George

The friendly and welcoming Rob and Jan Welch define their Pleasant Street Inn Bed & Breakfast on a quiet street within walking distance of downtown Rangeley. When we arrived, I thought the large and beautiful inn must be an historic building, but later learned that when the Welchs purchased this place in 1977, it was a tiny old house with a three-holer outhouse.

They restored the barn and moved it away from the house, then fixed up the old house, later adding on to provide space for Rob’s grandfather. Today, that addition offers five gorgeous bedrooms for their guests. Rob and Jan still live in the house and enjoy spending time with their guests, as did we. The morning gathering for Rob’s delicious breakfast was especially fun.

Rob, a retired school principal, and Jan, who teaches fourth-grade math at the Rangeley school, do all the work, somehow keeping the place spotless. Honestly, I’ve never seen such a clean place. You’ll need to be prepared for that, because it requires leaving your shoes at the front door. Linda noticed right away that I had a rather large hole in one of my socks.

Rob’s been coming to Rangeley since he was a kid, and after he retired he suggested to Jan that they open a B&B here. She must be a really good sport, because she said yes. And after getting home from school, Jan jumps right into taking care of the inn and guests.

Wandering the large inn with Rob, an avid angler, I was thrilled to find two fish mounts by Dave Footer, one of Maine’s all-time best taxidermists and artists. Rob’s fishing stories were entertaining, although he made me promise not to disclose his favorite spots.

The inn accepts adults and kids 12 and up, two to a room, and doesn’t offer online reservations because they want to talk to all guests before they arrive to make sure they know what to expect. I was astonished to check out reviews on TripAdvisor and discover that every single one of the 111 reviews rated the inn as excellent. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before. But once you’ve visited, you’ll agree with every one of those reviewers.

Linda

Ron and Jan were made for the inn-keeping business. I have never met more hospitable people. From the moment we entered we felt as welcomed as if we were family.

Guests are free to use the house, and this includes two living room/seating areas. Their house is beautiful with gleaming floors, comfortable seating and tasteful decorations. A guest fridge with cold beverages awaits.

I quickly noticed spectacular quilted wall hangings throughout the inn. It turns out that Jan has a special talent, and these were some of the most intricate designs I have ever seen. On a tour of the rooms, we saw beautiful quilts that Jan made for the beds.

Our room, #5, was spacious with windows that overlook the large backyard and woods. A Sleep Number mattress in this room lets guests choose the perfect firmness. It turns out that George and I preferred the same number. Huh. And what a comfortable night’s sleep that mattress provided.

The bathroom had heated floor tiles, large plush towels and a tub with tiled walls and a decadent shower. Heavenly.

When we returned from dinner at Forks in the Air, Ron invited us to join him and the other guests in the living room. We visited and got to know each other better, including a young man and his mother who were in the area fishing. Their entire family loves the inn and has stayed here many times.

The breakfasts are something special, including the conversations with guests around the table. Ron loves to cook, and he prepared incredible shirred eggs with a side of crispy bacon in addition to coffee, juice, toast of your choice and homemade jams. The eggs were baked until the yolks were soft, but not runny, and topped with tomato slices, basil and extra sharp cheddar cheese. You will not leave the breakfast table hungry when you stay here.

I can certainly see why people who stay here often become regular visitors. If you want a suggestion on where to see moose, where to eat or where the best fishing is, Ron is happy to help.

Visit George’s website — georgesmithmaine.com — for book reviews, outdoor news and all Travelin’ Maine(rs) columns, found listed by town in the “Best of Maine” section.


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