You Know You’re From Aroostook County When …
Covering more than 6,000 square miles of the northern half of the state, Aroostook County is unlike any other place you'll ever go. It's so unusual, in fact, it even almost (well, kind of) split from the southern part of the state! Even though a lot of young people tend to migrate south after high school you'll always know you're from "The County" if...
You can't always see them, but they are everywhere! The moose population is currently estimated at 76,000 in Maine with more than half found in the northern region of the state. Chances are you've seen at least one.
From Sherman Old Home Days with the only (not so) infamous twice around parade, to the Annual Maine Potato Blossom Festival there is no shortage of community events in the County. This photo (form the Sherman parade) actually includes a scout group from nearby Patten, which is actually in Penobscot County.
You know what they say: "You can't get there from here." Unless you live in one of the more populated areas of the County like Presque Isle or Houlton, you probably know how to buy enough groceries for at least a week because it's a haul to the store. The best part about grocery stores in the County is how friendly they are. Most will take your groceries to your car without even asking!
We are unsure why but it seems more people in the County have nicknames. These are not ordinary nicknames either, but everyone just accepts them with no questions asked. Floppy, Beaver, Bud, Pucky are just a few of the strange names I have heard. The best part is most people have no idea what their real names are!
Although student participation has declined quite a bit in recent years it wasn't too long ago that most students would trade school papers for potatoes.
If you don't know what that means, you must be from away. Everyone knows Maine's mud season combined with your 4x4 and a couple of four-wheelers can leave your dooryahd a complete sauce hole!
Depending on where you are in the County you probably know a little French. It's on your radio and television because you are so close to Canada. But don't ever compare the county to Canada. They are different, OK?! (We also happen to know of some great stations right in the county that play your favorite country, rock and pop music!)
If you haven't had a run in with a reckless deer you probably know someone who has. Deer vs Auto accidents are so common in the County it wouldn't be ludicrous to have it happen more than once.
When we say big city we of course are talking about Bangor. Through snow, sleet, and ice nothing can stop the caravan of vehicles migrating south to the Cross Insurance Center for the Maine High School Basketball Tournament.
The snowmobile trails are exceptionally beautiful in this part of the state, better than the actual roads. They are pretty much always groomed as wide as a two-lane highway with some of the best sights to see. So yeah, you're going to want to spend a lot of time on a nice sled. Who needs a nice car on roads with frost heaves and potholes every 3 feet?
You never say things like "take Silver Ridge rd to the Prairie Road." You say things like "head towards the pond till you see the red barn, if you've gone by Richardson's Hardware you've gone too far." You also probably measure driving distance in minutes and not miles.
This took me a while to get used to as a frequent visitor to the County. At first I expected to know everyone who waved at me, but now I know it's a friendly courtesy wave. Very subtle, its more of a showing of your hand than a wave, you don't want to be that guy waving and smiling like a lunatic. Keep it cool.
When we say traffic jam we mean two to three cars ahead of you, following a buggy going 10 MPH. While the Amish are friendly people and we respect their lifestyle, someone give those horses some energy drinks or something to get them moving faster.
While the rest of the state is sporting extra layers for warmth, the County kids are in full snowsuits, gloves and hats. Some years the weather has been so bad on Halloween the costumes didn't matter as they all came home looking like the abominable snowman.
The County's famous solar system spreads from Houlton to Presque Isle and is the world's largest complete three-dimensional scale model of the solar system. Many kids have learned their planets on the 40-mile drive.