Family patriarch Nordy Rockler opened the doors of his first store in 1954 to supply his fellow craftsmen with knowledge, friendly advice, and a large selection of tools for at-home woodworking projects. Now, the chain of retail outlets brims with more than 20,000 tools and specialized woodworking equipment. Next to a steely rainbow of hinges, casters, and screws, a supply of lumber and exotic hardwoods provides planks for building tree houses or just leaving around as a warning to uncooperative trees. The tenor buzz of power tools operated by newly knowledgeable guests drifts from educational sessions on operating equipment and woodworking.
High above the Atlantic’s lapping waves, helmeted figures scale vertical rock walls. Undaunted, they surmount challenging obstacles and overhangs, building anchors and belaying while learning technical skills from a beginning level. They feel safe with the knowledge that they’re being overseen by American Mountain Guide Association or Professional Climbing Instructors Association-accredited climbers. Director Jon Tierney––who also boasts an international guiding license from the IFMGA––leads Acadia Mountain Guides Climbing School’s faculty of experienced guides as they usher first-time and experienced explorers up majestic rock faces, snow-covered cliffs, and frozen waterfalls. Company guides frequently showcase their comfort in varied terrain as well, having applied their climbing skills on film sets to set up safety rigging for Shutter Island.
Guides provide mentorship during multi-day mountaineering trips to distant mountains, and lead day trips to share pivotal climbing skills that help students scale a range of icy and rocky conditions. In an array of advanced or basic classes, they instruct pupils on principles of anchoring, top roping, belaying, and sport or lead climbing—imbuing them with the skills to scale mountainsides or be the first to reach the top of a wedding cake. Instructors also teach students mid-climb rescues, such as how to deal with medical issues and make improvised ascents, or metamorphosize into an instructor.
At Glazey Days, shelves upon shelves of unembellished ceramic pieces await colorful brushstrokes to help them reach their aesthetic potential. The robust collection ranges from bowls, plates, and mugs to picture frames and vases. Free to follow their own creative instincts, the shop's visitors personalize and decorate chosen pieces using an arsenal of painting tools, such as stencils, brushes, and sponges. Afterward, the Glazey Days staff finalizes the process by firing and glazing finished pieces and has them ready for pickup within a week. For further inspiration, Glazey Days keeps its selection stocked with themed pieces for different seasons and holidays and hosts special events, such as couples nights and BYOB nights.
To call The Body Shop a mere skin and body care store is to miss half of what makes it special. Late founder Dame Anita Roddick was a pioneer for ethical business practices; upon opening her first store in Brighton, England, in 1976, she developed company values such as "Defend Human Rights" and "Protect The Planet." She somehow balanced principles and profit, partnering in global campaigns with UNICEF, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and the United Nations, all while ultimately expanding her brand into 2,500 locations in over 60 international markets. After her death in 2007, then-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, “She campaigned for green issues for many years before it became fashionable to do so and inspired millions to the cause by bringing sustainable products to a mass market. . . . She was an inspiration.”
Indeed, the Body Shop exhibits an eco-friendliness and social consciousness that's hard to come by in a company of its size. Its products have been fair-trade since 1987, and its Against Animal Testing movement led to an EU-wide ban of animal testing of cosmetics. The products are made from ingredients harvested from around the world: shea butter from Ghana goes into body scrubs and butters, and Indian artisans craft wooden massagers and tote bags that are screenprinted by hand. But all that isn't to say the company's production practices overshadow its final products. Skincare treatments such as the brand’s iconic body butters, facial products, and gift collections often appear in Allure, Marie Claire, Lucky, Seventeen and other national publications.
For more than half a century, Mill Stores has dispensed an enormous array of high quality, ready-to-finish wood furniture and accents to enhance homestead comfort. As a factory-finished solid-oak rocker ($249.99) supports reclining spines, a three-step stool ($19.77), crafted from solid eastern white pine, aids customers in accessing difficult to reach shelves filled with stashes of candy and bacon fat. Stockpile bottles of grapey goodness in a solid wood Tuscany wine box ($39.99) or artfully arrange CDs and DVDs in the sliding separators of a solid pine rack ($23.99). A shingled-roof doghouse ($179.99) shelters canines in safe, cozy pine, and a cast-stone scroll birdbath ($49.88) cleanses neighboring loons and fallen airplane peanuts in its stylish cement surface. Shoppers unable to find their desired décor in stock can request customized designs, which Mill Stores crafts in two weeks or less.
A network of 40 trails, including and six gladed trails, cut through the 249 acres at Shawnee Peak, which offers 98% snowmaking coverage. Slopes range from beginners to experts-only, with names such as Fat and Happy, Poacher's Paradise, and The Vain. The mountain also features three terrain parks—one of which is designed for children—brimming with air-bestowing features such as box jumps and the newly added BigAirBag. The five lifts that service these slopes run late into the evening for night skiing, which keeps 19 trails open and sometimes culminates in moon-lit ski races and whispered discussions about which famed 1924 skier is haunting the bathroom.
A more than 75-year-old ski school prepares visitors of all ages to tackle the mountain's slopes, while day-care providers watch over future skiers. In classes suited to adventurers as young as four years old, professionally trained instructors guide small groups of skiers and riders through basic to advanced techniques of skiing and snowboarding. Throughout each season, the resort hosts a variety of activities and events.