Fall Foliage Tour at the Thomas Hill Standpipe

Leaf peepers take note: the Fall Foliage Tour at the Thomas Hill Standpipe is coming Wednesday, October 10 from 3-6 p.m. Access to the promenade deck is via a 100-step enclosed stairway. The historic structure is not handicap accessible.

Did you know: The tower was open to the public unattended for many years, and featured seats on the promenade deck for viewing the countryside. The Bangor Commercial reported that 3,200 tourists signed the guest book in 1935. Now the Water District offer 4 seasonal tours each year.

The Bangor Water District hosts the tours and offers the following details:

The Thomas Hill Standpipe was built in 1897 to provide water storage for fire-fighting and to help regulate pressure in downtown Bangor. It has been in continuous use since it was completed. Bangor Water assumed ownership of the standpipe in 1957 when a quasi-municipal water district (separate from the City of Bangor) was formed.

The standpipe, which holds 1,500,000 gallons of water, is a riveted wrought iron tank with a wood frame jacket located on Thomas Hill in Bangor. The metal standpipe consists of steel plates riveted one outside the other, and stands 50 feet high and 75 feet in diameter.

The wooden building that encloses it is 85 feet in diameter and 110 feet high. The 24 12”x12” main posts, which extend up past the open promenade deck, begin at the base of the structure and are 48 feet long.

Between the tank and the wooden shell is a staircase to the promenade deck and – beyond a locked door – a winding stairway leading to the roof and access to the flagpole. The promenade deck encircling the top is 12 feet wide and 280 feet in circumference.

Click here for more details: www.bangorwater.org/about-us/thomas-hill-standpipe.

The Standpipe is about a 10-minute drive from Dirigo Pines — click here for driving directions.

Foliage Tips for Autumn

Happy First Day of Autumn! Can you believe fall is here already? The leaves are starting to change, which means leaf peeping season has also arrived. At Dirigo Pines in Orono, we’re perfectly set right in the middle of Maine to take advantage of all the great foliage sights around our state. According to the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s website, northern Maine is at or near peak conditions the last week of September into the first week of October. Central and western mountains of Maine are at or near peak Columbus day week/weekend. Coastal and southern Maine generally reach peak or near peak conditions mid-to-last October.

The Department of Ag also has recommendations for foliage hikes and paddles — and we can’t imagine a better way to take in all Maine has to offer! From kayaking the Androscoggin River to taking a drive to the top of Mt. Battie in Camden for fall colors and an ocean view, there are ideas for everyone. Check it out here.

Click here to for the state’s guide to foliage season: http://www.maine.gov/dacf/mfs/projects/fall_foliage/index.shtml

For more about local foliage, check out this post.

Happy Leaf Peeping! Have your own favorite spot to suggest? Share it in the comments below!

Making Memories this Grandparents Day!

One of the greatest joys in life is becoming a grandparent. Spending time with little ones and watching them grow is an incredible gift. And the best way to celebrate Grandparents Day (or any day for that matter!) is spending quality time with the grandkids. Here are a few fun ways to make some memories…

  • Reap what you sow. Many Dirigo residents in our cottage community enjoy large flower and vegetable gardens in their yards, and our Inn residents have the opportunity to claim a spot in our raised beds. Kids loves seeing what’s growing in the garden and now’s the perfect time to let them help pick a peck or two!
  • Share a family recipe. Now that you’ve harvested all those tomatoes, teach the grandkids how to make your family’s famous tomato sauce! Old family recipes for cookies, pies, and special meals are always the best and full of memories. Share them with the next generation.
  • Craft something together. If you’re a quilter or a knitter or tie flies, share your talents with your grandchildren. Not very crafty? There are tons of fun craft ideas online for every age, and creating something together is a great way to bond with little ones.
  • Brain work. Kids love puzzles — whether they’re jigsaw, word searches or just a fun riddle. Get out some board games or watch a game of Wheel of Fortune together — solving clues together is a fun way to spend time.

For more ideas for fun activities to do with the grandkids, click here! Have an idea of your own? Share it in the comments below!

Golf Tournament Sponsor

Dirigo Pines is pleased to be sponsoring Hole 5 at the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce’s 30th annual Chamber Challenge Golf Tournament! This fun tourney will be held September 7 at Bangor Municipal Golf Course in Bangor. For information about this great day on the links, visit www.bangorregion.com. Spots fill up quickly — register today!

Fun and Fashion for a Great Cause!

In partnership with Christopher Banks and Valentine Footwear, Dirigo Pines is sponsoring a Fashion Show featuring on August 16 from 1-4 p.m. in the Kenduskeag Gathering Place at Dirigo Pines!

Christopher Banks will also be offering 40% off items that they will have available at the show for purchase. Please join us for what is sure to be a great time for all. Residents and Staff of Dirigo Pines will serve as our fashion models!

Christopher and Banks and Valentine Footwear will also be raffling off a complete outfit to one lucky winner and there will be other prizes, along with free refreshments!

All proceeds will be donated to the 2018 Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Katie Luce, Community Events Manager, Alzheimer’s Association, Maine Chapter will be in attendance!

RSVP to lcates@dirigopines.com or call 866-3400!

Living in Vacationland — Part 3: August Events

Summer in Vacationland means festivals and fairs aplenty! And they’re not just for tourists. Plan the ultimate “staycation” and check out these fun events and happenings throughout the summer and close enough to Dirigo Pines for a day trip or quick weekend getaway!

Waterfront Concerts 

The Bangor Waterfront is the place to be for great music this summer and the line-up for August might just be the best yet with something for everyone! Rock out with Kid Rock on August 3, get out your cowboy boots for Keith Urban August 5 and Kenny Chesney on August 16, and check out a cappella wonders Pentatonix on August 30!

waterfrontconcerts.com

American Folk Festival

Speaking of the Bangor Waterfront, don’t miss the summer’s biggest event with multiple stages, food vendors and performers from all over the world. The American Folk Festival brings people from far and wide each summer and it’s set to hit the Waterfront August 24-26.

americanfolkfestival.com

Machias Blueberry Festival

There’s more to a Maine summer than just music — there’s food too! Add the Machias Blueberry Festival August 17-19 to your summer to-do list. Tour a blueberry farm, fill up at the pie eating contest and even check out a blueberry musical! While you’re there, stop off at Wild Blueberry Land in Columbia Falls, featuring a larger than life blueberry and all the blueberry memorabilia you’ll ever need! Machias is less than 2 hours from Dirigo Pines in Orono.

machiasblueberry.com and wildblueberryland.com

Maine Red Hot Dog Festival

Don’t miss that other Maine delicacy — the red hotdog, sometimes known as a red snapper. Whatever you call it, Dexter’s got you covered with a red hot dog eating contest, 5K Bun Run, beer and food tents, inflatable obstacle course and lots more. Check it out August 11. Best of all — it’s less than a hour from Dirigo Pines!

redhotdog.org

Stay tuned to DiscoverDirigo.com for more Maine events and fun throughout the summer! And add your own suggestions to the comments area below!

Hit the Wine Trail

Picture it: A warm summer breeze drifts by as you sit on the sprawling deck of a local vineyard, overlooking acres of grapes and sipping a delicious Maine-made wine. Sound ideal? Then it’s time to hit the Maine Wine Trail! Whether you pick and choose one to visit each week this summer or go for the gold and make a vacation out of tackling the whole trail, you can’t go wrong! Check out just a few of the wineries that are close enough for a day trip from Dirigo Pines.

Savage Oakes Vineyard and Winery

The owners of Barrett Hill Farm in Union started exploring blueberry wines several years ago, and since have added acres of grape vineyards over the past 13 years to now offer a huge selection of Maine grown grape wines. And check out their Summer Concert Series, featuring Michael Franti and Spearhead on July 15; The Mavericks on July 19; and Chris Isaak on August 17! Union is about an hour and a half from Dirigo Pines in Orono.

175 Barrett Hill Road, Union ∙ www.savageoakes.com

Dragonfly Farm & Winery

With a love of German Riesling Style wines, Dragonfly started a vineyard right here in Maine. Most of their white wines are hybrids of the Riesling Grape, while the reds are French hybrids. They offer seven varieties of whites, six reds and eight fruit wines; a selection that will satisfy most palates! Just over 30 minutes from Dirigo Pines.

1069 Mullen Road, Stetson ∙ www.mainewinegrower.com

Winterport Winery

Winterport Winery is located in the historic village of Winterport, not far from Orono, and offers a selection of award winning fruit wines to complement various cuisines. Sophisticated and supple, their wines both elegantly accompany formal occasions and also stand refreshingly on their own. To expand their beverage offerings to include beer, Penobscot Bay Brewery – an on-site brewing facility – was started in 2009 specializing in small batch, handcrafted brews that are fresh, flavorful and fantastic. Only a half hour from Dirigo Pines.

279 South Main St., Winterport ∙ www.winterportwinery.com

Cellardoor Winery

From cooking classes to tastings to concerts, Cellardoor Winery is a stunning winery in Lincolnville, Maine with a lot to offer. The winery offers over 20 wines, appealing to every palate. Check out their free Complimentary Pairings events online, and find tickets for events like Live at the Vines featuring Aaron Neville. Just over an hour from Dirigo Pines.

367 Youngtown Road, Lincolnville ∙ mainewine.com

Better yet, explore the entire Maine Wine Trail! Invite some friends and make a summertime event of it! Download the map and discover more here: www.mainewineryguild.com.

Living in Vacationland — Part 2: July Events

Summer in Vacationland means festivals and fairs aplenty! And they’re not just for tourists. Plan the ultimate “staycation” and check out these fun events and happenings throughout the summer and close enough to Dirigo Pines for a day trip or quick weekend getaway!

Southern Uprising Concert – July 7

Outdoor concerts are one of the best parts of summer! Check out this amazing grouping featuring Travis Tritt, The Charlie Daniels Band, Marshall Tucker Band and Outlaws! All together in Bangor at Darlings Waterfront Pavilion on July 7.

waterfrontconcerts.com

Moxie Festival – July 13-15

Since 1982, the Moxie Festival has been held on the second weekend in July in Lisbon, Maine. And just in case you’re “from away” and wondering “What exactly is Moxie?” we’ll fill you in on this Maine treasure. Moxie is a uniquely New England soft drink. Dr. Augustin Thompson of Union, Maine, first marketed Moxie as medicine in 1876 in Lowell, Massachusetts, according the Moxie Festival website, and it was guaranteed to cure multiple ills, including “loss of manhood, paralysis and softening of the brain.” To take advantage of the new and growing soft drink market, it was later put on the soft drink market in 1884 as “Beverage Moxie Nerve Food” and eventually just “Moxie.” What’s it taste like? Well, it’s root beer-adjacent but not as sweet — some love it, some say it tastes like the medicine it was originally advertised as. You’ll just have to try it for yourself at the festival!

moxiefestival.com

North Atlantic Blues Festival – July 14-15

Featuring two full days of live music, the North Atlantic Blues Festival at Rockland Harbor Park will feature Bobby Rush, Wee Willie Walker and the Anthony Paule Soul Orchestra, Tab Benoit and more! In addition to all day live entertainment, the festival has vendors selling a wide array of food, drinks and crafts. Overlooking the picturesque Rockland Harbor, this festival is not to be missed!

northatlanticbluesfestival.com

Bucksport Bay Festival – July 20-22

Food, crafts, a 5K run, pageant, parade, music and more! All on the on the beautiful Bucksport Waterfront. Bucksport is just a short drive (about 30 minutes) from Dirigo Pines.

bucksportbaychamber.com

Kneading Conference – July 26-27

What’s better than fresh made bread? Farmers, millers, bakers, maltsters, researchers, and grain enthusiasts from around the world gather for two days of intensive baking workshops, wood-fired oven building workshops, and discussions about grain growing and running grain businesses. Attendees choose from hands-on workshops, live demonstrations, lectures, panel discussions and more.

kneadingconference.com

Stay tuned to DiscoverDirigo.com for more Maine events and fun throughout the summer! And add your own suggestions to the comments area below!

3 Hidden Gems at Dirigo Pines

There are lots of things to look forward to when you move in at Dirigo Pines. Worry-free living with your lawn care, plowing and home maintenance all taken care of; lots of social activities to mix and mingle with residents; walking trails and exercise classes to stay healthy and fit — and so much more! But there are a few hidden gems that only Dirigo Pines residents really know about. Here are a few of the unexpected benefits of retirement living at Dirigo Pines…

The Ponds are Stocked

The natural beauty of the Dirigo Pines campus is unmatched. Nature lovers will fall in love with our walking trails — and two stocked fishing ponds! The ponds are stocked with small trout each spring, just before we celebrate our annual Fishing Derby for anglers of all skill levels. Residents have been known to hook a monster or two and throw them right on the grill!

A therapy dog visits the Memory Loss Neighborhood.

Pets are Welcome

Did you know your furry friends are welcome at Dirigo Pines? Making a move to a new home is stressful enough without having to displace your beloved pets. At Dirigo Pines, we’re pet friendly and home to many animals at the Inn and in our cottages. You’ll spot friendly pups strolling along our walking paths all year long. And for those without pets but a soft spot for furry friends, we enjoy regular visits from a variety of therapy animals. Cats from the Bangor Humane Society have also been making the rounds through the Cats on Laps program. Cats (and some dogs too) up for adoption are traveling to area senior centers, offering a chance to cuddle a kitten and also help socialized the animals before they are adopted. Learn more here.

Work on Your Short Game

There are lots of ways to have fun at Dirigo, but Piney Knoll Putting Green outside the Dirigo Pines Inn might just be one of our favorites. The 40×15 foot artificial turf putting green was installed in 2015, and it’s been a popular attraction ever since — with annual Putting Contests and more. What a fun surprise and a great way to dust off your short game!

Do Good with Dad

Dad has always looked out for everyone else — here are some fun ways to connect with Dad, support great local causes and celebrate Father’s Day this month.

Bark for Life — June 2

Do some good and have some fun with both Dad and your furry friend. The American Cancer Society’s Bark For Life event honors the caregiving qualities of canines and also creates an awareness of the importance of all caregivers in general. At nearby Hollywood Casino Raceway in Bangor, this is a great way to connect with Dad and help the American Cancer Society save lives. Click here for more details.

Trek Across Maine — June 15-17

Feeling adventurous? Travel by bike across Maine during Father’s Day weekend and support the American Lung Association. This 3-day, 180 mile cycling event starts at the mountains of Sunday River and ends at the sea in Belfast. The Trek Across Maine offers three route options with varying levels of mileage and fundraising. Whether you take the ride with Dad or in honor of Dad, it’s an amazing way to support a great cause. Learn more here.

Best of the North: Wings, Wine & Beer Fest — June 16

Supporting the local United Way AND wings, wine and beer? We’re in. Taking place on the Bangor Waterfront, this inaugural event combines the wing fest and beer festivals of the past into one amazing day of good eats and drinks, with proceeds benefiting the Greater Bangor Convention and Visitors Bureau (GBCVB) and the United Way of Eastern Maine. A sure-fire hit for dad and something you can feel good about supporting. bestofthenorthfest.com

Have more great ideas to celebrate Dad? Share them in the comments section!