[March 25, 2016]
The Eighth Annual Warm Winter Weekend was held at the New England Outdoor Center on Millinocket Lake from Thursday, March 17 through Sunday March 20, 2016. Anne Huntington, Dick Klain, and Howard Whitcomb coordinated arrangements with invaluable assistance from Sarah Holland. There were a record number of participants (28). The cost per person was in the neighborhood of $130 for one, two or three nights. This was comparable to the rate in recent years.
As in the past there were two evening meals for the entire group arranged by Howard Whitcomb. Howard provided spaghetti and meatballs at Millinocket Stream Cabin on Thursday, and on Friday night Anne Huntington provided homemade turkey pie with all the fixings at the recreation hall. Hors d'oeuvres, salads, and desserts were provided by volunteers. Cabin-specific food items were coordinated by Ken Spalding, Jill Ippoliti, and Sarah Holland. Roger Zimmerman featured, for the second consecutive year, his sourdough pancakes on Saturday morning for everyone at Millinocket Stream. Peter Jones and Sarah Holland featured breakfast burritos on Sunday morning for all comers at Sandy Stream. By all accounts the communal food was the best ever. Virtually all attendees joined in for the buffet dinner at River Drivers' restaurant - braised beef ribs, baked salmon and all the fixings.
Programs were held on both Thursday and Friday evenings after dinner. Bob Crowley, a long-time friend of Dick Klain's, spoke about his experience as a winner of the reality TV show Survivor on Thursday. The following evening David Little and Howard Whitcomb presented a 45-minute slide show on their (along with John Neff) recent book, Penobscot East Branch Lands. Scot Miller designed the book, which included several of his own photos. The presentation focused on prominent social, historical and cultural features of the lands, e.g., the Native Americans, logging, sporting camps, Thoreau, Teddy Roosevelt, Percival Baxter, Myron H. Avery, William O. Douglas, and the International Appalachian Trail.
There were no group-wide organized activities; however, small groups went hiking, skiing, and snowshoeing in the immediate area as well as in BSP, the Debsconeag area, and Elliotsville Plantation Inc. lands. Snow conditions were not optimal given the problematic ice conditions on Millinocket Lake and the minimal snow pack. An individual highlight was the Bill Webster/Ellen Klain ski excursion to the ice caves in the Debsconeag Wilderness Area. This Warm Winter Weekend format seems to be very popular among Friends members.