Saying good-bye to the Stone Circle we continue walking down Ridge Road and see off in the center of the meadow our May Pole. Site of much fun every spring with our Beltaine Celebration, and used throughout the year as a meeting place.
A bit further along we come to The Upper Fire and Drum Circle. It is in the beginning stages of a major transformation. We began with a large earthmoving project to increase the diameter of the sanded Circle to 85 feet. Then during the 2008 season we erected the basic framework of the Drum Arbor. Describing an outer circle 75 feet in diameter with an open interior circle of 46 feet, this structure will eventually have an arced, donut shaped roof over the outer ring, a raised deck on the western side, and a removable fabric roof over the interior circle. Our goal is to create a large open space that can be reconfigured for many uses. Performance space, Fire and Drum Circle, weather proof space for large group meetings. To give a feel for the size, those are standard 10 x 20 pavilions within the structure.
The Ridge Road now turns sharply to the right and begins a slow downhill grade towards the river. Up ahead we can see the Kitchen Pavilion, used for meals, workshops and as covered space for meetings.
Oops.That would be the Old Kitchen Pavilion. 2010 saw the construction of The New Dance and Dining Pavilion. This is the basic shell, measuring 70x30 feet, with a sprung floor for dancing. There will be much more added in the years to come as we add the food service line, showers and toilets. Perched on the hill side and overlooking Sidling Creek, we think it's beautiful!
Just across the road is The Starvin' Artist Cafe, which began life as a used Army tent back in 1995. We cut in the foundations for the building in 1998, and it has been growing ever since. The Starvin' Artist is where we prepare our intimate Saturday Moon Service dinners, as well as meal plans for hundreds at our events. We have served up to 800 at one meal from The Starvin' Artist.
When we graduated from a tent to a building we began collecting our serious cooking equipment: nice, bright, stainless steel. We source a lot of our ingredients from our friends at "Shoe String Acres," our local organic farm. And much of the beef and produce used in The Starvin' Artist is grown right here at Four Quarters. We are serious locavores serving serious food for Moon Services, event meal plans for hundreds and complete food service for week long retreats. Recently, we received our Public Water Supply Permit from the PA DEP and our Commercial Kitchen Permit from the Dept of Health. We're proud of that, too.
The Starvin' Artist is often used for winter time Moon Services, weddings and get togethers. Below left is a wee hours picture of "The Loaves of The Corn Mothers," an offering of love and service from Member Volunteers as bread is made to serve 400 people during Stones Rising. Of course, we can put on the Ritz, too!
Turning left the road now dips down into the river valley proper. You will notice the air is cooler and has the wafting bite of forest floor. Over the embankment you can see a few campers setting up, or perhaps a workshop in process. Welcome to the North Crook. Cool and close by the river. With its own swimming hole too.
Just across the road from the North Crook is our Lower Shower House, first built in 2005. Covered in growing green vines, it has four showers on a shared deck, two more in private stalls, two toilets and two hand wash stations. We will be expanding the Lower Shower House in the near future.
We are now reaching the end of what we refer to as the "Public Camp," that part that is available to outside groups for their events. Beyond is our "Members Camp," where Four Quarters Members have their seasonal campsites. But there is more we would like to show you.
Right on the river bank is The Fairy Cairn. Spontaneously created over the years by our Members and visitors, and filled with bright shiny baubles to catch the eye.
And just beyond, The Sweat Lodge area close by the river. Our lodge is kept with traditional native protocols, and is in use at most of our events. Check the calendar too, because the Lodge Staff does offer Lodge Intensives through the year.
Up on the hill side you will notice tent platforms built by our Members in the Members Camp. And walking further we can see Members' campsites peeking out through the forest. Although the Members Camp is reserved for Members campsites, non-members are always welcome for a visit. All of our Members began as visitors walking through The Members Camp. And it is worth the walk, because our pride and joy, and the end of this tour, is just ahead!
The Hemlock Hole. Of the six swimming holes along the river, we think this is the finest.
Winter or summer finds people drawn to the water and beauty of this very special place. Formed by the waters of Sidling Creek, one of the cleanest streams in Pennsylvania, we have kept it as wild and natural as possible.
A morning mist, or evening walk, the river is solace itself. This concludes our walking tour of Four Quarters. Please know that visitors are always welcome. Call ahead with any questions and make your plans to visit. And if you are part of a group that might like to hold your event here, just give a call. We can explain how it all works and make that first step towards your joining our large and diverse family and tribe.
Four Quarters Interfaith Sanctuary190 Walker Lane Artemas PA 17211 USA 814-784-3080 firstname.lastname@example.orgIncorporated in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as an InterFaith Non-Denominational Church, Monastery and Spiritual Retreat Center. All donations fully tax deductible as allowed by law. PA EXMP 75-538-546 FED EIN 25-1853964© 1995-2013 The Church of Four Quarters™, Four Quarters™ and Four Quarters Farm™ Free use of text expressly granted for all non-profit purposes; unchanged and with attribution to Four Quarters. All other rights reserved.