When I tell people I grew up in Maine, I sometimes get asked the most outrageous questions and I’m sure you do, too.

Do you have electricity?

Do you have Canadian accents?

Have you ever ridden a moose?

Do you live in the middle of the woods?

Yes, no, no, and no. But… we do party in the middle of the woods.

We aren’t from a city where you can run around with fake I.D.s and get away with it - You’ll probably run into your gym teacher at the bar or your aunt walking down the street.

We’re from a very small place where everyone knows your name and where parents like to talk. I used to want to pitch Real Housewives of Cumberland Center to Bravo.

So, the old days of high school forced us to get pretty creative.

If you’ve ever partied under these conditions, you’re definitely a Mainer:

Sandpits

First off, who knew Maine had so many sandpits? I reached out to different Mainers from different generations and we all had one thing very much in common: Partying in a sandpit.

Traolach Conboy via Unsplash
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My parents grew up in Yarmouth so they used to frequent a pit near the post office that’s apparently not there anymore. My stepdad even had one he went to with friends back in the day in Naples. My friends and I had two different sandpits we trudged through the mud to and I’m pretty sure they were in North Yarmouth.

Am I being a narc right now?

Frozen Ponds

Boris Misevic via Unsplash
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What, you thought we were going to stop partying just because the temperatures dropped?

Saturday's are for the boys... even in the winter.

Woods

This one was definitely the sketchiest. If we couldn’t find a place to all hang out together and engage in behavior our parents wouldn’t approve of, we would find ourselves trekking into the middle of the woods. We had nicknames for different areas so when there was a party, you knew which spot to go to.

Lukasz Szmigiel via Unsplash
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This was one of the few times all grades really got along because we had to work together. We would all park in different large parking lots and the chosen drivers would pick people up at the lots, drive them to the woods entryway, and back and forth until everyone was slowly but surely heading into the middle of nowhere.

The town favorite was the abandoned boy scout camp. We would walk for what felt like miles into the middle of the woods to an abandoned camp with tables, chairs, supplies, and drunken bastards in tow.

Looking back at it now… that was pretty dumb. If anything had happened to anyone, it would have taken hours to get help. Of course, that is the last thing a 17-year-old is thinking about. We were invincible, duh.

Sure, it was sketchy. But, we were young and naive, and just like any other Mainer, we just wanted a cold brew by a warm fire.

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As the temperature dips lower and the days grow shorter, Mainers begin looking for their winter ‘happy place’.