How wide?

So much about camping is subjective.  On the reservation desk we answer questions all of the time but no matter how hard we try, there are no definitive response.  When we’re asked questions like: are the sites big? are there a lot of children? are there barking dogs? is there privacy?, we hesitate and discuss among ourselves.

First of all, asking a 100 questions before you make a reservation is one of the best things you can do for both of us.  We’re always happy to receive lists of questions by e-mail if they reflect a bit of the time you’ve spent looking at the website and thinking about what you’re looking for in your vacation experience. But in the end, there are few simple answers because it all depends on where you’re used to camping, and the kind of attitude you and your companions have while you’re vacationing.

Here on the ocean, real estate is prime and expensive.  Our sites are closer together than inland parks.  That’s just the way it is.  BUT, if you’re used to camping in places where you have to choose between your slide outs and your awning, then our sites are AMAZING!  Privacy?  Well the trees don’t grow densely at the ocean…we have lots of mature trees on the grounds, so yes, we have many shaded sites…but there isn’t much in the way of scrubby bushes and privacy screening.

Living the adage that a picture is worth a 1000’s words, we just walked around and snapped pictures of a few of the oceanfront RV sites this evening…you decide for yourself.

Next week we’ll post some pictures of our inland lots.

 

I’m Nate…and I made a tiny house

Hello! I’m Nate and I’m an intern at Searsport Shores this summer, living in the ocean tenting part of the park. For the past few weeks I have been working on a tiny house to live in. As you can see, this shed was pretty bare bones at first, but I was able to fashion it into a nice little living space.

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Putting a couple of the windows on hinges was one of the first things I did, because if you’re going to live by the ocean, you’d better be able to smell that refreshing sea air. A house isn’t really a house without a bed, so the bed was the next thing I set out to build. With the assistance of Mike and Steve, I was able to put in a twin bed, shelving, and a table with room to spare!

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I also added some stained paneling to the back wall just to make it look a little fancier, which I think paid off. The final product is exactly how I envisioned it, a compact yet comfortable space with a beautiful view.

     fNate8 Nate3        It’s definitely an upgrade from my tent and I look forward to living in it this summer!

 

 

Poking Around

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I’m new here to Searsport Shores and it was a wonderful greeting. Driving in, my phone’s GSP somehow switched off but before I even realized it, the handpainted (!!!) billboard came into view. When I go into a campground, my eyes instantly become my grandfather’s. Would he be able to easily navigate the big rig around the corner? Yes! It’s a large driveway off a wide shoulder. We’d all appreciate the smooth sailing.

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Art gifts are the best gifts (a piece of artwork gifted to the studio)

After that thought, I see the space. A sign indicated the first path is group tenting. Could you imagine getting everyone together here? Because the air smells like the sea, everything is green and lush and in every nook and cranny there’s art and beautiful things to be seen.

Windchimes, metal-working art pieces, murals, colorful flowers, alluring walkways, magic tiny cabins, porch chairs, tomato plants; all the things I love.

Sun speckled stairway to the sea

When exploring the grounds, I let my feet lead the way. The animals and gardens were the first thing to catch my attention naturally. Steve told me the fiber goats & sheep are shorn twice per year. After meeting Norma tending the vegetable and herb gardens, I headed to the water! Down a shaded set of steps, I find a secluded beach with an expansive view… More on that later.

Traveling full circle around the space, I noticed large pull-through sites perfect for my folks preferences, oceanside tent camping that looked so dreamy to me, and each site with a personality all its own.

What a wonderful afternoon it was. I could get lost in that art studio. It’s truly a haven which pictures compliment but can’t explain the cool floor on my bare feet, the room piled with yarn, colorful threads, and magic art pieces.

Loom the rainbow!

Stacks of logs for the pizza oven!

I wonder about all the artists who’ve stayed in this space. You can’t even imagine the space for artists in residency! It’s truly remarkable and gave me this overwhelming feeling that I want to learn and create. It seems it did it’s job.

I’ll be back soon and I hope you are also enjoying this beautiful sunny day!

The Days are Still Shortening

We’re approaching the solstice, feeling the pressure of getting more done in a day than we have the energy or focus for…Maybe I don’t have the right to speak for “all of us” but I think you could listen in on most conversations at the coop and hear the same words.

I love this month’s darkness because it nudges me into my best creative brainstorming.  The questions on the edges of my mind have been finding balance between social media contacts and face to face contacts…and how to manage a good balance between time with people and time alone completely engrossed in projects that feed my soul.  All of this goes on within the schedule of doing campground and maker’s guild each day to keep the business moving forward in balance with studio time.

More and more, my phone tracks my days by making a visual recording that I can look back on when I can’t remember what I did this week.  I’ve become dependent on the device in my pocket…like having an external hard drive for my memory…how cool is that?  So my friends, this is what we’ve been up to these days…

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We’ve been happily making gift certificates for giving…it totally fits our personal philosophy of offering experiences rather than objects and Steve and I certainly appreciate the #buysmallbusiness effort of our guests.

 

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It’s become a tradition to carve and stamp holiday cards while listening to carols.  There is something so incredibly satisfying about a seasonal project that has a beginning, an ending and a prayer for peace.  If you’d like to receive one of our cards, leave a comment and we’ll mail you one from the Searsport post office…with pleasure!

 

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A snip here, and snip there before the snow fell gave me enough to make the front door look festive! We’ve been planting Christmas trees for years and I love taking the goats for a walk along the beach while we gather berries and cones and greens for every empty container in the house.

 

 

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We’re working on a new logo for the Maker’s Guild…the umbrella organization that creates Fiber College, Vacationland Bluegrass Jam Camp and the Old Time Music Campout in September. We’re not 100% satisfied with the logo but can’t figure out why…any thoughts?

 

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My first ever cookie swap was with Kendra who lives just down the street…what a great excuse to put everything on hold and eat cookie batter!

 

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The conversation went something like this: “Me: sweetheart, you’ve been working hard at so many projects lately, why don’t you treat yourself to something that’s only purpose is to give you pleasure. Him: that’s really nice…let me think about it”  A week later a traxcavator shows up in the yard…”Me: huh?  You didn’t buy another piece of equipment did you (imagine frowning face).  Him: You said do something for my own pleasure…this is mine for 72 hours…I’m headed across the street.”

Happy Chanukah and enjoy the solstice…we’re getting ready for the family to arrive for Christmas through the New Year and we still need to find our ornaments.  We were going to put up a tree today but the forecasted high is 15 degrees so maybe we’ll wait a little while longer to go out and make the cut.

10 Reasons I Love November in Maine

10 Reasons

#1…The sky is clear blue, the oak trees still glow in orange and the seaweed is a beautiful shade of deep yellow-green.  November is a glorious time to walk the beach and find shells and sea glass that get churned up from the weekly storms that seem to brew with more spectacular drama…and then all is calm and sparkling.

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#2…We get to wear sweaters, boots and long scarfs that coordinate with our mittens.  Don’t you just love wearing a completely new wardrobe?  If you’ve got a memory as short as mine, it’s a surprise to see all the clothes I had completely forgotten about and can we talk comfort for a moment?  This is the time of year to snuggle into thick cotton shirts, mohair sweaters (from our goats of course :)) and heavy socks in hiking boots…heaven.

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#3…It’s the season of hygge…(sounds like who-ga).  The Danish version of cocooning…snuggling in and practicing the art of slow living.  Another way of saying it is the absolute knowledge that you are absolutely where you should be, when you should be…doing what you should be.  It’s such a relief from feeling tugged in 50 directions when the days are long and warm.

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#4…It’s totally OK to sleep 8 hours every night.  When it starts to get dark at 3:30 and the sun doesn’t come up again until 7, who’s to say it’s wrong to snuggle into a warm bed at 9PM?

#5…It’s time to dive into a new project without interruption.  For me it’s about spinning, knitting and weaving with friends in the studio.  For Steve it’s about playing more music and planning concert dates and trips for the coming months.

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#6…It’s time to make soup…and desserts…and try new recipes.  By now our cold storage and refrigerator are overflowing with the late harvest and it’s a real responsibility to use up the baskets of green beans, carrots, beets, tomatoes and bell peppers before they become goat food.  I love to pick out a cookbook, blow off the dust that’s accumulated since last March and start sampling new recipes and re-discovering old favorites.  Last night was carrot pie from a Russian Vegetarian cookbook…how can a crust of butter, oat flour and sour cream be anything but exquisite when it’s filled with sweet and sour carrots and doused with chicken broth that has simmered all day long?  And the calories don’t count because we worked outside in the cold and deserve to be pampered.

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#7…In November, nobody judges when you curl up in a chair with a stack of magazines, a cup of cocoa and totally ignore the telephones and notification dings for hours on end once the sun slips behind the trees at 3 in the afternoon…or spend hours on the computer playing with the photos that go into a blog post ;).

#8…There’s a not so subtle nudge to get outdoors and hike before the snow flies…and before the waistline thickens (see #6) while the sun is still shining (see #6 to understand the potential conflict).  The flock loves to walk on the beach nibbling seaweed so it seems that we do this every afternoon that the wind isn’t blowing us off our feet.

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#9…I’ve start scrolling through podcasts while organizing the closets; I love ones that explore creativity, philosophy and humor.  I’m continually amazed at how much quality content is available for free on the internet with a little bit of digging.  Right now my favorite podcasts are the Creative Pep Talk, Fresh Air and The Daily and Philosophize This!

#10…It’s time to laugh and re-connect with friends & family…over coffee, over lunch, over drinks.  Our friends understand that our lives are devoted to the responsibilities surrounding Campground and the Makers Guild from April until October…you might say that we binge on our friends the same way we binge on Netflix…and November is the month it all begins…more photos to follow…it seems I haven’t collected any good pictures of friends lately…huh.

Campground fire at Searsport Shores
Another fun evening clean up.

There’s still two weeks left to enjoy, may we all make the most of it!

Astrig

 

The Days Are Winding Down

I can’t believe my summer here is almost over! (Well, except Fiber College of course.) I’ve met so many new people, created new memories and made connections I’ll never forget. Summer’s almost over but we haven’t slowed down.  I set up an entire display window on Monday for Fiber College at the Belfast Chamber of Commerce. It came out super cool and I really enjoyed doing it. I volunteered to help with marketing this year and I’m happy to say that our numbers are up…although I participated on the Facebook page, my focus has been on Instagram…check out @fibercollege to see our pictures!

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Fiber College Window

 

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Inside the window

This past week I had the chance to be the artist in residence at the campground and it was so cool. I met so many kids from all over the world! I did quite a bit, from paintings to mini aquariums to sun catchers. I think I enjoyed my time more than the people who participated did! The weather was great all week so we sat outside and did artwork and crafting. It was really fun.

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Crafts

 

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Octopus socks

I also did quite a few beach walks this week! We found lot’s of invasive green crabs, urchins and hermit crabs. There is a type of seaweed that tastes like pickles, called Bladderwrack! There’s actually a lot of edible seaweed in Maine and it’s always fun to point it out. We also found a jellyfish this week! It was washed up on the beach but it was still super cool to see. I’ve been coming to this campground since I was 10 and I’m still finding new things everyday.

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Jellyfish on the beach

 

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crabs & crocs

The eclipse was this week as well! We had about 60% coverage here in Maine. The eclipse that’s happening in 2019 however, is apparently suppose to have 100% coverage here in Maine. In the middle of the eclipse Astrig and I were walking and we happened to stumble upon a ‘luna moth’ caterpillar, which was an odd sign. Hopefully it brings us good luck!

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LUNA MOTH CATERPILLAR

To top off an amazing week, we got a baby goat! His name is Binx- like the genius cat from Hocus Pocus. He’s so sweet and he follows Lolli around everywhere… I am sure going to miss it here!

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As I sit on the sun deck of the office writing this post, I can’t help but think about school starting again in just about a month. I signed a lease on an amazing home overlooking the bay. t’s less than a five minute drive to UNE, it’s a little red cottage, and I couldn’t be more excited. The best part about it is it has over flowing gardens. I’ve always been drawn to the soil and I can’t wait to watch the foliage change as the year goes on. At Searsport, there’s still new foliage and plants growing in everyday. I was gardening yesterday and a sweet bumblebee stopped by and said hello 🙂

As always, there’s been live music just about every night this week. Emily & I are still in the process of mastering our ukulele’s but getting a feel for the music really helps. Sometime’s we’ll jump in and if we ever get lost with all of the new chords, all we do is play a C cord and we sound -almost- like we belong. It’s really fun and I love interacting with the people who stay here!

On my off day, I’ve been exploring around Belfast and beyond. There’s always so much to do,