As I approached Portland, which was operating IFR, I could see some clouds up ahead. At first they seemed to be broken, with gaps between them, but as I got closer they looked a lot more like a wall. It was as if the clouds had sliced Portland’s Class C airspace symmetrically in half from west-northwest to east-southeast and right down the center of the field. Five miles south of Portland and still in the clear, I entered a circling climb from 5,500 feet to 7,500, hoping I could get above the clouds. As I reached 7,500 feet, I realized the clouds were probably over 10,000 feet. Without an instrument rating, and with icing airmets calling for ice above 3,000 feet, I had no desire to tangle with these clouds. Furthermore, the weather at Auburn had dropped to 2 miles visibility. My “plan” turned out to be no plan at all.