Imagine this: you are sitting in a comfy chair next to a wood burning stove. Your favorite book sits on your lap. The window in front of you looks out from this cabin in Maine to a panoramic view of mountain tops covered in snow. To your right is the love of your life. Sitting on the table between the two of you is a bottle of sangria and some homemade kit-kat brownies.
Sounds almost too good to be true, right? Even when I was living that exact scenario in early March, it didn’t seem real.
Finding a Cabin in Maine to Rent
My boyfriend and I dream about the day we can move to our own isolated parcel of land an build our own cabin. But, since that is still at least a few years down the road, we decided renting one would suffice for now. Maine has the largest percentage of forested land mass in the US at: 90%. Talk about a lot of room for cabins!
Surprisingly, it took some digging to find exactly the kind of cabin we were looking for. Maine is known for its rural wooded landscape, so I thought finding a nice off-the-grid cabin would be a breeze. Unfortunately, many of the ones available were primarily for hunters. We did not want to be near any hunters or hunting areas, so we stayed clear of those. Additionally, I found several cabins described as “off-the-grid,” but they still had electricity and wifi.
Finally, I came across Skyline Ridge Vacation Rentals located near Andover, Maine. They offer 2 off-the-grid cabins out in the woods and one tiny house in town for rent. We booked the Moose Mountain Cabin, one of the secluded, completely off-the-grid cabins for a two-night stay.
Andover is near the New Hampshire border in western Maine. From Portland, it’s about a 2 hour drive. If you’re looking for something in a different part of the state, I suggest browsing on Airbnb. That’s where I found this cabin, and have had the most success finding the right kind of accommodations for other trips. Search terms such as “rustic cabin,” “off the grid cabin,” or “log cabin,” will give you the best results. You can also try simply googling these terms as well with the area you want to stay in. Don’t just go with the first prospect you find! Chances are there’s a cabin with better rates, better views, or nicer amenities if you keep looking.
Preparing For Our Weekend
For any weekend away, it is very important to know what supplies or amenities your lodging offers. The Moose Mountain Cabin had a gas-range stove, propane fridge, propane lamps, and indoor composting toilet. It had all pots, pans, dishes, and utensils needed for cooking, along with drinking water, toilet paper, and bedding. It didn’t have hot or running water (so no showering!).
Knowing all of this, we still made an effort to over-prepare. I made as much food as I could ahead of time, we brought bottled water, and made sure to bring extra blankets, pillows, and toilet paper just in case. This made our stay totally stress-free, which is exactly what we wanted.
This slow-cooker pulled pork recipe lasted us the entire weekend, and made for easy prep and clean up. [Disclosure: my boyfriend and I are now pescatarian, so I would not make this again for that reason.] We had pulled pork sandwiches for both dinners, along with a delicious pulled pork hash with an over easy egg for breakfast. I made a giant batch of spicy black bean and corn salsa to munch on whenever we needed a snack. Of course, I can’t forget the kit kat brownies for dessert! Quality of food does not suffer in the middle of the woods if you’re prepared.
Our Rejuvenating Retreat at the Cabin in Maine
After turning off the main road in Andover, we drove 2 miles down a freshly plowed dirt road through the middle of nowhere. Upon approaching the cabin, it was obvious that the pictures online simply did not do the views justice. The cabin sat on the edge of a huge ridge with 180 degree views of the Western Maine Mountains.
The crackle of the logs burning in the wood-fire stove provided a soothing soundtrack for the weekend. To escape the heat of the fire we walked among the towering birch trees and impressive mountain views until we had our fill of fresh air. Knowing we were close to being back to the cabin by the smell of the fire escaping from the chimney reminded us of the warmth we had to welcome us inside.
This was by far the most relaxing and rejuvenating weekend I have ever had. The lack of responsibility and distractions allowed me to truly appreciate my down time. My boyfriend and I both work full-time jobs and have our side hustles we are trying to be successful in. We spend almost all day on our computers, and are very frugal in using our free time for enjoyable things.
The luxury of not having time to waste was simply freeing. We didn’t feel bad about reading and playing Scrabble all day, because that’s all we had to do. We didn’t spend hours consuming the white noise of phones, TV, and the internet. In a society that is obsessed with social media and vanity, it’s amazing to see how little we actually need to get by and enjoy our time.
To enjoy the beautiful nature of the earth without the interruption of other people and man made frivolities is something we should all strive to experience – and experience often.
A Small Taste of the Simple Life
A small taste of the simple life surrounded by nature was all I needed to remind me of my true goals in life. I (and a lot of us) get so caught up in being successful that I sometimes forget to stop and enjoy the things that money can’t buy. Nature is the cheapest and most enjoyable stress-reliever on the market.
Spas, eating out, shopping, and drinking can all be fun, yes. However, there is something to say about the peace of mind that comes with the chirping of birds and the smell of pine trees that those things can’t provide.
The vision of the mountain outlined by the setting sun behind it will not soon be forgotten. It will serve as motivation for reaching my goals, and also as a reminder to savor the little things in life. A weekend with so little materials – no electricity, cell service, or internet – can do so much for our well-being.
To find out more about Skyline Ridge Vacation Rentals, visit their website here. Their rentals can also be found on Airbnb, but it is cheaper to book through the Skyline Ridge website. There is a 2 night stay minimum.