Hilary Nangle: Maine Travel Maven aka Mainegal
I have three passions in life: Maine, traveling and skiing. Okay, four: chocolate. Maybe five, spa-ing (is there such a word?). I guess writing would be my sixth passion. And cheese, oh yeah, artisan-crafted and farmstead cheeses. What can I say, I’m a passionate kinda gal.
When I dropped out of grad school, I became a ski-and-whitewater bum, working at ski resort in winter, for a kayaking and whitewater rafting company in summer, and supplementing my wages year round by bartending and waitressing. So I’m pretty well versed in tourism and outdoor recreation.
When I got tired of hearing my parents ask: “When are you going to get a real job?” I became communications director of the U.S. Men’s Professional Ski Tour. That’s where I learned the difference between glamour and reality. Glamour=traveling the country with a bunch of hunky guys from around the globe and visiting ski resorts. Sign me up! Reality: 18-hour work days, driving back and forth across the country, and a $15 (no, there’s no digit missing) per diem. (I can work a buffet like no one, baby).
I put the writing experience to work a few years later as managing editor for Gourmet News, a trade tabloid for the gourmet foods industry. Twenty-five pounds later, I segued to a position as features editor responsible for arts and travel for a daily newspaper. Lost the weight, but not my taste for good food.
Now I freelance year round, writing for publications ranging alphabetically from AARP to Yankee, topically from Art & Antiques to National Geographic Adventure. I’ve contributed the Maine chapters to more than two dozen Fodor’s guides in the past, but now I concentrate my efforts on Avalon Travel Publishing’s Moon guidebook series for Maine, with three titles under my name: Moon Maine, Moon Coastal Maine and Moon Acadia National Park. This blog will help keep buyers of any of these updated.
My husband, Tom, and I split our year between coast and the western mountains, with frequent forays elsewhere in the state and beyond it. In this blog, I’m sharing my finds and thoughts, not only about Maine, but also about wherever else assignments take me. And don’t be surprised to see occasional stories about pet travel featuring my dogs, Bernie and recent-addition Dooley, both Leonbergers (no, not cheese, just a giant overly friendly, overly furry breed with an ancestry that includes St. Bernard, Great Pyrnees and Newfoundlander–but no drool!).