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Riding down Memory Lane

Published: 7/24/2011
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By Maddy Butcher Gray

Go while the gittin’s good.

That’s what I was thinking when I stole away for two days and headed to Memory Lane Vacations in Andover, Maine.
Over the years, Deb Cayer’s getaway place for horse and rider has become more and more popular, so I squeezed a midweek adventure into booked weekends at her apartment and stall space.
Like most horse owners, leaving town is always complicated by finding help to care for horses, dogs, cats, chickens, etc.. But with Memory Lanes, I just loaded up the gang and headed north. (Ok, I left the cat and chickens.)
The road to Andover is in itself therapeutic. Brunswick is no metropolis, but it still gets annoying with the season's tourist invasion and road construction projects. Once I got north of Auburn, most of that action dissipated. I could feel the stress of everyday nonsense peeling away as we moved along the backroads and entered the foothills and forests.

We pulled in just as Deb was heading out on a trail ride with friends and boarders. She showed me the clean, airy stalls and neat, airconditioned apartment. In minutes, we were settled in.
I headed out for a first ride with one thing in mind: cooling off. We headed down the Pink Trail, through fern-filled glades and along fields full of head-high grass to the Ellis River, just a half mile or so from Memory Lane. The river was low, but we waded upstream and got up to Shea’s belly in the deep areas. Refreshing!
I returned to the apartment, a spacious one-room affair with a full kitchen and a balcony overlooking the barn, round pen, and paddocks. It has a splendid view of the mountains to the south. If the weather turns foul, there would be a healthy stock of horsey DVDs to play.
Aside from being an accomplished horsewoman, Deb worked for years as a florist. And her place has Green Thumb written in caps. There are lovely plantings and arrangements all around the property.

In her vegetable garden, tomatoes and peppers were nearly ready to harvest.
After dinner, I joined Deb, her husband, Matt Beam, and friends at the small fire pit. The smoke kept the mosquitoes at bay and the stars burned bright. We hopped from topic to topic, but the overall theme seemed to be: Life is Short. Live it!
In the morning, I worked with Brooke in the round pen and took a ride across Route 5 with Shea after the dew had burned off. Then down to the river with the dogs.
Around noon, I tossed hay to the horses and got out of the heat, soaking up a good book for the first time in ages.
After a nap (yes, how luxurious!), I took Peppermint down to the river. And still later, I headed out again with Shea. Four rides in two days!

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7/26/2011 Julie Kenney
That sounds simply wonderful!! I've got to get myself up there sometime. Definitely on my "bucket list" of things to do :)
7/28/2011 Deb & Matt @ Memory Lane
Maddy thanks for such a sweet write up on Memory Lane. I often have to pinch myself... am I really living this dream? God has blessed us with a lovely home in a wonderful location and has sent us the nicest people to share it with. Happy Trails Always! Deb & Matt
8/3/2011 Debi Brown
Maddy, I totally enjoyed your review and video of your visit to Memory Lanes made me really wish I was there. I do plan on getting up there soon and hope to stay at Deb and Matt's! Thanks for sharing your trip with me...all of us!
5/23/2012 Ann W. Firestone
We are heading up to Memory Lane in June with a bunch of long ears. Cant wait!!!!
6/22/2012 Ann W. Firestone
Just back from a fantastic time at Memory Lane Vacations. The trails are well marked and each one is more beautiful than the one before. The river crossings were fun for all of our donkeys and mules and one horse. The apartment is lovely and how can one complain about a hot tub right outside the door? Deb is the hostess with the mostess, a gem of a woman. I have nothing but great things to say about this place and can't wait to go back next summer...for a longer time. Thanks so much for turning me on to this great place Maddy!
8/17/2014 Minnie Sygnecki
Memory Lane Vacations has been a favorite getaway for me for 3 years now. I never tire of the beautiful trails, the hospitality of Deb and Matt, and the fantastic accommodations for guests and horses. I try to get up there at least twice a year. We've even become members of Ellis River Riders.

"Anyone who is concerned about his dignity would be well advised to keep away from horses." - Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh