PORTLAND — Steve Bailey and James MacKenzie went snowboarding Wednesday without leaving Munjoy Hill.

The two powder hounds strapped on their boards and showed a bit of New England ingenuity. They went riding down Congress Street.

“We want them to put up signs that say: ‘No Snowboarding Allowed,’ because that would be pretty cool,” Bailey said. “We’ve been thinking about this all winter.”

The roads were slick; the snow piled high to the sides.

Driving even with four-wheel drive was a dangerous affair on the poorly plowed roads.

But the two snowboarders considered the white-out conditions ideal.

As a plow truck turned onto Congress Street, Bailey screamed: “No, turn, turn!”

While others struggled with difficult road conditions, Bailey and MacKenzie embraced the snow covered streets.

“We don’t want the plow trucks. Because we want good coverage,” MacKenzie said.

There is no city ordinance that forbids snowboarding in the streets, although a police officer might deem it unsafe based on conditions, according to the Portland Police Department.

Bailey and MacKenzie knew nothing about that when they strapped in near the Munjoy Hill fire station.

All they knew was that the mounds of slippery stuff were riding sweet.

From the top of Munjoy Hill they hopped and shimmied along Congress Street until momentum took them toward the Eastern Promenade.

Somewhere behind them, a police car went by.

But by then, it was all over.

They had hit the Promenade, where they got into 2 to 3 feet of powder.

Gusts of wet ocean wind howled off Casco Bay in their faces, but these backcountry snowboarders were happy.

And their effort to distinguish Portland as a lawless winter playground gave way to the joy of the moment.

“Hey, we’ve even got some glades,” Bailey said, and they carved several mini runs near a coastal grove of trees.

Staff Writer Deirdre Fleming can be contacted at 791-6452 or at:

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