FEBRUARY 2019 Newsletter
~ February 2019~
Your membership is valid through December 31, 2019.
President's Message
Because of the vision, dedication and hard work of volunteers, CVOA proudly boasts one of the premier shooting ranges in the state of Maine. The need for a safe place to shoot was among the priorities when CVOA was formed in 1999.

Continuing with the historical journey of CVOA, this month's archived minutes excerpt highlights the early range and comes from the October 28, 2000 minutes:
"An update was given on the shooting range. The range is primitive at this point. A bench of sighting in has been built. The rifle range has been marked out in 25 yd increments. A few members have started cutting brush and dropping some trees. We've been accumulating some used building materials, a lot of nice pressure treated lumber. Joe Fournier has volunteered to cut some cedar logs with his portable saw mill. A committee was formed to oversee the construction and development of the shooting range. This committee consists of Paul Tessier, Daryl Sleight, Bill Chase, Tom Spring, Paul Houlares and Neal Trask. Their first order of business will be to make sure the berm is of adequate size for high powered rifles. Other items on their agenda will be to develop adequate signage and the possibility of a gate or some sort of limited access. The association purchased the NRA range sourcebook that will help us in the construction of and development of the range."

In the 18+ years since this report - through the continued hard work of many dedicated volunteers, the range has expanded and improved significantly. As reported in an article by John McCatherin in the Irregular, October 2017, "a new $70,000 five stand sporting clays operation celebrated its opening. The five stand building was designed and built principally by CVOA members, including Peter Weston of Scarborough who designed it and donated most of the lumber for it; Harvey Packard of Eustis who built it; Neal Trask, chairman of the CVOA Range, who managed the entire project; and 30 or more volunteers who helped in the construction at various stages. The new building is reportedly the only one in the northeast that meets all the standards for five stand shooting. It joins a long-standing trap system and rifle, pistol and archery ranges at the range. The funding came through grants from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife and the Town of Carrabassett Valley, with in-kind donations of materials and labor from CVOA members making up the difference."

Just this fall 2018, another successfully completed grant project focused on improving the berms at the range and with matching grants from ME Dept IF&W as well as the Town of CV, there was again no out-of-pocket cost for CVOA. A significant donation was the use of a Volvo Excavator and John Deere bucket loader, courtesy of Sugarloaf Mountain. With increased membership and use, the Range income was around $7000 last year!

The Range Committee is in the process of making additional improvements to the range including adopting a Standard Operating Procedure. The SOP drives Operations, Maintenance and Safety. The smallest shed will be moved toward the range entrance, and there will be mandatory sign-in for everyone who enters the range. The clubhouse has been insulated and finished inside, and a propane heater has been installed.

At last report, there are 585 range members excited about using this state-of-the-art Range - once just a vision but now a range of which all the CVOA range volunteers can be proud.

~ Bonnie Farrar ~ CVOA President
Calendar of Events


February 3,10, 24
- Drop-in Bowling
February 9 - Snowshoe Hike
February 21-24 - Quebec Ski Trip
Feb. 27 - March 6 - Steamboat Ski Trip
March 3,10,17, 24, 31
- Drop-in Bowling
March 30 - Annual Meeting and Dinner
June 17-20 - Sky Lodge


All Winter - Rifle and Pistol Ranges 'open'
Future Events & Adventures
Snowshoe Hike to Yonder Knoll
Saturday, February 9

Short and scenic hike to Yonder Knoll Outlook, 1:30 to 3:30 PM.

Meet at Stratton Brook Hut trail head parking lot, just north of the access road, at 1:30. Any weather, but hope for a clear day!

Short distance on Narrow Gauge trail. Flat. Cleats or snowshoes. Then 30 minutes up the old logging trail with SNOWSHOES and POLES required. Easy then moderate, at a comfortable pace for all.

Special overlook with outstanding view! Return to parking lot around 3:30 pm.

All ages welcome. Hope to see you then!
~ Jan Mildram, Trip Leader 
Annual Dinner Meeting
March 30 at the Sugarloaf Hotel

Mark your calendars for this annual event, which will includes dinner, our annual meeting and election of officers, and a program presented by LE Hughes, Sugarloaf ski instructor and author of "Maine Stories", a collection of award-winning true tales of life, family, the people, places, and lifestyle of rural Maine.

This year's event will be held in the Sugarloaf Hotel Carrabassett Room, with a fixed price dinner of $25, including taxes and gratuities. A cash bar will be available, and we will have some light appetizers. The buffet dinner will include Vegetarian Chili, Tenderloin Tips, Sugar Shack Maple Glazed Salmon, Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Spinach Salad, bread, vegetables and dessert.

Reservations will be taken beginning on March 1st; look for details in the March newsletter.

~ Bonnie and Cindy

About our guest speaker:
Lew-Ellyn Hughes is an award-winning columnist and author. Her newspaper column, Away with Words has won the Maine Press Association's Better Newspaper Contest eight times. She writes about the people, places and lifestyle of rural Maine. Her Maine roots are deep-dating to pre-revolutionary times and she often writes about Maine's unique history-like how the US Navy started in Machias or the era when women were forbidden to live in Western Maine.

Lew-Ellyn was raised to appreciate the Maine wilderness and is a year-round outdoor enthusiast. She writes about her excursions hiking, mountain biking, sailing, snowshoeing and skiing--both alpine and cross country. She splits her time between her hometown of Greenville on Moosehead Lake and the western Maine mountains where she is a ski instructor at Sugarloaf. To read more about LE visit her website: www.lewellynhughes.com.

"Away with Words" appears exclusively in "The Original Irregular".
CVOA "Drop-In" Bowling
Most Every Sunday from 2 to 4
February 3, 10, 24

Get in on the Action at the SugarBowl: Sundays 2 - 4 pm. Just 10 Bucks gives you the opportunity to meet other CVOA members and have some fun trying to knock down those white pins. Whether you are a competitive bowler or first timer to the sport you're guaranteed to enjoy chatting and cheering on others. The SugarBowl reserves two lanes for CVOA each Sunday so NO Planning required! Just show up and tell them you're with CVOA, pay $10 which includes shoe rental and you're good to go. 

Scoring is computerized so you don't even have to do math...in my case no computer required

Come join the fun and meet some other CVOA members! Hope to see you there Sunday at 2pm.

~ Tom Wallace
Ski Trip Leaders
Quebec City - February 21 to 24
Peter Weston - 831-8565

Steamboat - February 27 to March 6 Bonnie Farrar - 735-3984

Trips on Short Notice?
Sure, and we will promote them for you!

Plan a trip like one of these on short notice! We will send out an email to all members for you:

  • Snowmobiling
  • Snowshoe or cross-country ski to one of the Maine Huts for lunch
  • Trek to Reed Falls in Kingfield
  • Ski the morning, and have lunch at Bullwinkle's
  • Ski, snowshoe, walk the Narrow Gauge trail
  • Surely there are more ideas out there!
~ Cindy Foster, who will send out an email for you, cvoa.secretary@gmail.com, 237-3711
Range News
President's Message: all about the Range
From "primitive" to "premier".

If you skipped over the President's Message, head back to the top and check it out! 
Other News
Updated CVOA Stickers
Now on hand . . . 

With no more old CVOA stickers available, we ordered 1000 of an updated version. A little bit smaller, they include "Founded in 1999". 
Available at CVOA events, or by arrangement with Cindy or Bonnie. 

Also, we are working on a small version to put on helmets, for instance.
Nominating Committee
Positions to fill . . .

With our Annual Meeting approaching, our nominating committee will be looking to fill a few positions. We may have one or two board positions, and we will need a new vice president, willing to assume the position of president in 2020.

If you have any interest in being involved in the leadership or support of CVOA, please contact Steve Smith via cvoa.president@gmail.com or call Steve at 207-237-7002 to find out more.
Adventure Coordinator wanted....
What does the position involve? 
  • Maintain the calendar of events and trips
  • Be the go-to person for members who want to be a leader
  • Reach out to members for ideas and leaders
  • Publicize events and trips to the membership through our monthly newsletters and mid-month reminders by sending the information to the newsletter editor
  • Keep a reference list of past events and trips
Events and trips are the heart of our membership, and the Adventure Coordinator can contribute greatly to the vitality of CVOA.

Any interest? Contact Bonnie Farrar, 
 cvoa.president@gmail.com or 246-2092.
And one more way to support CVOA
Online Photo Album Manager

It has been a while since our online photo albums have been updated - our Photo Album Manager would promote our online photo opportunities and advise members on how to make the best use of the online albums, and give members the chance to share trip photos.

If you would like to find out more, Contact Cindy Foster, cvoa.secretary@gmail.com or 237-3711
Past Events and Adventures
CVOA Night at the Museum
Member Jean Luce worked at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics.
Friday evening, January 11

The Ski Museum of Maine: the name sounds tame enough, but you've read those Stephen King books and know that nothing is as it seems here in rural Maine.  To get there, you go to the timeworn town of Kingfield, walk along snow covered, dimly lit sidewalks, then turn onto a long, covered porch with a single string of white lights to guide you. The building is an old wood structure that has seen lots of strange events over the many years as it has watched over the Main Street. Might it be haunted? The door at the far end of the porch has been freshly painted and you think "What are they trying to cover up??" There is a sign above the door indicating you are in the right place, but can the sign be trusted? You take a deep breath, and bravely pull open the door to be faced with a wide stairway that seems to go up for ever. You can hear voices, a lot of voices. Are they real or are they ghosts? You can't turn back now...

Ah, at the top of the stairs, real people happily welcome you to the Ski Museum of Maine. Immediately all your fears are forgotten, as you join 70 of your friends for CVOA's January 11th Night at the Museum.

The Museum is filled with all kinds of interesting items related to skiing in Maine, including wood skis made back in the late 1800s, ski boots made by Bass Shoe, a children's corner, a replica of a 1930s ski shop work bench, photos of and other memorabilia from various ski areas around the State, and a selection of classic skis, some of which you actually skied on at one time. The middle of the room is the new exhibit "Mainers in the Winter Olympics, from the Pine Tree State to the Big Stage". Along with interesting panels detailing many of those from Maine who have competed in the Winter Olympics (Someone from Maine has participated in every Winter Olympics since 1948! Ha, I bet you didn't know that!) there are photos, skis, uniforms and bibs worn by the competitors. There is so much to take in, you don't know where to start.   And there is food, beer and wine, too, plus all the people you want to socialize with. So, you decide you will come back another day and take in all of the exhibits, allowing time to fully appreciate each and every item on display. Tonight, you are just going to enjoy yourself, like everyone else.

Eventually CVOA past president Pete Weston gets everyone's attention and introduces Cooper Friend, CVOA member and current president of the Ski Museum. Coop explains how the new exhibit on the Olympians came to be and thanks those who have supported the Museum. Pete Weston thanked Dick Keenan, who owns the building, for allowing the Museum to use the space rent free. Pete then explained the Museum exists due in no small part to the support of people in the Sugarloaf area. To continue the mission of the Museum: To Celebrate, Preserve and Share the Skiing History and Heritage of Maine, Peter asked those in attendance to consider becoming a member of the Ski Museum of Maine, to donate articles relating to skiing in Maine, to consider volunteering at the Museum as a docent, and to attend the upcoming John Christie Heritage Classic at the Sugarloaf Inn on February 16th.

For more information and to become a member, visit their website skimuseumofmaine.org.
~ Pete Weston

Jane Heichel and Lisa Sleight were just two of the 
70 members who came to the Open House.
Winter Social, Supper, Dancing
Saturday, January 12

At the Stratton Community Center, a great group of 43 friendly CVOA folks had a fun evening. After the social time, we enjoyed a great variety of delicious food, as usual.

Our 50/50 raffle was popular, and because we were breaking even on the event financially, we split the entire raffle funds between two winners: Helen Vadnais and Steve Smith. The overflowing gift basket created and donated by Jeannette Parker was won by new member Tammy Mulligan.

DJ Bruce Martin did a nice job with a wide variety of music played during happy hour and dinner, and also inspired a lot of fun dancing . . . with which to burn off that great food! We could say that the group danced the night away . . . well, until 9:00 when the dancers started fading, so the clean-up crew started closing the place down.

The evening was a nice chance to reconnect with old friends and make new ones. Several new members were warmly welcomed. The logistics were a 'piece of cake' because of all the years of Winter Social experience collectively. Many thanks to all who helped by bringing food, setting up and cleaning up . . . especially to Jan Mildram for her organizational skills in planning the event and then manning the kitchen.
CVOA Board & Member Meeting
Sunday, January 13

At our quarterly board/member meeting, we had 8 officers and board members present, as well as 7 members at large, who are always welcome at our meetings. In fact, we were reminded that according to our by-laws "each member is entitled to one (1) vote on any matter properly submitted to the members for their vote".

Bits and pieces from the minutes:

  • About half of our members have renewed for 2019
  • CVOA is in very sound financial shape, and the Finance Committee has been reinstated to support the treasurer and assure the financial health of CVOA
  • Treasurer Elise Gebhardt has resigned; with her business time demands, she does not have the time to spend on CVOA matters.
  • Mary Frank has stepped up and into the position of CVOA treasurer; Mary will be an asset to our leadership team.
  • The CVOA Range Standard Operating Procedures manual is nearing completion. The SOP will be instrumental in assuring that the operations and safety of the range are top-notch.
  • The nominating committee, led by Steve Smith, is looking to fill, by renewal or replacement, three board positions and the position of vice-president.
  • Over 100 individuals are taking advantage of one or two of our four ski trips.
Our next board/member meeting will be our Annual Meeting and dinner at the Sugarloaf Hotel on March 30.

To read or print the entire meeting minutes, CLICK HERE.
Respectfully submitted,
Cindy Foster, CVOA Secretary
Big Sky, Montana
Brand new lift Ramcharger 8 with heated seats and bubble.
January 19 - 26

While returning from a wonderful trip to Big Sky, Montana, I was asked to write a little bit about the trip.

We were looking forward to flying out of Portland instead of Boston on this trip, but that became a short lived happy thought for about half our group. A large number of skiers landed without their personal luggage and/or ski equipment. As it turned out, these items never left the airport in Portland because the plane wasn't big enough to carry it, and the next day PWM was shut down due to a snow storm.

I think for some travelers it was very upsetting and for others it was a great excuse to go shopping. It takes a lot to keep a group of skiers off the slopes! Hopefully, United will pay for some of the cost and trip insurance will cover the rest for the new purchases made! (We will let you know how that works out.) Thankfully, all of the luggage arrived within a couple of days and nothing but time on the slopes was lost.

On the first day, those of us who weren't shopping for new gear took a tour of the mountain to get a better feel for it. There is a reason why they call it Big Sky! Big Sky offered a tremendous variety of groomers, glades, and chutes to ski.

The mountain claimed it received 46" of snow the week we were there but I think 36" is more like it. But we will take it: 36" spread out over six days made for "pow" every day. It was a nice change for those of us who ski on corduroy and ice, known as "east coast blue". There was definitely more continuous powder than we ever get at the Loaf. The glades are much more open and easier to ski, and with flat light on many days at least there was some contrast to the snow. I was amazed watching skiers drop into chutes that were steep and narrow with ledge showing on both sides. I repeat, I watched!

On the one full day of sun, many of us took the tram to the top of Lone Peak, which was 11,166 feet high. The panoramic view was fantastic and many photos were taken. To descend on skis, the terrain was challenging. Tram rides were available for those who just wanted to enjoy the view.

As good as the skiing was we all thought that the facilities were lacking. The first thing we noticed or should I say didn't notice were bathroom facilities at the base area. When we finally found them, the lines were out the door! That's not a good scenario for an old guy like me! We also thought they were lacking in the restaurant and night life categories. But that was a small price to pay for skiing six days in fresh snow.

We have a great group that loves to have a good time both on and off the slopes. One evening we found live music, and the tunes were great so we sang and danced. We managed to bring the place to life as others joined in! It's a shame it ended so soon.

I think the number one thing that the girls in our group enjoyed was watching the "cowboys" (bellmen in black shirts, jeans and 10-gallon hats) that handled our baggage and chauffeured us around. The gals even took pictures with the cowboys, ooh la la! The question we guys had was, "where are the cowgirls?"

Our 2 and 3 bedroom condos were very nice and the short walk to the lift was perfect. It all went by too fast as it always does. A special thanks to Cindy Foster for doing a great job and keeping it all together.

As I write this, we are on our way back home after a long delay in Chicago. United employees mentioned that we had too much luggage, and it all may not fit on the plane. Oh well, that's old news. Indeed, a small price to pay for skiing six days in fresh snow at Big Sky Resort in Montana with our 43 CVOA best friends.

~ Jim Lord, ring leader of the Skowhegan Gang
MHT Hut-to-Hut Cross-Country Skiing Adventure
January 21 - 24

What a great hut-to-hut cross country ski trip!! Adventure, diversity and comradery abounded on our four day trip. Diversity in weather, skills of skiers, trails and food made the excursion exciting and fun. We met at the Airport Trailhead in subzero degree weather for our volunteer shuttles (thank you, Bob and Sam) to the Flagstaff Trailhead. Not the Big Eddy as planned, too cold. I did mention subzero temps.  
Our first evening at Poplar Hut ...John Cary, Kent Fox, Bill Cunningham, Val Hudspath, Bonnie Farrar, and Judy Weston enjoying our triple-layer chocolate cake.

The Flagstaff Hut crew had a fire and a dry room ready for us. After arrival and getting ourselves situated, we went out to explore. John, Kent and Bill went out skiing. Judy, Val and Bonnie snowshoeing.   We were back in time for dinner and WHAT A DINNER IT WAS. Pumpkin Lasagna, green beans in a mustard sauce and for dessert . . . Wait for it . . . A 3 TIERED MOCHA CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH GANACHE FILLING!!!   OMG. Bonnie and Val were trying to figure out how to pack it for the next day 11+ mile trail to Poplar.

Up at 7 or earlier for some, right Judy? Breakfast and bags ready at 7:30. No chocolate cake, but biscuits so light I had to stand up to bring them back down to the table. Bill mumbled (between bites), "This is how gravy is supposed to be done!" Waited to be out the door at 9, because we wanted it to warm up at least to -4. YUP -4. The trail was groomed up to the turn to Poplar Hut trail, then--- Well----- it turned into back-country cross-country skiing with about 8+ inches of snow from the recent storm, despite us being told the trail was being groomed the night before.   It was here that Bill earned his nickname of BILL THE BEAST. He took the lead and broke trail first as we continued on - expecting to meet the groomers around every corner. Then it was KILLER KENT who traded off to JAGUAR JOHN to continue breaking through the trail. Judy, Bonnie and Val brought up the rear. BUT IT WAS BEAUTIFUL with Maine blue sky, crisp Maine air, snow covered pine tree limbs bending to the trail and so quiet. Our fearless leader Bonnie called MHT again to get an update on when the trail would finally be groomed, and we later learned, while at the Halfway Yurt for lunch, that due to medical emergencies, the trail would not be groomed after all. WOW - another 5.7 miles to go!

After lunch we continued on to the Poplar Hut where Conner met us with a smile, a cheese/cracker plate, and an apology for the ungroomed trail.   We enjoyed the company of 2 couples from Canada and Maryland. Dinner that night was excellent with chicken stew, roasted root vegetables and BLUEBERRY Crisp for dessert. Connor gave us an energy tour and a talk on the sustainability of food in Maine. It was a great way to end the day. We all slept well that night!
The final day...downhill from Stratton Brook Hut on icy trails in the rain - what an adventure!

Wednesday after Crème Brule French toast and scrambled eggs, we were off on the Poplar Hut trail down to the Airport trailhead, where we shuttled by cars (because the Narrow Gauge trail was closed for logging - I did mention this was a great adventure) to the Stratton Brook Hut trailhead. After two days of subzero weather, it was in the 20s and just a nice day of skiing on beautifully groomed trails. The views of Sugarloaf and Bigelow were spectacular. The couple running the Stratton Brook Hut, Doug and Kelsey, were from Ohio and very personable. It was their first time as hut staff but you would not have known this. They prepared an excellent taco buffet and told us to keep room for dessert. It was KEY LIME PIE. Again OMG. I swear if they had not removed the pie plate I would have licked it cleaned. Little did we know 'til later, this was Kelsey's first attempt at Key Lime Pie. That night Bonnie set up a Cribbage Round Robin and Judy showed her true colors. Who would have thought that this mild-mannered, polite, soft-spoken woman would be such a competitor? She picked us off one by one and was deemed the winner. She did refrain from doing a victory dance.

As all good things must come to an end . . . Thursday arrived. After another delicious breakfast: Quiche, sausage and sweet potato/pecan bread, we took off. Rain, mist and ice on the trail made it an interesting way down the hill to the Rte 27 trailhead.

I did mention diversity at the beginning, right? From subzero temps to 40 degrees in 4 days.   From Chocolate Cake to Key Lime Pie. From ungroomed trails to corduroy then ice. From Bill The Beast to beginner Val. We all persevered and had a GREAT MAINE ADVENTURE. Here's to you John, Kent, Bill, Bon and Judy. Thanks for the great time.

~ Val Hudspath
Community News
Click Image for more information.
Photo of the Month
Big Sky, Montana - taken by Andy Russakoff with his iPhone
about halfway up the Six Shooter chairlift
after his Nikon and GoPro batteries died.
Do you have a photo suitable for "Photo of the Month"? Are you a CVOA member? If so, send your photo to: Cindy Foster, Newsletter Editor -  cvoa.secretary@gmail.com.
Carrabassett Valley Outdoor Association
Valley Crossing #6
Carrabassett Valley, ME 04947
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