If you’re hiking in Maine and see a penguin jumping in the air or a Star Wars appearance peeking out from abaft a tree, don’t be alarmed. It’s aloof a affiliate of the Onesie Crew.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, bristles hikers from southern Maine affiliated calm with a mission to get outdoors, accept fun and abrasion their admired onesies at the aforementioned time. Their adventures began on Halloween, and back then, their airy attitudes and asinine photos accept brought acclamation to bodies on and off the trails.
“It’s absorbing to see people’s reactions as we canyon by them on the trail,” Destiny Lavoie of Biddeford said. “People accept said they acknowledge what we do, the smiles and the joy, and to accumulate it up.”
The abstraction for the accumulation was sparked by Danielle Ashley of Brunswick, who on a whim absitively to abrasion her admired penguin onesie and backpack up Puzzle Abundance in western Maine in mid-October, abutting by her acquaintance Josh Kane of Portland.
“I did it to get bodies to smile,” she said. “It’d been such a crazy year.”
Ashley began hiking during the summer of 2019, and she’s animated she did. During the pandemic, it’s been her go-to action for accepting out of the abode and accepting fun while alienated crowds. To date, she’s clocked added than 250 afar on hiking trails this year.
It was while hiking Puzzle Abundance that Ashley and Kane aboriginal met the actual associates of what would become the Onesie Crew. Destiny Lavoie, forth with her accompanying sister, Bethany Lavoie, were hiking with their acquaintance Jason Poisson of Saco. Back their gym bankrupt during the pandemic, the three started hiking calm for exercise.
The two groups hit it off on the mountain, but it wasn’t until afterwards they’d alternate to their corresponding homes and started chatting online that they absitively to get calm for a five-person adventure.
“I acquainted like accomplishing a Halloween backpack because I usually biking during Halloween, and with the pandemic, I couldn’t this year,” Ashley said. “I anticipation it’d be fun to get a accumulation of bodies calm who capital to do a apparel hike.”
The apparel allotment was easy. Inspired by Ashley’s penguin outfit, they all called creature-themed onesies. Tackling Albany Abundance in Bethel, Ashley and Kane hiked as penguins. Destiny Lavoie hiked Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. And Bethany Lavoie hiked as Yoda or Grogu from Star Wars, depending on who you ask.
Poisson, who generally serves as the group’s photographer, has yet to accede to cutting a onesie — admitting his hiking assembly accept it’s alone a amount of time afore he caves in and apparel up. They’ve appropriate a bluff onesie or Winnie the Pooh himself, to go with Destiny Lavoie’s Eeyore.
“It’s auspicious to be able to adhere out and accept some fun,” Ashley said. “I feel actual beholden to accept met all of them. They’re hilarious. We get forth absolutely well.”
“We’re bristles peas in a pod,” chimed in Destiny Lavoie.
Since Halloween, the accumulation has hiked calm about every weekend. In accession to exploring hiking destinations in western Maine, such as Rumford Whitecap Abundance and Piazza Rock, they’ve catholic into the Kennebec Highlands to backpack French Abundance and Mount Phillip. They’ve additionally visited the Camden Hills in midcoast Maine.
Sometimes they airing an absolute aisle in their costumes. Other times they delay until the top of a abundance afore suiting up and demography photos that reflect the airy attributes of their adventures.
They jump in the air, attack assorted yoga poses and spell out words with their bodies (think YMCA). And by administration these photos on Facebook, application the hashtag #onesiecrew, they’ve acquired a admiring following, mostly through the accepted “Maine Hiking” Facebook group.
“I’m afraid about the afterward it’s got,” Poisson said. “Everyone has backed it up so wholly. We started it for fun and it’s exploded a bit.”
Through online comments, the aggregation has abstruse that their posts are alarming others to get alfresco with ancestors and accompany and dress up in article silly, whether it’s onesies, analogous apparel or animal Christmas sweaters. And in aloof a few months, hikers accept already started acquainted them while out on the trails.
Of course, if you apperceive annihilation about the Onesie Crew, they’re appealing adamantine to miss.
“People are so austere back they’re headed up a mountain,” Poisson said. “And all the sudden, they see you guys and they alpha laughing.”
“All the sudden, you attending up and there’s Eeyore in the distance, bistro blueberries,” Kane added with a laugh.
While the Onesie Aggregation would adulation to grow, they’ve absitively to accumulate it as aloof the bristles of them on hikes during the pandemic, back befitting accumulation sizes baby is so important. But they do animate others to dress up in onesies and get alfresco for some fun.
“We plan to accumulate hiking until we’re waist abysmal in snow,” Destiny Lavoie said. “Our onesies accept affluence of allowance for a brace of conditioning tights or sweatpants underneath. We plan to accumulate activity as abundant as we can during the winter.”
So if you see a penguin rolling about in the snow on a Maine abundance this winter, accord it a wave.
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