See what I mean about the feeling part…I mean come on, fires, fiber, cocktails, and couches?
Here’s a little glimpse in to more “feelie bits”, because it does not get any better than handspun, handknit socks from your own sheep
There was a lot more to the weekend then just good ol’ sittin and knttin…and yes some people spun and some people even needle felted so when we weren’t knitting and spinning and felting…well we were learning about knitting, spinning and felting as well as stitch marker crafting, origami and dyeing. The first full day of the retreat, Friday, was dedicated to workshops.
A Survey a Wool: Preparation and Spinning
Make Your Own Stitch Markers
Introduction to Lace
Origami Stitch Markers and Jewelry
Saturday was spent shopping at the exclusive marketplace and enjoying purchases…oh, and fibering it up!
I admit I carried away with picture taking but in my frenzy at the market I did not get a pic of the fabulous Trix’s Trinkets! So go see for yourself how clever and creative Trix is! These are not to be missed!
So the rest is really general shenanigans and beautiful knitware…We had a great time. Next year…same time, same place.
It is interesting that on this northern Maine outfitter’s blog there are now TWO posts about knitting. Scoff, laugh, joke but here’s the thing about knitters and avid adrenaline seekers, I know you are on the edge of your seat, what could little ol’knitters possibly have in common with ice climbers, mountaineers, & river junkies? Simple, climate and culture. Generally, where there is fiber for knitting/spinning, there are fiber producing cultures driven by the necessity of their environment and access to fiber producing animals. These extreme environments also attract adventurers for their ruggedness, challenging weather and remote locations. Nepal, Peru, Alaska, Mongolia, Iceland if you think about these adventure destinations think Icelandic wool, cashmere, quivit, camel, and alpaca. Think about being insulated in the most versatile, thermoregulatory type fibers on earth. Think about what those adventures long ago used for rope and cover and then think about how it was made. We might not be summiting Everest but rest assured we want to go. We want to go for the yak and cashmere ,to learn new spinning techniques or old as the case may be and exist in the climate that has procured such fine, sought after fiber.
The mountaineer and the knitter can find common ground in some of the most unlikely places. Highlands on the Fly may be one of those places. A retreat in northern Maine for knitters and spinners brings together wilderness, adventure and a primitive connection to the past.
An inspiring landscape, amazing food, and enthusiastic fiberistas are sure to make this fiber retreat an enriching get-a-way grounded in community and all things fiber. In collaboration with the Fiberista Files, and Knittin on the Fly the New England Outdoor Center has designed a fiber retreat that provides the necessary space for creative rejuvenation and connecting with others of the craft. This three night, two day package includes not only premier lodging and food but also personal, constructive time with two popular podcasters, choice of mini workshops on spinning, dyeing and knitting as well as an exclusive vendor marketplace.
Guests will be comfortably accommodated at NEOC’s Twin Pine Camps. Nestled on the shores of Millinocket Lake, overlooking Katahdin, Maine’s highest peak, the resort includes a variety of cabins which exemplify quality Maine lodging and include a variety of amenities: wireless internet, full kitchen, linens, towels, coffee and complete on-site dining. Festivities and gatherings will take full use of NEOC’s River Driver’s restaurant where participants will be treated to all inclusive dining, market place and workshops.
Hostesses Katie of Knittin’ on the Fly Podcast and Heather of The Fiberista Files are assisting NEOC in coordinating door prizes, goodie bags and workshops. Their dedicated podcast community has already begun to register for this event October 24th-27th coming from around the United States and as far away as Sweden. NEOC has set up a forum board on the popular fiber arts platform Raverly to encourage conversation amongst participants. Here knitters and spinners can chat, obtain information and generally get excited about this upcoming event. “All registered! I am really looking forward to this. October is a great time to knit and it is a beautiful place to visit.” says one participant.
While we are still working on the vendor list, the marketplace will exemplify local yarns and fibers drawing the on the rich Maine fiber community as well as northern New England. Currently, One Lupine Fiber Arts, Enchanted Knoll Farm and Northern Solstice Alpaca Farm have all expressed strong interest in participating in the marketplace and there are still more to come!
As part of the retreat weekend workshops, demonstrations and educational talks will all be included. These classes and lectures will highlight knitting and spinning techniques, fiber awareness as well as introductions to other wool crafts such as felting, needle felting and embroidery. NEOC and the podcasters have designed this retreat to be not only informative but also relaxing so participants can build their own schedule of activities depending on their interests. While fiber is the focus of the event, NEOC realizes that their location in the North woods also lends itself to outdoor activities such as hiking, wildlife viewing and stargazing. This retreat leaves plenty of time for guests to explore and enjoy the Maine landscape.
The Fiber Arts Retreat is a three day, all inclusive package starting October 24th and ending on the October 27th. Space is limited to forty people and guests can choose a private or shared room in the cabin. Classes and workshops will be available on Friday the 25th and the marketplace will be open on the 26th exclusively for the participants in the morning and then the public in the afternoon. Saturday night will be a festive affair with door prizes and games. Inquiries can be made to the NEOC for further information.
Heavy Rains Create Unique Whitewater Rafting Experience in Northern Maine
Due to the exceptional amount of rain over the past few weeks, watersheds in Maine are brimming with water. This phenomenon is shaping up the rivers to be unusually interesting for midsummer adventurers and especially affecting the white water rafting industry. Amplifying the experiences on the West Branch of the Penobscot River, Ripogenus Dam has opened up deep gates increasing the flow of the river to 7600 CFS, normal rafting runs originating at Ripogenus Gorge, right below the dam, typically hold steady at 3200 CFS for the summer. In the month of June alone, Chesuncook Lake which feeds into the top of Ripogenus dam received 4.8 inches of rain.
The upper section of the Penobscot River is an intense, technical, thrilling compilation of class IV and V rapids while the lower portion encompasses exciting class II through IV. Companies such the New England Outdoor Center (NEOC), are taking advantage of the water flows in the lower section which has transformed in to a white water playground with this unusual high water. “We run our guests twice through this exceptional experience” says Matt Polstein owner of New England Outdoor Center. “High water like this is rare and should not be missed”.
*The Penobscot River is one of the most popular rivers in New England for whitewater rafting even without this “exceptional” rainfall. New England Outdoor Center has centralized their entire rafting operation on this river due to its ability to accommodate a variety of populations from families with young children to adrenal junkies. NEOC offers a variety of whitewater rafting trips including specific trips designed for beginner rafters. Choose from: A soft adventure whitewater rafting trip which can be fun for any age on the lower Penobscot or run the upper river twice on a Double Trouble trip. Rafting on the Penobscot is an ideal way to take in the true nature of the Katahdin Region of Maine. The route along the river affords plenty of iconic sites including vistas of Katahdin, Maine’s highest peak and the terminus of the Appalachian Trail.
There are opportunities to view moose, eagles and loons as well as relive a piece of American history and the logging days yesteryear. Characterized by its exhilarating line up of rapids the Penobscot also delivers outdoor fun and excitement. A full day trip on the River provides access to such famous rapids as Ripogenus Gorge, the Cribworks and Nesowadnehunk Falls. Another good river option is to take it easy on the water slides with the family exploring the flora & fauna of Maine. For additional information on whitewater rafting in Maine, pricing and special all-inclusive package deals. Call 800-766-7238 or visit www.neoc.com
We are doing a lot with boats right now. Our first raft trip is Saturday, April 27th and we start our student boating program, Maine Outdoor Education Program, on Tuesday the 29th. And with boats comes other outdoor chores and tasks to get ready for our busy summer season.
Here’s a little look into how things are shaping up at New England Outdoor Center as the snow and ice recede! There’s not hoards of blooms and buds but all the same it’s our spring with her deep earthy tones and brisk watery blues.
She’s cold. She’s hot. She’s sunny. She’s rainy. She keeps us guessing even with an occasional snow flurry. We have not put out the fires yet or even contemplated planting our fragile seedlings but we have sat outside in our t-shirts, and flip flops as well as our wool sweaters, and our muck boots, just to soak her all in regardless of her mood.
She is on her way. We know it. We feel it, and we see it in the subtly of the changing landscape which is no longer white…except of course on the Mountain.
It does not feel anything like spring. Snow still covers the lawns and the ice is still thick..everything is brown and white..not a trace of vibrant green to be found. Perhaps that is why we thought it was appropriate to highlight an exciting new venture for this summer! As we move forward with some original plans for New England Outdoor Center and the River Driver’s Restaurant, we have welcomed a resident farmer to develop a large system of gardens!
These gardens will supply 15-20% of the produce for the restaurant as well as supply a farm stand at Twin Pine Camps for community and visitors to enjoy! Raised beds will be in use at Twin Pine Camps while more extensive operations will be conducted at the old River Driver’s site the Rice Farm.
So we are planning, potting and plotting! There’s soil, and seeds, hopes and dreams. Visions of spectacular greenery, ripe reds, that smell of heat, rain and earth all rolled in to one…so we move towards a whole new season with lots of plans for plants.
We captured a few images of our first day of spring! But they do exemplify the magic of Twin Pine Camps blanketed in new snow. Cozy cabins, quiet, crisp and starry nights are only three reasons you can’t miss the Katahdin Region in the winter or in this case the spring!
Choose from lakeside lodging with stunning views of the mountain or tuck yourself away in the woods… away from everyone and everything.
Whenever you choose to come, we are open year round with a variety of activities, accommodations and dining for you to enjoy
The ski trails at Twin Pines/New England Outdoor Center are perfection.
We headed out yesterday to take a quick spin up and over Black Cat Mt, which, in comparison to our neighbor,Katahdin, is not much of a mountain. However, with signs like these..
it might be a bit more of a mountain than you think!
The intensity of the Black Cat loop is quite exhilarating. Two big climbs up and a lovely, steep switch back down, make this a great 40-55 minute workout with amazing views of the lakes and mountain.
Metal edges make quick work of the S turns and provide great stability for the ol’ snow plow…that is if you want to. However, classic skis work fine and provide a pretty swift, wild ride.
Regardless of ability level, there is a route for everyone on these trails. The open area called the Ag Village and connecting trails up towards Hammond Ridge are a nice run with gradual climbs and descents.
There is over 7 miles of trails to explore and network through as you build confidence for any of the more technical components. Come for the day or make it a get-a-way.
Cross Country Skiing in the Katahdin Region on Facebook
The State of Maine is making a 10%
reduction to all grooming budgets due to low sled registration during the winter of 2011/2012. The Twin Pines’ Snowmobile Club always overspends its grooming budget to meet the expectations of riders in the Katahdin Region. You can help keep the standards high bybecoming member or making a donation!
Join the Twin Pines Snowmobile Club – Help maintain the Katahdin Region’s spectacular trail system. All proceeds beyond the MSA membership fees go directly to the trail!
We’re committed to providing our visitors with a safe, fun and family-oriented snowmobiling environment on clear, well-marked, groomed trails. We believe the best snowmobile trail conditions in Maine are right here in the Katahdin region, and we put your money to work for you!
FRIENDS OF THE TRAIL
Want to make an impact?
Memberships & Donations are welcome at the following levels:
Already a member of MSA? Then membership to our club is just $20.00
Member Benefits: Memberships submitted using the current form will be valid for the 2012-2013 Season and will expire on September 30, 2013.
- One-year membership to both the MSA (Maine Snowmobile Association) and the Twin Pine Snowmobile Club.
- All members receive the MSA monthly newsletter “Maine Snowmobiler” newsletter.
- A membership card and MSA decal are covered by a $2500 accidental death and dismemberment insurance policy. Twin Pine Snowmobile Club members have the option of participating in trail work if interested. Watch for special Club Sponsored weekend events.
Bronze, Silver and Gold Levels:
- Receive personal recognition on the NEOC Webpage and Trail Reports.
- Businesses can receive related marketing opportunities with NEOC on the web & other media outlets. Contact Matt Polstein at 1-800-634-7238.
- Enjoy all the membership benefits of our Individual & Family memberships including the Early Bird Benefits.
Additional Early Bird Benefits: Join by 11/12 and receive the following:
- Deduct the full value of our Individual membership from a midweek lodging stay with us.
- You can also deduct the value of our individual membership from a whitewater rafting trip that we offer on the Penobscot River.
New England Outdoor Center – 30th Anniversary Celebration
Thursday August 16th 2012.
Come and join us for all or part of this Celebration – events are free unless otherwise noted & all are welcome to join in. www.neoc.com
6.00-10.00 am – Sunrise Pontoon Boat Ride. $2.00 Mimosas in the River Drivers Restaurant followed by Muffins on our pontoon boat while you tour Millinocket Lake enjoying stunning views of Katahdin. Trips leave hourly on a first come/first served basis.
11.00-1.00pm – Scavenger Hunt – Look for NEOC artifacts on the Twin Pines/River Drivers Ground – Maps will be provided.
1.00-3.00pm – Paddle Your Own Canoe! Join Warren Richardson on site as he demonstrates the art of his hand crafted wooden canoes.
1.00-2.00pm – Children’s activities on the Lawn in front of the River Drivers Restaurant including but not limited to water ballooning.
2.00-3.00pm – Make your own Blueberry Ice Cream and Eat It! This is a great activity for children and enthusiastic adults. Work with our Talented Chefs & Wait Staff making your own Maine Blueberry Ice-cream on the lawn.
4.00-5.00pm – Early Evening Paddle. Bring your Family and your Friends and join our Canoe Parade.
6.00pm – Dine River Style under our Tent. Our River food and BBQ will be a meal to remember. $10. Gritty’s will be in the house for the evening.
5.30-7.00pm – Live Music – Cold Water Cure.
7.00pm -10.00pm “NEOC” presents the 7th Annual Reel Paddling Film Festival. This will be an outdoor Screening of the international film tour featuring the best of 27 inspiring paddling films.