Western Maine is full of opportunities to engage and experience the wealth of the land. Tourmaline Center is centrally located to dozens of hiking trails (including the Appalachian Trail!), gorgeous waterfalls and lush forests. We believe that connecting with the natural world offers the opportunity to relax and release the stresses of daily life simultaneously renewing your life force energy.
Connecting with nature is fundamental to our well being. When we are in nature, it is easier to be present. Fresh air and running water give off negative ions which produce serotonin in the brain and make us feel better. The earth contains microbes that interact with our skin to give us more positive feelings. Climbing a mountain gives us strength in our hearts, bodies and souls.
Tourmaline Center is located on a 40 acre plot of land in an area between Blueberry Mountain and Pope Mountain at about 1400' elevation. We are a half a mile from the paved road and electrical lines. The center is a rustic cottage with no electricity, no running water (solar showers) and portable toilets. (We plan to install composting toilets very soon!) We are building a series of tiny cabins and are not sure how many will be ready by the time our retreats start. We also have a large field for pitching a tent. There are also lake & river cottages, inns and campgrounds in the vicinity available for lodging. Please indicate which you are interested in on your registration form and we will guide you to your preference!
The property includes an open area near the main cottage for fire circles, al fresco dining, yoga and other activities. There are small herb gardens dotted around this area for both cooking and medicinal uses. At the edge of the field there are two large boulders used as a meditation/contemplation area or a place for offerings. There is a small brook about 3/4 of a mile from the cottage with a contemplation area also. There are a few wilderness trails to wander on the property. Song birds, snowshoe hares, beaver and moose are common here.
We have sugar maples (sap house next year?), birches, pine, spruce and oak trees. There are dozens of medicinal herbs that are indigenous to the land. There are sunchokes that have naturalized here. There are also wild blackberries, strawberries and raspberries.
The sun sets over a ridge in the near distance. At night, the sky is big and full of stars (when clear) with the absence of light pollution. We see a lot of shooting stars during the season also. There is a fire pit that we gather around in the evening, sometimes sharing stories, or music or quiet peacefulness for the day's end.
The main cottage has a large screen porch, a gathering space, a kitchen and two sleeping lofts. One of the lofts is available to guests who don't mind climbing a ladder (and staying in the cottage with our host) and the other loft is for our on-site host, Matty. Both lofts have privacy screens.
We have a number of tent sites and a few tiny cabins (there will be more as the summer goes on). Each tiny cabin is just under 100 square feet, a portion of which is a small porch. There is a small table with shelves, hooks on the walls, a wash basin and pitcher. On the porch are a few outdoor cushions. (Photos coming soon.) The tent sites are in an open area a short walk from the cottage. Each area (tent and cabin) is near a portable toilet. We have some camping supplies for use on a first come first serve basis. Please specify if you are interested in using our equipment during your stay when you register.
The solar shower is located a short walk from the lodge and cabins. They are bamboo screened stalls with enough space to change your clothes comfortably. We cannot guarantee that the sun will be hot enough on any given day to make for a great shower but, there is a shower available. We will be swimming in clean water frequently and if the need arises, you can make a trip to the state park to use their showers facilities. As soon as we raise the money, we will be drilling a well and installing hot showers...hopefully before the season ends!