Thursday, September 7, 2017

Among many things, today is National New Hampshire Day. For those of you unfamiliar with the state of New Hampshire, it is filled with beautiful mountain ranges, excellent hiking, gorgeous campgrounds, and breathtaking scenic views of foliage changing colors throughout the Fall season. New Hampshire is one of my favorite states in the United States, partly because I grew up visiting the state multiple times a year as a kid.

New Hampshire also has plenty of State Liquor stores along i93 and that makes a great time for celebrate the state and National Beer Lover’s Day. Since Boston is close to southern New Hampshire, Samuel Adams is popular this time of year, especially with the end of the summer season and start of the fall seasonal beer flavors transitioning. It’s a great time to go camping, have a nice fire, and enjoy a few cold brews.

I didn’t drink beer as a kid (I really didn’t), so my New Hampshire memories stem mostly from my visits to Bethlehem, NH where my grandfather owned a small cabin. My sisters and I loved it up there. The property was right on the Ammonoosuc River, not too far from Littleton, NH. Talk about a peaceful getaway. On the ride up, we’d always look up at the Old Man on the Mountain (who isn’t there anymore as of May 3, 2003) as we drove through the valley of Cannon Mountain of the Franconia Notch area. We would pitch the tent right in the yard just for the experience of sleeping in a tent and sleeping bag. We has an outdoor fire pit, a wood stove inside to keep warm, rope swings, the river, and lots of grass to run on. The cabin itself had the wood look, smelled like pine and camp fire, and we had large propane tanks to fuel the house for hot water. It was the perfect place for me as a kid.

As for the general public, there are plenty, and I mean plenty, of places to visit and experience in the White Mountain National Forrest. You have Mount Washington itself which is great for hiking, Mount Washington is also home of the Cog Railway and has a (barely) drivable road for cars to drive up in case you’re not the “hiking” type. Franconia Notch State Park is an excellent hike. It’s not too hard, but it has some tight spaces along the way up. My wife and I did it with our son in a hiking pack (see picture).

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While you’re in that area, check out the Basin, not far from The Old Man on the Mountain and Echo Lake. If you’re into trains (or have kids that are into trains) we took our son on the Hobo Railroad in Lincoln, NH for a train ride, guided tour, and lunch. And don’t worry about reservations for a train ride, if you just show up and have to wait, they have miniature golf to keep you busy.

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My wife and I met a great couple, whom we keep in contact with on Facebook, while hiking Mount Chocorua. This and Mount Washington were tough hikes, but the views were well worth it. The legend of Chief Chocorua adds to the adventure.

Where ever you go, take this advice seriously: Be Careful With Moose. They are tanks and it’s like driving into a wall if you hit one. Also, during their mating season, which is late-September to mid-October, they are very aggressive. Consider yourself informed.

However you choose to celebrate National New Hampshire and National Beer Lover’s Day, do it safely, have loads of fun, and comment below with how yours went.

Stay strong,

ClintFit Consulting ™

© 2017 Clinton N. Downs

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