GUILFORD, Maine — Riding a snowmobile to school is a treasured memory by many who were raised and went to school in rural parts of Maine. It's a tradition that lives on in many parts of the state, including Guilford.
Guilford, Maine has seen more than 60 inches of snow this winter, and for a hearty group of kids, that means firing up their sleds and taking a path to the classroom that no school bus could go down.
17-year-old Noah Larry says, "Driving gets boring, and why not snowmobile?"
16-year-old Carter Starbird says, "It's more of a rush in my opinion."
A group of students at Piscataquis Community High School in Guilford starts most winter days with a rush. Each snowmobiling--one making a 17-mile journey--to the classroom.
Noah Larry says, "It's just something different and it gets us to hang out and why not?"
For years, an average of 10 students snowmobiled to Piscataquis Community High School in the winter.
While kids used to have to be 16 to ride, starting this year, the group has gotten younger.
School principal John Keane says, "This year, a bunch of students in the student council petitioned the school board to lower the age 14-year-olds to ride to school, which is state law, so now we have 14-year-olds riding to school."
The snowmobile ride gives these kids a jump on the morning.
"If you've ever seen high school kids the first period, most of them are still waking up, the people that are riding their sleds, they're fully awake and their cheeks are red and they're ready to go," says Principal Keane.
According to the students, riding a snowmobile also makes a long day of classes go by more quickly.
Ben Martin says, "You try your best to get through the day so you can hop on this thing and go riding again. So it makes the days go by a lot shorter I guess."
Aidan Watt says, "By last period, oh man, you just get butterflies in your stomach and stuff because you just want to go riding."
Principal Keane says he hasn't experienced any issues with allowing kids to snowmobile to school. "They're pretty hearty and they all have a good time and they're very well behaved."
Principle Keane says students that ride to school must register for a permit, which requires parent approval. If kids misbehave on their snowmobile, the permit would be taken away for the rest of the winter, but he's never had to do that.