Tag Archives: NH

Live Free or Die–a New Perspective on New Hampshire’s Call to Arms

13 Jan

New Hampshire SkylineWhen first proclaimed, Live Free or Die was New Hampshire’s  call to “assertive independence” during the Revolutionary War. (Thank you Wikipedia for confirming what my education left foggy.)

Today it seems to be about an independence found in exploration, pushing your own limits, and a culture that’s both physically active and emotionally laid back. This perspective is exactly my experience in New Hampshire: adventure balanced with utter relaxation.New Hampshire landscape

Speed, Heights, Rushing Waterfall, and Elusive Moose

  • Attitash mountain coaster–adrenaline giggles. That’s all I’m going to say.
  • Mt. Washington--a glorious and empowering drive eight miles into the sky. And views even when obscured by clouds and fog.
  • Franconia Notch Gorge Flume–the power of water. The beauty of water. The lifeforce of water.
  • Moose–oh how I looked. Drove for hours at dusk. I only saw them on t-shirts. Sad.

I Did Not Know That
Mt. Monadnack is the world’s third most climbed mountain, after Mt. Fuji and Mt. Tai. (I didn’t go there–well, any of those theres, actually)

Oh, and BTW, the state insect is the ladybug. How cute is that? What’s your state insect?

What were your favorite New Hampshire experiences?
What should be on the list for a return visit?

Trees in New Hampshire

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Is that Fog or Clouds? The Most Common Question at Mt. Washington NH

11 Jan

mt washington bumper stickerThey aren’t kidding when they call this the “Road to the Sky.” Eight miles high at 20 mph, you have time to watch the earth descend below you and the fog and clouds envelope your car. It’s exhilarating and terrifying.

Why terrifying? Because it’s one hell of a curvy road. And sometimes you’re on the outside with only good tires and steady steering keeping you ON the mountain instead of OFF the mountain. Even with that fear factor, it’s one glorious drive!

Some folks hike up. Good for them.

Mt Washington RteClaims to Fame

  • The auto road is America’s oldest man-made attraction.
  • Mt. Washington is the tallest mountain in the northeastern US.
  • It’s the oldest hiking trail in the country.

Road Races–for the Daredevils
Every few months there’s a race to the top and back. Semi-and professional drivers zooming at obscene speeds. Complete with passing on a mountain curve. Thanks, but I’ll skip this one. I like my lunch in my tummy, where it belongs.

The Infamous Weather
First of all, you truly are in the clouds. It’s ominous and feathery at the same time. Plus you’re in fog 60% of the time.

The highest record wind was recorded in 1934 and still stands today. That speed: 231mph. And that’s why they chain the buildings to ground. Seriously.

Maximum annual snow: 566 inches. This cold stunts the 125 year-old trees, keeping them dwarf-like.

So basically it’s resort weather.worst weather in the world

Product Testing
You read that right, product testing. Given the winds and extreme cold and moisture, companies regularly send their products up here to see how they fare. Outdoor furniture to rain coats. 

One Sturdy Road
It took seven years to build the road that opened back in 1861. Since then the Army Corps of Engineers checks it routinely for safety hazards. And they haven’t found anything that needs to be improved. Craftsmanship. 

I loved this adventure. Because it was a real adventure. Testing my driving skills. The sense of accomplishment for having done it. The awe for both the natural beauty and human willpower. The respect for what nature brings to bear. And earning that bumper sticker. That was indeed a point of pride.

What drive makes you feel accomplished?

Can’t see the slideshow? Click here.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Mt Washington, posted with vodpod

An Amazing Flume. And We’re not Talking about a Ride at Six Flags

9 Jan

Franconia Notch FlumeSome places are breath-taking. Others are breath-giving. The Flume at Franconia Notch in New Hampshire gives breath, wonder, and glee.

Vocabulary Lesson

  • Notch – a mountain pass
  • Flume – in this case, a natural gorge. They’re also built to create a gravity shoot, using the water’s power to move items, like logs, down a mountain pass.
  • Log Flume Amusement Ride – finding fun in the olden ways of productivity. This was nothing like that.
The Flume Gorge

Flickr, thanks for the picture

A Hike that Exponentiates
in Beauty

The trek begins at the base of the flume, where the water trickles. Lovely.

Then you pass milestones like a 300-ton boulder and crossing a covered bridge built in 1886. Awesome.

Now there’s water rushing by; with an agenda all its own. Perpendicular granite walls 70-90 feet tall align the path. But it’s more like a protection than a claustrophobic thing.

Created by wind, water, and time (as are all natural wonders), the Flume hosts the most beautiful waterfalls I’ve ever seen. Perhaps it’s because you start with the trickle and then get to the power. Or you have work to see them. All I know is that there’s something special here.

On your way out, crawl through the fox den and take a look at the deep basin pool formed at the end of the Ice Age. Just your everyday stuff.

This is Why I Travel
How delectable to get caught up in a space, in a moment. To look at nature with amazement, awe, and respect. To find something spectacular when you think, “I’ve seen waterfalls before.”

Perhaps I’m laying it on thick. I don’t care.

This excursion reminded me that in my life dedicated to finding adventures big and small, I can become jaded: is that swamp as good as the one I just went to? How many mountain passes do I really need to see? Turns out, I’ve got to check it out for myself. And what’s to lose? A day of beauty and certainly the chance to learn something new.

How do you keep fresh enthusiasm for destinations?
How do you keep from comparing them to each other?

Can’t see the slideshow? Click here. Unless otherwise noted, these pictures are mine with a few Flickr supplements.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

What Goes 25mph and Giggles all the Way?

6 Jan
Attitash Mountain Coaster

This is not a picture of me

There’s a mountain coaster in New Hampshire, you say? I don’t entirely understand what that means, but I’ll be there. I’ll be the one with adrenaline giggles.

Attitash Mountain Resort offers winter-time activities like, well, skiing. They also have other ways to enjoy the rush of going down a slope for those who aren’t skiing-inclined (AKA: me), and that includes a contraption called a mountain coaster.

25 MPH speeds, curves, arcs. And thankfully, the ability to apply the brakes.

Bring it on–I have the need for speed.

But apparently only until the first curve. Holy no sense of control, Batman!

So I braked and learned that it’s actually scarier to take curves slowly. See–you’re suspended at a catywompus angle. Very high. Braking gives you (unwanted) time to examine this precarious situation, and no seatbelt tightened by a teenage employee could make me feel secure.

So I released the brake. Whoosh. Adrenaline giggles.

End scene.

Moose in New Hampshire: As Elusive and Touted as Eligible Bachelors

4 Jan

Brake for MooseMoose signs: many
Moose sightings: none

Rumor has it they’re out at dusk. When is that, exactly? My weather.com app doesn’t give that info.

Now these signs, they were a few miles apart. Makes me think perhaps there may not be moose for the next five miles….

Moose Crossing sign     Bear and cub crossing sign