Meet our new intern Avery Boucher!

We at the Activities Guide of Maine are excited to welcome Avery Boucher as our Fall/Winter Outdoor Media Content internship student from the University of Maine Farmington. In partnership with Mainely Outdoors, Avery will get to utilize his passion for outdoor recreation to create digital content that introduces and inspires our audience to experience new Maine adventures.

Mainely Outdoors is an outdoor recreation-based program that supports getting UMaine Farmington community members outdoors, from introductory instruction to seasoned enthusiasts.

Growing up in Burlington, Vermont, Avery was immersed in many outdoor recreational activities including fishing, mountain biking, skiing, and trail running. Avery is pursuing a degree in Environmental Policy and Planning and a Minor in Legal Studies. He is following a career path that involves his passion for the outdoors and environmental awareness. We are very happy to have him here as we grow together and to help him along his journey!

Avery will work on producing video content and we will be assisting him in creating blog posts about local adventures that will be shared across Activity Maine’s media channels. Our goal is to help develops his communication and digital media skills over the next several months.

Stay tuned as we post some of Avery’s blogs and videos this week as we #keepourspiritsupmaine

 

 

 


Behind The Page: Meet staff freelance photographer, Mike Leonard

As part of our campaign, #keepourspiritsupmaine we’re turning the interview process inside out and asking our freelance staff of Maine Brew & Bev Guide and Activities Guide of Maine what keeps them upbeat and resilient during the economic downturn caused by COVID-19 –and what they’re doing to stay happy, connected, and forward-thinking this fall.

Q: What is your freelance specialty and what do you do for Activities Guide / Maine Brew & Bev Guide?

My specialty across all of the publications is photo editing and stock photography.  I “fix” and improve the photos that are published to make them more eye-appealing and relevant to the subject. 

Q: What is your favorite local Maine craft beverage?

One of my favorite beverages is Dragon Fly Wine & Distillery’s Blueberry Bliss wine – it is a sweet wine that is made here in Maine.  It is called a dessert wine and is best when served chilled.

Q: Personally, has COVID-19 experience changed your freelance work, and if so, in what way?

Much of my scheduled summer and fall photography activities were canceled due to COVID-19.  I was on tap to have a record year of 26 photo cruises scheduled along the Maine coast and all but one got canceled.  I began getting projects that would normally be done off season. With a lot of people stuck at home, they began going through their old 35MM slides and finding videotapes that they had not seen in years and it was the best time to get them converted to a digital form to be able to view and share more easily. 

Q: What do you do to keep your spirits up and stay resilient?

My passion for photography significantly helped me to keep my spirits up.  While places and events were closed down I knew that Nature was still “open” so I embraced it. In the spring, I forced myself to get outdoors and do more bird watching and made photos of some of the most beautiful migratory birds.

I was also able to capture some weather phenomenon – namely thunder and lightning storms that are always a favorite of mine to shoot.   

With the clearer summer nights I was able to do some nighttime photography in early and mid-summer and I love seeing those colors of fall foliage.

Photography has always been a passion of mine and although Covid squelched many of the planned activities I was fortunately still able to personally remain active making pictures of the beautiful surroundings for which we are so fortunate to have all around us in Maine.

Mike Leonard has been involved with photography for more than 35 years and is now engaged in photo tourism offering photography services and programs to businesses and the public. Mike’s work can be seen on television, in books, websites and of course in magazines.


How Sebago Brewing Co. continues to crest the wave

Industry Snapshot

Maine’s breweries got the one-two-punch like all small businesses affected by COVID-19, particularly after Maine’s state mandate prevented bars and tasting rooms from opening until this past July. As we head into November, Maine will have entered Stage 4 of the Plan To Restart Maine’s Economy. Stage 4 anticipates a reopening date for indoor service for bars and tasting rooms of Monday, November 2, 2020. Some breweries are prepared to stay open even though the possibility for losses over the winter months still poses a real threat.

How Sebago handled the COVID setbacks

Sebago took a slow, patient approach to opening, keeping everyone on staff covered by their insurance, so that the employees didn’t have to pay it back. They took their time to look for best practices, and waited to see what other businesses were doing. They didn’t want to open unprepared or have customers come in and not like what they experienced or feel uncomfortable and back away. First, they trained staff how to do things differently in the COVID era, and even did some role-playing to get operations down before opening. For their efforts, they received tons of positive feedback from customers on how spacious and safe their pubs were.

Second, they focused on the well-being on their staff: they scheduled the right amount of managers and staff to handle visitor traffic and also allowed special time off so staff could regroup.

Third, they made a major menu option reduction, as, like most restaurants, they couldn’t carry inventory pre-COVID. To accomplish this, they had to close for almost four months and redesign the menu, which kept the classic menu items, but had to eliminate all discounts and happy hour and half-price apps because of thin margins in order to maximize revenue with limited open times. 

How they continue to look forward

Having high-quality beers and food and providing a safe and inviting atmosphere has been a successful plan.

But, making sure all best practices were in order to make their customers and staff feel safe and have an enjoyable experience is just as high as a priority these days.

Even though Sebago’s revenue is down about 50 percent, so far for 2020, they continue to work with their strengths, and cut out the drag, such as modifying how many days and hours they are open (eliminating Sunday and Monday)  and continue to maintain a streamlined level of revenue. 

Going forward into the fall/winter of 2020,  Kai Adams, VP and co-founder of Sebago urges quality control for Maine brewers. “It’s important to watch for factors that affect flavor quality, because poor quality beers can hurt a brewery who is struggling during this, and also affect Maine’s reputation of high standards of great craft beer.”

Adams also notes that “Packaging will be king this winter and every effort should be made to get that part right.” Sebago Brewing Co. has added a new 12-pack packaging line and labeler to now package short-run beers and he is excited that they continue to innovate to make a lot of fun and exciting beers.

Check out more of our Industry Snapshots on the craft brew, distilling and Maine outdoor industries as we #keepourspiritsupmaine


Behind The Page: Meet staff freelance writer, Dave Patterson

As part of our campaign, #keepourspiritsupmaine we’re turning the interview process inside out and asking our freelance staff of Maine Brew & Bev Guide and Activities Guide of Maine what keeps them upbeat and resilient during the economic downturn caused by COVID-19 –and what they’re doing to stay happy, connected, and forward-thinking this fall.

Q: What is your freelance specialty and what do you do for Activities Guide / Maine Brew & Bev Guide?

Over the years, I’ve had the privilege to write a number of articles on Maine breweries and beers, as well as pieces on homebrewing. I’ve interviewed dozens of innovative Maine brewers who work tirelessly to push this industry forward and make this state a premier destination for craft beer. And I’ve drunk a lot (a lot!) of delicious beer along the way.

I’ve also written about Maine’s ski and fishing industries for Activity Maine. As we all know, perhaps only Maine’s natural landscape can rival the beer industry. This magazine has given me the opportunity to make hard turns on Maine ski mountains and search for trout in storied rivers to bring the experiences to life for readers.

Q: What is your favorite local Maine Craft Beverage?  

This is an evil question! But if it must be answered, I’m obsessed with Bunker Brewing’s Machine Czech Pilz. It’s a perfect homage to the Bohemian Pilsner.

Q: Personally, has COVID-19 experience changed your freelance work, and if so, in what way?

Like most freelance writers, work has dried up almost entirely for all the publications I write for. It has forced me to pivot away from freelance writing, which has been heartbreaking. While I can work on other writing and creative projects to keep my sanity, the freelance opportunities are scant in this current landscape.

Q: What do you do to keep your spirits up and stay resilient?

I’m a writer. So even when the work isn’t there for freelance beer or outdoor writing, I continue to write. As a novelist, I always have some story problem to dive into. And I’m obsessed with the craft of writing, so I keep my head down–I write. But I do pine for the days when I can get out into the Maine landscape and drink an inspiring ale or cast for pristine fish only to tell readers about it in our cherished magazines. 

Dave Patterson is a novelist, beer enthusiast, and lover of all things Maine. His debut novel, Soon the Light Will be Perfect, was released in 2019. 


Behind The Page: Meet staff freelance art director, Larissa Davis

As part of our campaign, #keepourspiritsupmaine we’re turning the interview process inside out and asking our freelance staff of Maine Brew & Bev Guide and Activities Guide of Maine what keeps them upbeat and resilient during the economic downturn caused by COVID-19 –and what they’re doing to stay happy, connected, and forward-thinking this fall.

Q: What is your freelance specialty and what do you do for Activities Guide / Maine Brew & Bev Guide? 

I am an artist focusing on painting, poetry, song, and movement. I receive great support and inspiration from nature, especially immersing myself in bodies of moving water and climbing cliffs. I assist Stan and the amazing team at Maine Brew & Bev Guide & Activities Guide as an art director.

Q: What is your favorite local Maine craft beverage? 

My favorite beverage is kombucha for the amazing health benefits!

Q: Personally, has COVID-19 experience changed your freelance work, and if so, in what way? 

This experience has definitely changed my life. The biggest change has been toward more and more understanding that I have got to do what my heart calls me to do. There is less and less ability for me to do things that I do not enjoy and feel inspired by. Sometimes, this means I have to stop doing graphic design work for a time. I feel that, ironically, as our freedoms are being restricted externally that within myself I am being freed from many of the beliefs and ideas that kept me doing things that did not bring me joy! It has also given me a deeper love for nature and a passion to protect it.

Q: What do you do to keep your spirits up and stay resilient? 

I paint, sing, walk in the wilds, dive in the waters, explore with friends and family, and consciously choose a path of happiness.

Experience Soul Path Art: Larissa Davis offers classes and coaching for creativity, insight, passion, transformation, growth, and a life lived with purpose.


Industry Snapshot with Sean Sullivan, Executive Director, Maine Brewers’ Guild

Sean Sullivan is one of the most knowledgable people in Maine’s craft beer industry. He’s the Executive Director of Maine Brewers’ Guild, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and protecting the craft beer industry in Maine. Their mission is to keep Maine in the forefront of the craft beer revolution by offering high quality and creative diversity for the customer.

It doesn’t even need to be said that Maine’s economy has gone through a lot in 2020 and the collective hope is that things will eventually get better as we are more informed and better equipped, particularly if there is a resurgence in COVID-19 cases heading into the winter.

The good news is that Governor Mills announced that starting October 13 Maine has now entered Stage 4 of the Plan To Restart Maine’s Economy. Stage 4 increases limits on indoor seating to 50 percent capacity of permitted occupancy, or 100 people – whichever is fewer. Stage 4 also anticipates a reopening date for indoor service for bars and tasting rooms of Monday, November 2, 2020. To reopen for indoor service, these establishments must abide by the newly-posted COVID-19 Prevention Checklist for seated food and drink service, which is an update to the restaurant checklist. This now eases a few of the challenges that some breweries were having of not being able to visit indoor tasting rooms the next several months ahead.

“Maine brewers and beer fans have really helped us achieve our goal of making our state a world-class destination for craft beer, and that has positioned us well to weather the downturn,” said Sullivan. “At the same time, brewers have had to rethink how they get their beer to market and have had to shutter so many of the welcoming spaces that bring our community together and serve as the core of most Maine breweries businesses. As we look ahead, we’re focusing on maintaining that collaborative spirit that has attracted so many to our industry and preparing to safely welcome back customers to tasting rooms.”

Asked what keeps his spirits up during these times, he said, “Going for a run with a podcast that has nothing to do with current events.”

Check out more of our Industry Snapshots on the craft brew, distilling and Maine outdoor industries as we #keepourspiritsupmaine


Behind The Page: Meet staff freelance writer, Matthew Brown

As part of our campaign, #keepourspiritsupmaine we’re turning the interview process inside out and asking our freelance staff of Maine Brew & Bev Guide and Activities Guide of Maine what keeps them upbeat and resilient during the economic downturn caused by COVID-19 –and what they’re doing to stay happy, connected, and forward-thinking this fall.

Q: What is your freelance specialty and what do you do for Activities Guide / Maine Brew & Bev Guide?
A: I’m a contributing beer writer. I like to focus on not only who is making delicious beer, but also the history and stories behind our favorite styles.

Q: What is your favorite local Maine craft beverage?
A: Allagash’s River Trip. Every day, all day, and twice on Sundays. That beer is transcendent.

Q: Personally, has COVID-19 experience changed your freelance work, and if so, in what way?
A: My favorite part of my work is meeting with the people, brewers, the locations, and the faces behind our great fermentations statewide. Being stuck at home or simply unable to see these people eye-to-eye is not only challenging, it saddens me. Nothing makes me more joyous in my work than shaking a hand, a clap on the back, and hearty laughter over a libation. I miss the interactions and ability to exercise my extrovert nature.

Q: What do you do to keep your spirits up and stay resilient?
A: I homebrew – a lot. I research styles and read about craft. I try to absorb all I can about the art of brewing. And, while socially distanced, I like to talk to our venerated members of the beer community for their input and thoughts on where craft is and our responses to it. Although my social sphere has withdrawn considerably, I am nonetheless still reaching out to our community to stay connected and to support them. Maine breweries are an essential part of the ecosystem for the state on so many levels. I’m honored to wave their banners far and wide.

Matthew Brown is a Portland resident, a Certified Cicerone(SM), an avid homebrewer and a financial planner.


Industry Snapshot with Lone Pine Brewing Co.

A chat with co-owner John Paul

Many breweries around the state and country have had to restructure staffing due to the pandemic affecting their normal operations. Lone Pine’s adjustments were to repurpose the roles of the tasting room staff and make calculated adjustments to their draft quantities. For tasting room service, they went to single-serve for customers and did not pour flights of beers to decrease sharing and increase safety.

At this point in 2020, Lone Pine has hired more people on staff this year as a whole. Among the new hires are a Director of Finance and HR. in April 2020, their tasting room deliveries were up 12% over 2019 due to the delivery business. However, sales volume dropped by 70%, but the average sale was up by 27% because people were buying more when going out to stock up on cans. On a whole, the business is up approximately 15% this year in gross sales.

For fall preparation at the Anderson Street location in Portland, they have expanded their outdoor section and deck space and added tower heaters to keep customers warm outside while socially distanced as well.

As for their winter outlook, they are hoping the best and embracing for the worst. In their six-month worst-case scenario outlook, they would go back to curbside pick up and delivery and adjust draft production accordingly.

As for other plans, Paul said, “We will keep innovating and putting out new beer varieties to accommodate a market that is driven by consumer willingness to explore new beers. While we’re a core-centric business, we want to give consumers something to look forward to as much as possible in these trying times.”

Check out more of our Industry Snapshots on the craft brew, distilling, and Maine outdoor industries as we #keepourspiritsupmaine


The Saco River begins in Crawford Notch, NH, as Saco Lake, descending out of the White Mts, traversing through 24 towns, carving its way through south western Maine all the way to the Atlantic between the towns of Biddeford and Saco.

Quiet Paddling in Western Maine

Find serenity and wildlife, paddling on the Saco River

My all-time favorite mode of transportation is the canoe. This ancient way of travel leaves me feeling peaceful and present in no time as I leave the work-a-day details behind with a few short paddle strokes. Experiencing the floating support, being suspended on water, another body, holding me up and carrying me along is powerful and healing. The sound of the wooden paddle slicing through the water’s surface, plunging down quietly, propelling me along the slow passing scenery, the perspective gained from being on top of the water, a place no one has walked or driven before—is simply magical.

Abenaki Indians, “The People of the Dawn,” relied a great deal on waterways of this area for easy and swift transport. Maine has seven major rivers that tribes used as super highways to explore, gather resources, trade and enjoy the bounty provided by Maine’s epic natural resources. The rivers served as trade routes and also helped the Abenaki to make seasonal migrations from south to north to help ensure greater success with hunting and gathering. Many tribes spent their summers on the coast taking in the ocean’s bounty. By early fall, they would paddle and pole back upstream to their winter home, rich with game, shelter and resources.

I get to live near the serpentine shores of the Saco River, one of these seven gems. The Saco River begins in Crawford Notch, NH, as Saco Lake, descending out of the White Mountains, traversing through 24 towns, carving its way through south western Maine all the way to the Atlantic between the towns of Biddeford and Saco.

The Saco River has been a hot bed for conservation drawing in the Nature Conservancy and the Saco River Corridor Commission to protect is shores and waters.

Our cities and towns used to turn their backs to the rivers, using them as receptacles for industrial waste, including paper, tanning and textiles. Thankfully, waterfronts are now being cleaned up, honored and featured as the beautiful resources that they are.

The Saco River has been a hot bed for conservation, drawing in the Nature Conservancy and the Saco River Corridor Commission to protect is shores and waters. Because of its seasonal flooding and intense water level fluctuations after sudden storms, it is home to rare plants and animals that sustain and thrive in these varying conditions. The receding glacier left the river with a thick sandy bed that acts as a water filtration system, providing some of the cleanest water on the planet. Over 250,000 people and multiple bulk water extraction corporations tap into the aquifer surrounding the Saco’s sandy surroundings.

The quiet paddler has an opportunity to drift into some amazing wildlife along the Saco and its connecting streams, bogs, ponds and lakes. I have been directly escorted by river otter, swacked into attention by beaver as they slap their tails adamantly, letting me know whose ‘turf’ I’m on. I have paused to watch dozens of painted turtles sunbathe on a river-worn log. Around bend and curve, I have followed the flight and distinct song of the King Fisher. Being mesmerized by the stillness and majesty of the Great Blue Heron, Bald Eagle and Osprey is humbling and inspiring.

Magic happens when one just shows up and joins the circle of what is already going on, tuning into the natural rhythm and natural world. Canoeing provides a life-long opportunity to access the wilderness we still get to experience and witness. Paddling totally shifts my mental state. There is still deep quiet in western Maine, off the hubbub of major highways, out of town just enough to smell the trees, see the sky and hear the birdsong strong.

— Text & Photos: Jen Deraspe. Jen is the founder of Nurture Through Nature Retreat Center, Maine’s first Green-Certified lodging retreat. She lives off the grid on the slopes of Pleasant Mountain in Denmark, Maine. Her passion is leading earth-friendly retreats and holistic life coaching.


Ben Bishop, can artist enjoys a brew with Mason's Brewery owner Chris Morley.

Industry Snapshot on Mason’s Brewing Co. with Chris Morley

To our fans and followers: Soon, we will roll out a digital campaign called #keepourspiritsupmaine

This is all about keeping upbeat and resilient during the economic downturn we’ve all faced during COVID-19 and what we’re doing as Mainers to stay happy, connected, and forward-thinking this fall. Stay tuned for a roll-out of blogs and videos featuring leaders in the brewing, distilling, and outdoor industries.

 

Despite the pandemic, Chris Morley, owner of Mason’s Brewing Co. in Brewer and his staff, have been going full steam ahead—staying on track with projects that were planned for 2020.

“At the end of the day there has to be a little pull, but not push, as the Maine economy is very fragile,” said Morley. “We are taking the steps necessary, following the new protocols and adapting while staying within our business’s means, to provide consumers with a good experience.”    

Like many breweries, Mason’s has been in a constant state of expansion since opening its doors in 2016. In terms of structural improvements, they expanded their indoor seating capacity and utilized their outside decks to adapt to COVID-19’s social distancing mandate going into the colder months ahead.

Because they also have a restaurant license, they are able to have indoor guests. As it stands now, the spacious interior beer hall/restaurant seats 50 people, and the new function/dining room seats 35. As for outdoor seating, they have outfitted both decks with propane heaters and can accommodate up to 14 picnic tables.

You can take a virtual tour of their facility on their website masonsbrewingcompany.com/

Mason’s Brewing Co. is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. serving patrons draft beers, lunch, and dinner as well as offering curbside pick up and carhop for deliveries.


Coastal Washington County

Explore the Maine Coast Way Down East

Coastal Washington County features some of Maine’s most spectacular scenery, as well as some great fun adventures.

Driving Down East on Route 1 from the south, your first stop will be just off Route 1 on Route 187 which will take you into the pretty little town of Jonesport and Beals Island. This small hamlet of 1370 is a fishing and lobster community that was settled in the years preceding the Revolutionary War. It was originally a part of Jonesboro under a grant given to John Jones and other settlers by the Massachusetts General Court. On February 3, 1832, it was separated from Jonesboro and incorporated as Jones’ Port. The main village of Jonesport is located on the Moosebec Reach and Indian River. A bridge across the Moosebec Reach joins Jonesport with Beals Island.

The United States Coast Guard has maintained a station in Jonesport since 1967. Another local landmark is the stately Sawyer Memorial Congregational Church which was dedicated on June 7, 1887.

If you are ready for an adventurous hike you will find it just across the bridge from Jonesport at the Great Wass Archipalego. Here you will find a winding and moderately challenging trail. As you enjoy your trek along this pristine coastal landscape take the time to relax on a rock and take in the ocean view. Be sure and take photos of this piece of Maine’s hidden coastline. Upon finishing your hike you will head back across the bridge and again pick up route 187 which will loop you back to Route 1 in Jonesboro. Proceed north on Route 1 in Jonesboro until you see on your right the sign Roque Bluffs Road, which you will turn on and follow for 5 miles to a T-intersection, where you will turn right still on Roque Bluffs Road and continue to Schoppee Point which will lead you directly to Roque Bluffs State Park.

The diverse habitats of the park provide an abundant support system for wildlife. Bird watching can be enjoyed year-round. Bald eagles are frequently seen, as are many waterfowl, including Redhead and Gadwell ducks; while pipers and interesting species of gulls can be seen along the beach during the summer months.

A beautiful half mile crescent sand and pebble beach along Englishman Bay offers bracing saltwater swims on warm summer days and in the park across the road from the ocean you can swim in the warmer fresh water of Simpson Pond. The park offers changing rooms, picnic and children play areas adjoining the parking areas.

There are five hiking trails offering varied lengths, from 1 to 2 miles. The Pond Cove Trail is a 2 mile hike over largely flat terrain through meadows and offers a scenic view over Pond Cove.

To continue your fun adventure just off the beaten path return to your car and turn left out of the parking area onto Schoppee Point, you will pass through the small village of Roque Bluffs where you will again pick up Roque Bluffs Road to the north for 8 miles where it loops back onto Route1. You will go north on Route 1 about a mile into Machias, the Shire Town of Washington County. Before the arrival of Europeans to the Machias area, Native Americans of various tribes made an annual September pilgrimage to the shores of the Machias River at Clarks Point. Here have been found extensive clam heaps, providing evidence of their gatherings. It is believed that the Norsemen were most likely the first Europeans to arrive in America’s most eastern conclave. The community has a rich history having been successfully settled in 1763.

In 1775, the Burnham Tavern was the meeting place of the settlers to enjoy a drink, when news of the battles of Lexington and Concord reached them they raised a liberty pole on the village green. On June 12, 1775 a group of 40 locals under the command of Jeremiah O’Brien went out into Machias Bay on the Unity and defeated the British ship Margararetta which became known as the Lexington Battle of the Sea.

In 1784, Machias was incorporated as a town by the Massachusetts General Court. The town has a rich history and is a perfect spot to rest on your adventure as Machias is blessed with both great accommodations and dining. Machias is an Indian name meaning “Bad Little Falls”

For a fun adventure in Machias check out a kayak tour. Daily during the summer season, Sunrise Canoe & Kayak offer scheduled daily tours on Machias Bay where you will have the opportunity to enjoy some spectacular scenery as well as view seals and bald eagles as you traverse the water. Other special tours are available as well as canoe and kayak rentals. Sunrise Canoe & Kayak is located at 168 Main Street (Route 1) Machias, ME 04654. It is on the left going north on Route 1, in the same complex as Pat’s Pizza Restaurant. Telephone contact is 207-255-3375.

After your stop in Machias, you will continue your adventure down east, by driving north on Route 1 with Lubec as your destination. When on Route 1 in the Town of Whiting, you will come to an intersection with Route 189 on your right with a sign directing you to Lubec and Campobello Island, NB. Turn right on Route 189 and follow it down into the Town of Lubec.

You will see a sign on Route 189 directing you to turn right to West Quoddy Head State Park and West Quoddy Head Light House. It is approximately 4 miles off of Route 189. The famed candy stripped West Quoddy Head Light House was built in 1808 during the Presidency of Thomas Jefferson to protect mariners from the frequent fog banks that are created by the Bay of Fundy. The best way to describe the nature trails that loop through the park over its scenic coastal terrain is unforgettably breath taking. After experiencing this treasure, journey back to Route 189 and turn right into downtown Lubec. You will find that Water Street truly reflects Lubec’s historic seafaring past. At 41 Water Street, you will find Lubec Brewing Company, where you can enjoy an array of fine crafted beers and a menu of organic homemade entrees. Upon leaving and starting back to Route 1, your Lubec visit would not be complete without a stop at Monica’s award winning chocolates. It will be on your left at 100 County Road (Route 189). Her gourmet chocolates are out of this world, Monica’s shop also features beautiful Peruvian alpaca sweaters as well as jewelry. With some chocolates in hand you can proceed up route 189 until you reach Route 1. Here you will turn right on Route 1 to complete the final leg of your adventure in Eastport.

You will stay on Route 1 until it intersect with Route 190 in Perry. You will travel down Route 190, 9 miles passing the Passamaquoddy Indian Reservation until you reach downtown Eastport, the eastern most city in the United States. Eastport is a quaint New England seaport. The Passamaquoddy people have lived in the area for eons and the first American colonist to settle was in 1772. Eastport was incorporated as a town by the Massachusetts General Court in 1798. On Water Street you can enjoy the unique shops and galleries that abound. A wonderful sea adventure lies in store for you on board Captain Butch Harris’ Windjammer Fleets new 47’ lobster boat, as a guest aboard you will see spectacular wildlife and experience an adventure you will treasure. Checkout for a reservation by calling: 207-853-2500 or by going on line to www.eastportwindjammers.com. After your cruise, stop down to Quoddy Bay Lobster and enjoy the very best lobster roll in New England as chosen by Yankee Magazine for three years running. The Sr. Editor of Activities Guide of Maine agrees that their lobster rolls are something to die for.

Hopefully for your trip just off the beaten path, you left your electronic gadgets packed and have enjoyed an active but stress-free adventure that you will treasure and bring you back Down East soon again.

— Text: Jim Harnedy. Jim joined the Activities Guide of Maine team as Sr. Editor in 1992, and was closely involved with the magazine’s evolution through the years. He was the author of a number of books, his most recent being Forgotten Tales of Down East Maine (The History Press).


Swimming is a low-impact aerobic activity that reduces joint stress, increases personal strength and promotes overall spinal decompression. It’s also a chance to connect with nature in a truly immersive way.

3 Outdoor Activities to Reduce Your Screen Time and Recharge Your Spirit

In a world that’s never been more easily connected, the average American spends about 11 hours per day on a device. According to the Nielsen Total Audience Report, whether we’re scrolling through social media, watching TV or video, swiping through mobile apps or perusing digital media, the majority of the population’s pastimes revolve around staring at a screen; which can be a little bit… disconcerting.

Reduce your screen time: Activities like kayaking and canoeing build overall endurance and can carry us to some of the most scenic destinations Maine has to offer.

Photo courtesy of Liberty Rogue Outdoors

This unprecedented engagement with technology is also causing an influx of digitally-induced afflictions. “Facebook Depression,” for example, is an actual disorder that correlates social media usage to depression and loneliness.

Cell Phone Addiction” is also considered one of the greatest addictions of the 21st century, causing all kinds of physical and psychological issues, including rigidity and muscle pain, ocular afflictions, fatigue, insomnia and a loss of interest in social and recreational endeavors. And according to the Journal of American Medical Association, the risk of developing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) symptoms more than doubles with high screen use.

With all this time spent adapting the body to meet our digital demands, the physical effects of stress take their toll. The strained position of the head and neck with device use is known as “Tech Neck.” It causes unnecessary stress on the spine and reinforces poor posture patterns—bringing some serious long-term consequences such as disc degeneration, arthritis and chronic pain.

The good news is, spending time outside is one of the best ways to undo all that digital damage. Here are three outdoor activities that reverse the negative effects of screen time and recharge your spirit:

Reduce your screen time: Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP) is a fun alternative to traditional paddling and provides a full-body workout at the same time. On top of engaging the entire upper body, SUP flexes deep core muscles to keep you upright and cruising across your favorite body of water.

Photo courtesy of Portland Paddle

1. Paddling and Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Paddling puts your muscles in the perfect position to open up the front line, stretch and strengthen the shoulders and stimulate the trapezius muscles to combat all that hunching over. Activities like kayaking and canoeing build overall endurance and can carry us to some of the most scenic destinations Maine has to offer. Some studies show that our connection to nature increases attentional capacity and positive emotions, decreases stress and even enhances our ability to solve life problems.

Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP) is a fun alternative to traditional paddling and provides a full-body workout at the same time. On top of engaging the entire upper body, SUP flexes deep core muscles to keep you upright and cruising across your favorite body of water.

2. Hiking the Ergo Way

The world’s most tried, true and time-honored pastime — hiking, is one of the easiest ways to get away from your desk for even just an hour. Just you, your backpack and the profound sounds of nature. The benefits of hiking are almost too many to list: cardiovascular engagement, decreased blood pressure and stress, overall enhancement in physical and mental wellbeing, and most importantly: restored attention. There’s no WiFi in the woods, so there’s no temptation to break your focus.

Reduce your screen time: Paddling puts your muscles in the perfect position to open up the front line, stretch and strengthen the shoulders and stimulate the trapezius muscles to combat all that hunching over.

Photo: Mike Leonard

To maintain healthy alignment, however, choose your backpack wisely. Ergonomic backpacks are padded for your spine, designed to reduce the strain on your neck, easy to adjust, and facilitate overall ease in your hiking experience. Some important features to look for include wide straps, a waist strap, multiple compartments to evenly distribute weight and proper contact of the body with the pack. The more adjustable the pack, the more comfortable and enjoyable your hike will be.

3. Swimming

Swimming is a low-impact aerobic activity that reduces joint stress, increases personal strength and promotes overall spinal decompression. It’s also a chance to connect with nature in a truly immersive way.

Whether it’s charging through the ocean waves, drifting down a flowing river or floating along a calm lake or pond, swimming offers you the chance to build up a healthier spine and reverse the dreaded screen time.

However you choose to engage with the outdoors, remember to put the phone away. A simple reset is often the best remedy for tech burnout. Get outside, get moving and experience all the offscreen Maine has to offer!

— Text: LeeMarie Kennedy. LeeMarie is a copywriter and content marketing specialist in Boston, Massachusetts. When she’s not meticulously wordsmithing, she can be found teaching as a certified yoga instructor, exploring her own yoga practice, traveling the world, laughing, drinking coffee or eating something delicious.


Five Medicinal Maine-Grown Products

Five Medicinal Maine-Grown Products

Maine is lucky to host a unique and abundant assortment of delicious, nutritious plants and herbs. From season to season, it brings forth a variety of native vegetation that, in many cases, only requires a step outside into your own backyard or a trip to your local store to procure. Here is a list of five medicinal Maine-grown plants, herbs and vegetables that are easy to get or grow, and offer proven benefits to your health and wellbeing.

Wild Maine Blueberries. Photo: Mike Leonard1. Wild Blueberries

Maine’s official state fruit had to make the list! Research shows that wild blueberries (also called low-bush blueberries) are jam-packed (see what we did there?) with antioxidants and phytochemicals, particularly one called anthocyanin, which helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, death, and Type 2 diabetes. They also help maintain a healthy weight and reduce inflammation in the body. It’s widely agreed that the regular consumption of these “super fruits” is great for your health.

Where can you find wild blueberries? You guessed it. In the wild. These hardy, tiny blueberries thrive in challenging seasons and in glacier-churned soil. Most of Maine’s wild-blueberry harvesting is done by commercial operations, such as Wyman’s in Milbridge, but many farms, such as Alexander’s Wild Maine Blueberries in Greenfield or Beddington Ridge Farm in Beddington let you rake in your own during the peak season of July through September.

Maine potatoes.2. Potatoes

The potato is northern Maine’s primary agricultural product. According to Maine Potatoes, one medium-sized potato has only 100 calories and is made up of about 80 percent water. It also contains 45 percent of your daily recommended vitamin C and 21 percent of daily potassium. Potatoes are packed with antioxidants linked to reducing the risk of cancer, as well as vitamin B6 and fiber, which are found mainly in the potato’s skin.

If you’re looking for farm fresh potatoes, the Maine Potato Board has a long list of growers across Maine, including Davis Egg Farm in Newport, Green Thumb Farms in Fryeburg and Northeast Potato Distributors in Littleton. Trying to grow your own? You can pick up seeds and gardening tips at Johnny’s Selected Seeds in Winslow, ME.

Sassafras3. Sassafras

Sassafras is a native woodland tree that grows year-round and makes a fragrant and potent addition to your home garden. It smells a bit like root beer, cinnamon and citrus, so steep it in a killer cup of tea. Its reported health benefits include improved urinary tract health, circulation, digestion and immune health. It even reduces the symptoms of arthritis and gout. Where can you find this powerful and pungent herb? Sassafrass is indigenous primarily to southern Maine, but you can grow your own from freshly collected seeds. Learn more about how from the Wild Seed Project in Portland.

Shagbark Hickory4. Shagbark hickory

Shagbark hickory, a member of the walnut family, is found across southern Maine. It’s a shaggy looking tree with a dark charcoal bark that lives for upwards of 200-to-300 years, producing nuts with health benefits that include increased circulation, heart protection, a boost in metabolism, lowered cholesterol, improved digestion, and even bone growth from its dense supply of magnesium.

While locating shagbark hickory in the wild might require a trip to southern Maine, you can find their ripe nuts ready to pick in September, at a local farmer’s market, (a list of which can be found at mainefarmersmarkets.org) or by planting your own and watching a new tree grow. Learn more about how from the Wild Seed Project.

CBD Oil5. Locally Grown Hemp and CBD Oil

Maine is home to more than 2,000 acres of farmed hemp and 170 hemp growers. Cannabidiol, also known as CBD oil, is a chemical that’s extracted from the cannabis plant and used in a wide variety of ways, both topically (in creams) and through ingestion (edibles). CBD products sold in Maine must be made with locally grown hemp. Some of the benefits of CBD oil include pain relief, anxiety and depression reduction, nausea alleviation, acne treatment, a boost in heart health and even diabetes prevention.

Wondering where to get your hands on Maine-grown hemp or CBD oil? According to Best CBD oils in Maine.org., some of the top places to buy CBD oil in Maine include Not Another Glass Shop in Brunswick, Remedy Compassion Center in Auburn, Empire Vape Shop in Waterville and East Coast CBD in Unity.

We’re Wild About Maine’s Bounty

Whether it’s those tiny little blueberries packed with health-boosting nutrients or the shagbark hickory trees that stand to outlive us all, you don’t have to look very far to find foods and remedies to help you stay healthy and happy. With a little bit of research and the right grower, Maine makes it easy for you to experience nature’s bounty at its finest.

— Text: LeeMarie Kennedy. LeeMarie is a multi-niche copywriter, editor and content marketing creator in Boston, Massachusetts. When she’s not meticulously wordsmithing or brainstorming a trending topic, she can be found teaching yoga, wandering the world, drinking fair trade coffee or eating too much cheese.


Meditation & Healthy Weight

Meditation and Healthy Weight

As summer approaches most people want to improve themselves, starting with achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. In my ‘Weight Loss Journey’ workshop, the two ‘A’s that form the foundation of the program are: awareness and accountability.

AWARENESS

Let’s begin with awareness and the practice that is specifically designed to produce it. Meditation is the key that brings you into a “here-and-now” state of awareness, expressed in terms such as “mindfulness,” “being in the moment,” “in the flow” or “in the zone,” and so on.  If you engage in this practice, producing a state of meditative awareness, you are ready to achieve your healthy weight and maintain it in a new way.

To bring your “here and now” awareness out of your meditative practice and into your daily routine, start with your food intake. Begin by staying aware of your intake for one day. Use an index card, sheet of paper, tablet, journal, or a section of your planner or calendar to record everything you eat. Notice that I did not say to restrict yourself or deny yourself anything that you would normally eat. You can eat anything you want, as long as you write it down. The skill you are developing here is the accurate recording of your food intake.

ACCOUNTABILITY

The second ‘A’ is accountability, and refers to counting calories.  When people tell me they have a hard time losing weight, but don’t want to count calories, it’s understandable. But, the fact is, that whether or not you are counting, that number of calories translates to fat and weight gain, maintenance or loss. The ultimate goal here is to determine the number of calorie intake that is ideal for your age, weight and activity level, then go through an entire day without surpassing that number.

Be aware of everything you eatAfter your “Day One,” research an online calorie tracker or by the nutrition label what you have consumed. Then total the calories for your one-day count.  That’s it. You’re on your way! Now do it again the next day, and the next. After seven days, you’ll have a sense of the kinds of food you usually eat, and the amount and most importantly, the calories that come with each food choice. With your knowledge of your own personal eating patterns and which foods are the better choices, you will start making choices with fewer calories, yet are still satisfying. The more items you record, the easier the process becomes. This is the most effective method, since it works from your own personal food preferences.

Not every day will feel like a success. If you do succumb to an impulse, consider why. It might be a way to escape your present moment or to escape how you feel in the moment. Realize that this is the power that the item has over you. Think of an alternative to the food/drink that you consume. Your goal is to feel satisfied, to feel good, to feel safe or secure, to feel engaged, without that particular item.  Have your alternatives ready. For example, sometimes your stomach simply wants that full feeling, and you can drink a glass of cold water with a lemon wedge to fulfill that craving, rather than eating that sandwich at night. Or you can choose a filling low-calorie snack instead of one that you now know is high-calorie. Choose whatever alternatives work for you. Test your ability to stay aware (in the moment, etc.) when the urges occur, and your power to choose your alternative items will increase.  When you succeed and an impulse finally passes, you will feel that you have developed a new kind of power in your life.  And if you do succumb to a certain food, admit the power that the item had over you. Acknowledge how great the challenge actually is; and start again!

— Text: Anthony Rubbo


11th Annual EMMC Championthe Cure Challenge

11th Annual Champion the Cure Challenge

Champion the Cure Challenge is happening this year, but it’s virtual!

YOU Make The Challenge.
Take The Challenge in your own creative way and continue to help cancer patients and families. Learn more and register for this year’s Challenge at ctcchallenge.org, and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook.

Here’s how you can participate – Find your own way to take The Challenge! Hike, bike, paddle, or a ride your favorite four-legged friend around the stable.

11th Annual EMMC Champion the Cure Challenge

Take photos or a brief video of your journey between now and August 1 and share it on Facebook with the hashtag #YouMakeTheChallenge (Email us at ctcchallenge@northernlight.org if you don’t use Facebook). We’ll share some of our favorites. (See additional guidelines and suggestions).

Join us for a special virtual celebration on Saturday, August 15!

We’ll share stories and videos from the virtual Challenge, see how The Challenge is helping patients and families, and kick off the 2021 Champion the Cure Challenge.

Patients and families affected by cancer need our support now more than ever, but that support can come in many ways. For 2020, participants can choose to pay the regular registration fee, or register at no cost. What’s most important is that we’re coming together to make a difference.


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