extra run:

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You know you’re a runner when you track a run (1.01 miles) to the Rangeley IGA for a turkey pan, fire log, and some adult beverages.

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Maybe not Breakfast Run material, but no trip to Rangeley is complete without a visit to good old IGA!

I have to say that one of the funnest days of the year is when I’m in the kitchen all day preparing Thanksgiving Dinner.  This year’s menu included Turkey (what else?) stuffed with cornbread stuffing (Pepperidge Farm with diced onions, diced carrots, Craisins, diced apples, bacon grease -in place of a 2 Tbsp of butter-, and crumbled Sweet Italian Sausage), 10 pounds of mashed potatoes, a great arugula salad (made by Katie), homemade rosemary rolls (Katie’s creation), homemade apple pie (Katie again), and a couple of vegetable dishes.

Some early prep work (still in my PEP base layer!):

And some more prep:

 

In the course cooking the turkey, I decided to sit down for a bit and my phone was hijacked from my lap during a quick nap (these appeared on a previous post from the day):

By early evening the meal was ready, and we were able to feast during our Wednesday “Friendsgiving” with old friends we had not seen in quite some time (with Arlo and Ray Davies still playing strong in the background).

Later that night we enjoyed some more board games, good conversation, and a chilly evening walk around the resort.  It was one of the most satisfying Thanksgiving times ever!  I did not get into bed until 2AM, but still managed to rise early for a Thanksgiving Morning Run:

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Thanksgiving Morning Run.  The hills weren’t so extreme on this route.

One sight on the run was this holiday creation:

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Rejected character from The Nightmare Before Christmas?

The rest of the day included plentiful Thanksgiving leftovers, some football, and more fun.  Later in the evening we made our way to the indoor pool and hot tubs.  One lesson I learned from the evening is that there is a good reason for those “No Alcohol Consumption” warnings while using the hot tub.  You may end up with a few embarrassing moments caught on film:

 

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Yes. That’s me with no shirt, but still rocking the vest. Just back from the hot tub and feeling the effects of too much time with John Jameson.

I hope everyone out there had a wonderful Thanksgiving and now “tis the season” for cold weather running and some great holiday Breakfast Runs.

See you on the road!

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