DownEast, FullSpeed

I got so excited when I saw this view after driving driving driving in Maine rain, four hours of it; and then the Atlantic, the mist!  I still had a few hours to drive, but I felt much better about it (and the rain stopped, finally, so the windshield wipers weren’t hypnotizing me. It was a loooooong drive: up thru NY, across Massachusetts almost to Boston, then on up north through New Hampshire and Maine, nearly to Canada).

I spoke too soon about rain in the last blog – it never did at WSW, until right at the very end of the class, when there was a 15 minute deluge. Then some good downpours on Saturday. Instead, we got the full brunt of the heat wave, consecutive days of 105 degrees.  This was an extremely intent group of women, and they worked relentlessly, days and nights. They voted not to stop on the last day for things like looking at each others work or group shots.  It was just five days of work work work work work then – bang – we cleaned up the studio, and it was done.  We used lots of fiber, too.

At the end of the second day, with the reports of the coming heat, WSW moved the big stack dryer out to the porch, and moved in more work tables. Still, one woman, Amy, chose to work out on the porch table the entire time (so she’s not in these snapshots). I don’t know how she survived it; I was steam- cooking kozo outside right next to her every day, too. But she got a lot done and really liked what she did. I had a bit of a difficult time; the heat hit me hard.  But I managed to make these odd things as demos; no idea where they’re headed, but I am intrigued, and thinking about pursuing them:

So I stayed over on Saturday, ran a million errands, packed and loaded into the night, hit the road early Sunday and now, Machias and PBI at long last, after years and years of hearing great things about it. I’m still working in my spare time and being as social as I can with my ridiculous overbooking and ears that seem to have reached a new low in sound tolerance during the past week. PBI is definitely about connecting, in a fine way, and it’s a very lovely group of folks, so I hope to get these my extra things finished quickly.  I’m loving meeting new folks, many of whom I’ve known about or have had electronic communications with for years. Right now, though, I’m out of words, so here’s an interesting feature of Machias; the name means Little Bad Falls, so titled by the original inhabitants.  There is a broad, swift-looking but relatively calm river, that’s suddenly broken by a rock island into three jagged waterfalls that cannot be captured in one photo, and then it calmly re-assembles into a lower broad river again, and heads out to Machias Bay and the ocean, about four miles away. A busy bridge carrying all the traffic into town spans the rocky island and the falls, but there’s a little park with observation decks, a gazebo and a footbridge  over one set of falls just below.  The air smells of the sea and I love that.

West side o’ the big bridge, with kayakers pulling over to portage.

East side, with the park’s footbridge.

Looking back at the bridge into town, from the park deck…

…and to the east, from the footbridge.  Nice.

I love the stairs.  Around that bend, the river goes on a wee bit to the bay and the sea. I haven’t been there yet. I can’t wait. Oh!  And I finally met Velma in person, hooray!  And she shot the giant blueberry that I didn’t stop for on the way here!