HARRISON — “The horses know the way to carry the sleigh over white and drifting snow…”
Bursting into sleighing songs was irresistible as 11 members of University of Southern Maine Lewiston-Auburn College’s Senior College Outdoor Adventure Club set out to explore the fields and woods of Harrison on a sunny Feb. 16.
Sleigh bells ringing, two golden Belgian horses — Madison and Dixon –stepped smartly across the fields following a trail that led into a fairytale woodland. A light snow clung to the branches. “It’s like being in a Christmas card!” one member exclaimed.
Bill and Darcy Winslow, owners of High View Farm, offer sleigh rides through their property for up to 12 people on suitable weekends in winter. “If it’s too cold for the horses, it’s too cold for you,” Bill explained, when postponing the group’s January outing, but the February day was perfect. A light snow the day before coated the trees. The temperature was a balmy 38 degrees. Dressed in layers with warm blankets to sit upon, the group was ready to enjoy what has become an annual event for the club.
Part way into our trip, club members passed a recently constructed yurt, heated with a wood stove and available for rent by the day. “We will take you to it by sleigh and pick you up by sleigh the next day. All you have to do is keep the wood stove going,” Bill explained.
Just before the ride’s end, the last stop included a campfire. Logs were blazing; hot chocolate and marshmallows for toasting were waiting. Kelly, the farm dog who had run alongside the sleigh, pushed into the group, eager for us to drop a tasty treat.
“If it weren’t for this Senior College club, I would never have a horse-drawn sleighing experience like this,” one member said. Everyone agreed it was the perfect outing for a fine winter day. After nearly two hours on the trail, the group enjoyed a hearty lunch at Cindy’s Dockside in Poland Spring.
Senior College club membership is included in the annual membership fee of $35. Club members plan and share the cost of outings held throughout the year. If you would like to learn more about activities planned for spring and summer contact Pat Vampatella, firstname.lastname@example.org.
TOP PHOTO: Ready for adventure, from left, Charlotte Bosworth, Les Bosworth, Diane Higgens, Lucille Clement, Diane Little, Irene Frye, Louise Michaud, Mary Jane Beardsley, Cindy Boyd, Pat Vampatella and Joanne Sabourin. (Submitted photo)