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Premier Edition


Summer/Fall 2020

Summer/Fall 2020 | Volume 4: Issue 13


Drive to the Highest Peak in the Northeast

MOUNT WASHINGTON Just 25 minutes north of North Conway on Rt. 16 in Pinkham Notch 603-466-3988





Located at the base of the Mt. Washington Auto Road, The Glen House hotel offers fine accomodations, an award-winning tavern, and great food at The Notch Grille. Book your stay online at or call 603-466-3420.

Mt. Washington Valley

COMMUNITY MARKETPLACE Please support our local small businesses ... which make this Valley great!




Free Small Business Mentoring in the Mt. Washington Valley Are you an entrepreneur looking for expert business guidance? If so, you can sign up for free mentoring sessions. SCORE connects you with talented volunteers who can help your small business achieve success.

Our small-craft brewery offers a variety of styles focused on high-quality, fresh beers.

“Yurts are such a great way for our family to reconnect in nature and decompress from our hectic lives.”

Our mentors have helped with financing, marketing, advertising, cash flow analysis, sales projections and the use of social media.

Enjoy a pint or a flight, and be sure to take some beer to go in growlers or cans! Visit our tasting room in Fryeburg, Maine

Beautiful, secluded yurts have everything you need for a perfect getaway! Bring drinking water, sleeping bags and a cooler full of food. EVERYTHING else is here ... but you and your friends!

(603) 447-4388 53 Technology Ln. Conway, NH

(207) 256-3028 10 Jockey Cap Ln. Fryeburg, ME

(802) 233-7010 Brownfield, ME




Exceptionally comfortable, handcrafted cedar Adirondack furniture. Locally sourced, quality construction.

(603) 383-0890 Jackson, NH Adams energy specializes in providing energy options. Our options include solar, generators, geothermal, car chargers, and general wiring. Servicing all of New Hampshire, our team of licensed electricians will provide your home or business with a quality reliable system.

(603) 447-2323 Summer/Fall 2020

IT’S MY GIRLFRIEND’S CONSIGNMENT BOUTIQUE Current Fashion and Accessories for Women and Men. Located in the Eastern Slope Inn lobby.

(603) 733-5144 • 2760 White Mountain Hwy North Conway, NH

Sustainable trail design, construction, and management of all types. From backyard pump-tracks to large community projects and everything in between. Building access and adventure for all users!

(603)986-2015 • Rumney, NH 3


FOUNDER/PUBLISHER/CREATIVE Dan Houde MANAGING EDITOR Cam Mirisola-Bynum ASSISTANT EDITING Ryan Smith SALES MANAGER Chris Pacheco DISTRIBUTION / CIRCULATION Mt Washington Valley Vibe is published four times annually and is available for pick-up, free of charge, in over 250 locations throughout the White Mountain Region of New Hampshire and into the communities of Western Maine.

The Mt. Washington Valley and White Mountains have been a popular vacation spot this season. The underlying reasons for spending time outdoors has never been greater and this reality is increasingly evident in recent scenes around the region. Our regular vacationers are joined by second-home owners, and we’ve seen an added boost from first-time visitors looking for a closer-to-home getaway, thanks to the many challenging limitations of the novel coronavirus. With many businesses still closed or operating at limited capacities, we’ve witnessed over-crowded trailheads, long lines at restaurants and retail operations, plus an abundance of unsafe parking situations in some not-so-usual places. The Valley’s service and health professionals have been strained to the max. While most out-of-state visitors have been respectful during their stay—as with most groups, there is a small portion that has been less than caring to the people and places around them. Whether they couldn't care less or simply are not aware of the rules and regulations that come with visiting the great outdoors, we may never know. But while we probably can’t teach respect, we all have the opportunity to learn and then lead by example. While it’s easy for us to complain and point fingers, the solution lies in identifying the problems, discussing them, and then taking the next steps to correct them. The Valley has seen its share of trying times over the years, and while 2020 will certainly go down as extreme, how we rebound from these issues will determine the success of 2021. Be well, be smart, but most importantly, please be respectful. Dan Houde

MWV Vibe can also be found in select retail shops, dining establishments, lodging properties, and grocery stores throughout the same area. If your business, or one you know, would like to make MWV Vibe available to customers, please contact us. Spring 2019 | Volume 2: Issue 8

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reprinted or otherwise reproduced without the written permission of: WISEGUY CREATIVE MEDIA 126 Allens Siding Road, North Conway, NH 03860

Winter 2018/19 a rts






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ADVERTISING For advertising, feedback, and subscriptions, call (603) 986-5761 or email


CONTRIBUTING WRITERS & PHOTOGRAPHERS Birch Malotky, North Conway, NH A recent graduate from Brown University, Birch is the northern New Hampshire land steward for The Nature Conservancy, and enjoys climbing, writing, photography, and jewelry-design. Jake Risch, Conway, NH As a North Conway-based freelance writer, backcountry skier, and whitewater kayaker, Jake is also a founding member of three MWV non-profits, president of Friends of Tuckerman Ravine, vice president of the White Mountain Swiftwater Rescue Team, and on the board of the Granite Backcountry Alliance. Ryan Smith, Bartlett, NH As owner of Rooted in Light Media, a photography, video, writing, and design company, Ryan splits his time between North Conway and Massachusetts’ North Shore. Ryan’s passion for outdoor recreation and conservation is evident in the work he has done throughout the Valley as a creative professional and a steward of the environment. Clem McAuliffe, Bartlett, NH Clem McAuliffe, owner of Vista Bev & Market in Intervale, loves beer. He loves talking about beer, reading about beer, writing about beer and, of course, drinking beer. All who enter the store quickly understand the benefit of asking, “Clem, what am I drinking today?” Lynne LaPlante Castonguay, Jackson Lynne completed her first presidential traverse at age four. After graduating from UNH, she was a reporter and photographer for daily newspapers, then worked in marketing and fundraising before becoming a professional mom and jill-of-alltrades. She grew up hiking, rock climbing, skiing, and playing in the Valley, and is very happy to now live here with her husband, kids, cats, and dog.

Summer/Fall 2020

David Lottman, Conway, NH David has devoted his entire adult life to climbing, currently working as a professional mountain guide and avalanche educator. He lives in Conway with his wife Michelle, son Alexander, daughter Madalena, and dog Jack. His blog is www.

Mike Cherim, North Conway, NH Mike is a trailwork- and SAR-volunteer in the WMNF. His passions are primarily hiking and skiing (plus biking and fishing)– and he also loves to write. He makes his living, however, running a local guiding company: Redline Guiding out of Intervale.

Cathryn Haight, Bartlett, NH Cathryn is a Boston-based writer and editor, as well as a graduate of Trinity College and the Columbia Publishing Course. She’s been skiing, hiking, and kayaking her way across the Mt. Washington Valley since she was a child, and can be found curling up with a book at her family’s home in Bartlett, NH on any given weekend.

Heather Corrigan, North Conway, NH Originally a flatlander, Heather has called the White Mountains home for almost a decade now. She enjoys throwing herself down mountains, hiking up them, and exploring the natural beauty of the outdoors. She spends time reading, listening to music, and taking too many pictures of her cat.

Rick Tillotson, Glen, NH Rick is the General Manager of Minuteman Press in North Conway. He spends his time golfing, biking, and adventuring with his wife and his 4-year-old son. He settled in the Mt. Washington Valley after spending quality time in Bozeman, Boston, and his hometown of Dixville Notch.

Bernadette Donohue, Fryeburg, ME Bernie’s love of adventure, beauty, and people started her 35-plus-year real estate career. Creator of MWV Photo Contest/ Calendars for Charities and Hands of HOPE, cancer survivor banner, she continues to dedicate herself to bettering the lives of others with her positivity.

Sarah Arnold, North Conway, NH Head of school at Northeast Woodland Chartered Public School, Sarah has taught in public elementary schools, and in Waldorf Early Childhood Programs, and was director of an Early Childhood Program for 15 years. She is on the board of the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America and is an advisory member for The Ideal Learning Round Table and the New Haven Child Initiative. Matt Maloney, Jackson, NH Matt is a teacher naturalist at Tin Mountain Conservation Center in Albany, New Hampshire. Formerly the Adirondack Mountain Club’s coordinator for interpretive programs, he has a degree in Environmental Education from Antioch in Keene, NH.

Additional Contributers - Joe Klementovich photography - Jesse Wright, writer - JP Goodwin, writer


Our writers, researchers, and photographers are the key to the success of MWV Vibe. If you reside locally or have ties to the Valley and would like to offer your creative talents, please contact us at We are currently looking for potential writers interested in covering the Berlin and Gorham areas of New Hampshire.


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by Birch Malotky

By David Lottman


By Clem McAuliffe


By Lynne LaPlante Castonguay


By Sarah Arnold

By Jessica Wright






By Cathryn Haight

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By Jake Risch

By Matt Maloney



by Lynne LaPlante Castonguay





By Rick Tilotson


by Ryan Smith

By Mike Cherim

Summer 2020 | Volume 4: Issue 13



Cover art by Kat Maus. Follow along on her adventures, both outdoors and artistic, on Instagram and Facebook at @katmaushaus. arts




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ON THE VIBE COVER Illustrator Kat Maus is Creating Unique, White Mountain Art

Kat Maus is a Boston-based artist and owner of Kat Maus Haus Illustration & Design. Kat spends most of her free time hiking and skiing in the Whites–peak bagging via the AMC high huts in the summer and fall, and skiing in Jackson and at Wildcat in the winter are family traditions. She has exhibited at several art markets in the Valley, and will find any excuse to make a trip to the area where she feels most inspired.

As an illustrator with a flair for nostalgia, and a love for the outdoors, Kat creates illustrations that celebrate the natural spaces that bring us joy, peace, and comfort. Her work is inspired by vintage travel posters, Japanese woodblock prints, and impressionist works. She graduated from Tufts University in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts in art history, and a number of studio art classes under her belt. Kat works primarily in digital mediums which she began exploring in 2015 when a recurring injury left her sidelined from hiking and skiing. The result of this exploration was a series of prints inspired by her hikes in the White Mountains. In 2016, she created Kat Maus Haus Illustration & Design as a means to market and sell her work. In 2019, after seeing success from this new venture, she left her decade-long career in higher education fundraising to pursue illustration full time. Her work appears on the cover of The White Mountain by Dan Szczesny, published by Hobblebush Books. Kat’s work can be purchased in the form of art prints, postcards, greeting cards, and stickers at, and a selection is carried locally at J-Town Deli in Jackson, NH. You can also follow along on her adventures, both outdoors and artistic, on Instagram and Facebook at @katmaushaus.

New In 2020! • Our famous Notch Train is now the Mountaineer and runs Tuesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays.

All Aboard!

• Social distancing on all trains

All trains depart from our 1874 station in the center of North Conway Village.

Choose from Conway and Bartlett Valley trains or our Mountaineer

h. mely scenic journey over Crawford Notc

The Mountaineer offers a supre

Valley excursions to Conway and Bartlett run seven days per week. Call for boarding times.

Call or Book online • (603) 356-5251 Summer/Fall 2020

38 Norcross Circle | North Conway Village 7

LOCAL BOOK REVIEW By Laura Cummings, White Birch Books Suggestions for the Perfect Summer Beach Read I actually looked up the definition of “beach read” and found a good one—a book you can take on vacation, which is good enough to keep you engaged, but not so serious it will spoil your vacation. If the definition is easy to find, it’s not always easy to find the perfect book. So, I’ve done my best to take some of the work out of it with these suggestions. Here we go! Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes is a grown-up romantic comedy that grabs you from the very beginning. The titular Evvie Drake has had it with her marriage. Her car is packed and she is finally ready to leave her husband. And that is when she gets the call—her husband has died in a car accident. Now, instead of beginning her new life, she is trapped playing the role of devastated widow. When she agrees to rent out her in-law apartment to Dean Tenney, a former major league pitcher who lost his

Sometimes it is very easy to tell that a book is a perfect summer read— it’s right in the title!

touch, they make an agreement: he won’t ask about her late husband and she won’t ask about his baseball career. Since I told you up front this was a romantic comedy, you can guess where this is going. This is great reading, and as a bonus, it’s set on the Maine coast. Staying in Maine, but moving to the mystery genre, Paul Doiron has a new book out in his Mike Bowditch series. One Last Lie is the 11th book in the series that began in 2010 with The Poacher’s Son. Bowditch is a Maine game warden, and in this new installment, he is embroiled in a 15-year-old cold case connected to the disappearance of his mentor, retired warden Charley Stevens. The story takes them way up north to the towns along the Canadian border. Bowditch is racing against time—and seemingly, against fellow wardens—to bring the past to the light. If you have been reading Doiron all along, then a new release is a big deal.


But if you’ve never read him, then you have 11 books to dive into, following Bowditch all over the big state of Maine as he grows into his job. Sometimes it is very easy to tell that a book is a perfect summer read—it’s right in the title! Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner is about female friendships, empowerment, unhappy rich people, and life in real life, versus on Instagram. Daphne Berg had a big fight with her supposed friend, Drue Cavanaugh. It’s what launched her new life as a woman who accepted herself as she was and as a plus-size influencer. For a full six years, Daphne ignored all overtures from Drue and built her best life. Things were great, and then Drue returned, apologized to Daphne, and begged her to be her maid of honor at her super fancy wedding on Cape Cod over the summer. And, against her better judgment, she said yes. Big, fun, surprising, and endearing, this is perfect summer reading! And finally, what’s summer without a little bit of horror? New England writer Paul Tremblay has written the perfect book to prey on all our summer fears. Survivor Song is about an insidious rabies-like virus that has overrun New England, but unlike real rabies, the incubation time is ridiculously short. Those infected quickly lose their minds and are driven to bite others. Hospitals are overrun, society breaks down, and emergency protocols falter. Two women are caught in the madness: Natalie, who has been bitten, is in a race against time to deliver her baby before she is overcome; and Rams, a doctor and Natalie's best friend, is doing her best to help her. This book is edge-ofyour-seat-crazy and maybe a little hard to read during our current pandemic, but that’s what makes it horror! I could keep going all day, but time and space is limited. Summer is a great time to read, and these four books are a perfect start. For more recommendations,

stop by White Birch Books or check out our staff picks at shop/whitebirchbooks. Laura Cummings owns and operates White Birch Books, an independent, full-service bookstore serving the Mt. Washington Valley and beyond.

Celebrating 25 years! (603) 356-3200

PO Box 399 • 2568 White Mt Hwy North Conway Village, NH 03860 Just south of the park

Summer/Fall 2020


ART IN THE VALLEY By JP Goodwin Keeping Your Eyes and Mind Enriched In these days of distancing and uncertainty, the art community is poised to create a great body of work while alone in the studio or en plein air. The circumstances with which we are all coping have wrought an opportunity to immerse ourselves in the moment, brush, crayon, knife, or camera in hand. Uninterrupted alone time makes it all work. Creating art is a solitary endeavor on any day, but now it is an emotional time-out of greatest benefit to each of us. Many of the planned events and exhibits scheduled for the season have been canceled, offered online, or put on hold. The Jackson Historical Society “White Mountain Art Sale” annually spearheaded by Warren Schomaker, their director, has begun online offerings of traditional White Mountain paintings. They are there for a visual feast and for sale, so be sure to enjoy. A footnote: when physical distancing is less restrictive and one can visit actual galleries, please take a moment to visit the Jackson Historical Society on the Green and take in the impressively large and beautifully rendered White Mountain oil by Erik Koeppel in the tradition of the school by that name. “Mt. Adams” is the largest known example and a wonder in which to lose one’s self for a long time. It was hung to much fanfare last fall and is worth the trip. Meanwhile, visit and browse the unique offerings of this gallery on the hill. One venue which has jumped into the art void is Cassidy Gallery of Conway. Nancy has posted many of her finest pieces for sale online and will ship free or offer curbside pick-up. You can find her offerings at, clicking on “what’s new.” Cassidy finds superb artists and artisans who fill her space with beauty. There is always something to catch the eye in her well-curated collection from New England artists of many and varied mediums. The beautiful Cassidy Gallery will open for limited hours beginning Tuesday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., or by appointment. Check in to be sure someone is there for you and take advantage of the opportunity to surround yourself with art. We hear ArtWorks Gallery will be doing the same, as will Jackson Art. Look for them online to shop or just enjoy the art fix on their websites: and, along with their Facebook pages. They are all working to keep the public informed, entertained, and in touch with their creative side. ArtWorks also has some inspiring videos

err on the side of caution and forgo Art in the Park this year. Plans are already in the works for 2021. In the meantime, see work of their artists at The Met Coffee House and Gallery in the upstairs lounge and at Settler’s Green. Well-known traditional artist, Erik Koeppel, new practitioner of the White Mountain School and creator of the fabulous painting of Mt. Adams, hanging at the Jackson Historical Society and Museum of the White Mountains, is putting the finishing touches on his new studio and looking forward to inviting the public to experience his creative venue. Stay tuned for that invite. Keep your eyes and mind enriched with virtual tours of museums through your local libraries. Some of these include a taste of the Guggenheim in Venice through the Gafney Library, the MFA, the Currier. The Louvre is a paid tour. The Gafney Library has a local arts tour online. ArtWorks has a inspirational and informative videos of a fiber and multimedia artists, each in-studio at work and answering questions about their craft. The Rochester Museum of Fine Arts, a unique museum experience in person or online and winner of the “Artbuild Community Award,” also has video tours on their informative site. There is another aspect to all this time of reassessing—the opportunity to create for each of you, offered by many art venues in the Valley. At press time there has not been word from any

of their artists working in-studio, which are a must see. Follow the links provided on their websites to view them. Sign up to find your inner artist with “Plein Air Watercolor” August 11, 12 and 13, “Oil Painting en Plein Air” with Bill Cloutman, or “Depth and Distance” with Ed Wintner in September. Register online or by telephone at ArtWorks. Don a mask to stop by the ArtWorks Gallery, which is open daily (except Wednesdays) all summer for physical distancing, hand sanitizing, and great art, or make an appointment for a private, creative shopping experience. The Mt. Washington Valley Arts Association has decided to

artists about a specific schedule, though ArtWorks Gallery is looking optimistically at the summer season. Plein air workshops are being offered, with the Governor’s permission, of course. The offerings are as follows: August 11- 13, Watercolor; September 8 – 10, Oil Plein Air; and “Trees” on September 19. Check out the Friday Painters of the MWVArts, in its 42nd year. They work en plein air, beginning June 12. Founded by the likes of Valley art legends, Nan White and Marge Kendrick back in the 70s, this group of adventurous artists meet every Friday through Columbus Day weekend at public and private venues to

The experience of creating art is very dynamic, a personal adventure, an exploration beyond the self, and accessible to all who desire it. If you are unsure where to begin while we are physically distancing, find the arts community online and become inspired to search your creative self.


MT. WASHINGTON VALLEY GALLERIES Surroundings Art Gallery 12 Main Street, Sandwich, NH (603) 284-6888

Erik Koeppel Fine Art P.O. Box 325, Jackson, NH (603) 383-7062

White Mountain Photography 95 Main Street, located inside Snowflake Inn, Jackson, NH • (603) 374-6050

Edge of Maine Art & Framing 182 Main Street, Brownfield, ME (207) 935-2817

Harvest Gold Gallery 1082 Main Street, Center Lovell, ME (207) 925-6502

Patricia Ladd Carega Gallery 69 Maple Street, Center Sandwich, NH (603) 284-7728

AJP Fine Art 55 Louisa Drive, Center Conway, NH (781) 534-3849

Fryeburg Harbor Antiques and Fine Art Gallery 506 Harbor Road, Fryeburg, ME (207) 925-2848

Roger C. Williams Fine Art 125 Main Street, Lovell, ME (207) 925-3380

Cook Memorial Library 93 Main Street, Tamworth, NH (603) 323-8510

Nathan Macomber Glass Studio 480 Eaton Road, Conway, NH (603) 447-1825

Louise Perry of Vintage Frameworks 28 Norcross Circle, North Conway, NH (603) 356-7711

Gallery 302 112 Main Street, Bridgton, ME (207) 647-2787

Gateway Gallery & Gifts 32 Exchange Street, Gorham, NH (603) 466-9900

Artworks 132 White Mountain Highway, Chocorua, NH (603) 323-8041

League of NH Craftsmen North Conway 2526 White Mountain Highway, North Conway, NH • (603) 356-2441

St. Kieran Community Center for the Arts 155 Emery Street, Berlin, NH (603) 752-1028

paint, draw and/or photograph for a few hours. This is followed by an invaluable critique. Everyone is welcome, no matter their experience, and encouraged to try new things, see their work through the eyes of others, and grow as artists. The schedule is available at Also check out for plein air workshops and classes. There are some great offerings for one-ofa-kind experiences out there just waiting for you—with a nod to distancing and safety—so dive in. More art venues will come forward with opportunities for everyone to find their inner artist. There are also accessible spaces which call out to everyone who has ever had the desire to create. The Overlook on Route 16 in Intervale is amazing rain or shine … snow or no. At Route 16 and Route 113, the Chocorua Dam is another beautiful spot, especially in the morning sunlight when one can see through the falling water to the huge timbers which make up the dam, a unique throwback in this age of mechanical dams. Another rich site is the Swift River Bridge on West Side Road, where the river bends away to the southeast to join the Saco. These spots are all available to the public and tend to allow for safe spacing. So, venture out, paint, photograph, draw … or simply admire. The more you see, the more you will appreciate the process and the works of others. The experience of creating art is very dynamic, a personal adventure, an exploration beyond the self, and accessible to all who desire it. If you are unsure where to begin while we are physically distancing, find the arts community online and become inspired to search your creative self. It truly is an adventure and helps to support our amazing local arts community. Summer/Fall 2020

White Mountain Artisans Gallery 3358 NH-16, North Conway, NH (603) 356-6546 The Cassidy Gallery at Jackson Village 10 Seavey Street, North Conway, NH (603) 662-2074 Mt. Washington Valley Art Center 16 Norcross Circle, North Conway, NH (603) 356-2787 Jackson Art Studio & Gallery 155 Ridge Road, Jackson, NH (603) 387-3463

Carol is absolutely wonderful! She was knowledgeable, respectful, professional, and efficient. I would highly recommend Carol to my family and friends.

Western Maine Lakes & Mountains Carol Chaffee, REALTOR® (207) 240-1641 • Fryeburg, ME 11


Tell us about your unique Valley business at

WHITE BIRCH POTTERY White Birch Pottery has unique gifts and decor inspired by nature and New Hampshire’s White Mountains. Their state ornaments make the per-

fect gift for any occasion. White Birch takes bulk and wholesale orders for the perfect wedding favors, company gifts, retailer purchases, and more. The wall hangings make a unique gift or memento for anyone with state pride, and their pottery and gifts all are handmade in Jackson, NH. Visit White Birch Pottery's Facebook page for additional information and photos.

WHITE BIRCH POTTERY Highlights • Wedding Favors • Company gifts • Holiday gifts • NH, VT, MA, ME, and more!

whitebirchpottery For more information, email; shop them on Etsy at White Birch Pottery.

REVOLUTION RECORDS LLC Established in June of 2017, Revolution Records is your Mt. Washington Valley record store. A mom and pop operation run by local owners, Dan and Lisa Belflower. They have signed the Record Store Day Pledge and participate every year. The store features vintage vinyl with a focus on rock albums. New and reissue records are available in store or ordered through their supplier. With a variety of genres also available, ranging from jazz to soul, you can find vintage vinyl to satisfy your appetite for music. If they don’t have what you are looking for, they are happy to help you find it—and can special order items. Nothing is more satisfying than finding that prized album you have been looking for. You can also find albums on other formats, CDs, and cassette tapes in stock. Revolution Records carries vintage stereo equipment, a plethora of music related merchandise, such as posters and t-shirts, and can assist you with new equipment through one of their suppliers. Located in Conway at 50 White Mountain Highway on Route 16, Revolution Records is easily found at the Conway Marketplace, a small plaza with ample parking and wheelchair access. The record store is located in the smaller building to the right of the main building.


REVOLUTION RECORDS LLC Highlights • Vintage vinyl • CDs and cassettes • Record-cleaning services • Appointments available upon request

For more information, call (603) 662-0751, or email 12

REAL ESTATE CORNER By Bernadette Donohue Navigating New Roads

Being a passenger with a teenage driver, I am constantly aware that I have absolutely no control, at least over the brake and wheel. This has become a good reminder to me lately of the trust that we must place in others. Our society is built on trusting others, otherwise we would never get into a car (much less with a teenager driver). What keeps the traffic flowing and the oncoming cars from crossing the line, however, are not just the rules that our society has agreed upon, but also a human desire most have to survive, thrive, and not cause harm to others. While driving, we are required to wear safety belts and obey traffic signals, which is also for the greater good. Following these common rules doesn’t mean that we are inviting an accident to happen, nor are we preventing one, but in doing so we are taking an intentional measure to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and others, should an unfortunate incident occur, out of our control. As part of the “no seat belt” generation, I fondly recall many a car ride where the nine of us would pile into the family station wagon and head to our summer vacation destination. With one kid in the front seat, between Mom and Dad (the lucky one who controlled the 8-track player), the rest of us fought between the middle seat (and who would stand on the hump), and the “way back.” With suitcases loaded on top to make room for sleeping bags, pillows, games, books, and candy bags (plus some necessary spit up bags) we would lie around and sometimes jump between seats, never a worry about possible dangers. Those were the days well before highway accident statistics would influence then “new” safety rules, now commonplace. Today we are being asked to adhere to some new rules that feel as uncomfortable as the early days of required seatbelts. There are people who feel their freedoms are being limited and are reluctant, obstinate, frustrated, and even angry. Others are doing their best to comply, albeit awkward, tense, or afraid of possible health risks and consequences of not doing so. These are surreal and unusual times for everyone, and while many may feel righteous in their opinions, it is through common sense, compassion, cooperation, and kindness towards others that we will navigate these bumpy and unpredictable new roads and rules together. Real estate and affiliate offices rely on friendly competition, honest communication, and mutual respect—and I’ve never been prouder of the cooperation and leadership I have seen in my industry during these past months. While our new protocol has included limited contact, formal meetings turned into Zoom calls, and new virtual and electronic programs, we have strived collectively to make buying and selling a smooth process for all. Many of our showings start with video tours. Our in-person apSummer/Fall 2020

pointments have demanded the wearing of masks, gloves, and shoe covers to help ensure safety as we carefully move through the process of showings, inspections, financing, and appraisal in order to reach the closing table with a mutual goal of happy clients, even when the road to get there may be a bumpy one. Not unlike the rest of the community and nation, real estate offices and affiliated service providers have had to change their methods of operation for the common good. With an extremely low inventory of homes, a pent-up buyer demand, and low interest rates, the current real estate market is hot, hot, hot. Well-priced properties may only last a few days or weeks, have multiple offers—and in some cases, will end up

While things may not look like “business as usual” for visitors, know that your patronage is what keeps our doors open and our area flourishing, for which we are grateful.

selling higher than full price. Although not every property can expect the same level of enthusiasm, with the help of a real estate advisor, buyers and sellers both can expect service with a smile (under a mask, of course). A professional real estate agent’s role and goal are to help you put your best foot forward. Knowing that we will all get through the hard times better if working together, the Mt. Washington Valley businesses are making extra efforts to support each other through the ups and downs of these unprecedented times. While things may not look like “business as usual” for visitors, know that your patronage is what keeps our doors open and our area flourishing, for which we are grateful. Patience and understanding are also even more appreciated as we adapt to the changing rules of the road. One certainty of survival that will never change is the ability to trust in each other’s best intentions. As we buckle up for unexpected twists and turns ahead of us, remember that a community collectively committed to compassion, cooperation, and kindness will help ensure we all arrive alive. Bernadette Donohue is a seasoned professional, helping buyers and sellers with their real estate needs for the past 35 years. Bernie works for Badger Realty in North Conway, NH where she has dedicated her career and lifestyle to serving clients and the community with the heart of a mom. Bernie can be reached at (207) 542-9967, or by email at


NATURE RX by Birch Malotky The Salutary Effects of a Walk in the Woods

The author enjoys a stroll with a friend in the Ossipee Pine Barons. Photo by Wiseguy Creative


t’s undeniable that health and well-being have become a centerpiece in the American consciousness since the beginning of 2020. In the midst of an ongoing global pandemic due to COVID-19, a novel coronavirus, taking care of yourself has become not only a personal maxim, but a civil service and investment in public health. Beyond hand washing, face coverings, and social distancing, nature could–and should–play a key role in self-care. Essential Services When NH Governor Chris Sununu announced a stay-at-home order for the state on March 27, he told Granite Staters, “You should stay at your house unless absolutely necessary.” The three exceptions to the rule, the absolute necessities, were as follows: grocery-shopping, performing an essential job, and … going for a walk. Since when has going for a walk outside been considered an essential part of everyday life? On the contrary, many would argue that going for a walk is a long-lost art in a society that is

In studies of the brain, and by tracking people’s vital signs, researchers have been able to demonstrate exactly how nature provides us with a sense of tranquility, positivity, and vitality.

increasingly urbanized and lured inside by a buffet of distractions. These lifestyle changes, combined with environmental degradation, led researcher Richard Louv to coin the phrase “Nature Deficit Disorder,” to describe a generation losing its relationship to nature. And yet, every state, including New Hampshire, provides for outdoor exercise as an essential and allowable activity during the pandemic. In Stay-at-Home 2.0, Sununu even reminded us: “As New Hampshire continues to combat COVID-19, physical exercise and time spent outdoors is key to maintaining our physical and emotional being.” More than half a year into a world none of us could have imagined in 2019, people are desperately trying to find a new normal. The summer brought relaxed guidelines, but a resurgence in cases. The trails are as busy as ever, but even so, they

offer an escape, a brief respite from the bad news and uncertainty. From all appearances, people seem to be using their increased time at home to spend increased time outside. “It’s the only thing keeping me sane,” my friends tell me again and again about their running, their camping, their bird-watching, their biking. Though they may not realize it, they’re tapping into a whole host of health benefits that are not only instinctually felt, but scientifically confirmed.

Health and Well-Being On my commute to work every day, I passed a billboard featuring lake scenes, forest canopies, and the winding Saco River. Emblazoned in bold at the bottom was a phrase something like “Does this look like the home of your imagination?” Victim to savvy, if not clever, marketing, I couldn’t help but dream of my own lakeside cabin, listening to wind over the water as the sun rose and set. The smile it brought would linger as I made my way through downtown and climbed the stairs to my office, where I worked to protect the integrity of open spaces around New Hampshire. Biologists tell us that such pleasant feelings associated with nature are far from learned; rather they are instinctive reactions to what was once our home. In studies of the brain, and by tracking people’s vital signs, researchers have been able to demonstrate exactly how nature provides us with a sense of tranquility, positivity, and vitality. In the presence of nonthreatening nature, the amygdala (the part of the brain involved with emotions) activates, triggering the nervous system to lower heart rate and blood pressure, scale back production of the stress hormone cortisol, and boost good-feeling neurotransmitters such as serotonin. A day of this calming effect, say casting for native brook trout in some skinny arm of Wildcat River, or bird-watching from your porch, is sure to leave you rejuvenated. Reducing stress levels is just one of the pathways by which nature contributes to our well-being. Another way is passive. Having greenspace in a city, for example, or trees in your yard contributes to higher air quality and a cooler, more stable micro-climate. The Mt. Washington Valley is obviously blessed with an abundance of trees throughout its towns, shading cafes and boutiques, as well as in large swaths like Whittaker Woods in North Conway. Such access to natural areas tends to promote physical ac-


tivity, which the Valley’s myriad forms of recreation and their adherents testify to throughout the year. When not fat-biking on some local groomed terrain, or skiing up down and around the Valley, they’re doing volunteer trail work with the AMC, paddle boarding Lake Chocorua, trail running the Sandwich Range, and swimming at a local town beach. Alongside many of these activities comes time spent with others, and social cohesion around a shared sense of pride in our natural heritage. Valley residents know how fortunate they are to live surrounded by mountains, forests and waterways, abundant national forest, and five wilderness areas. They come together to enjoy them, and band together to protect them. Each of these pathways, independently and in synergy, contribute to our health and well-being in all the ways we care about. They promote physiological well-being by boosting the immune system and speeding the rate of healing, while also lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol. Over time, people who spend time outside even have reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes. In ad-

dition to our physical health, the natural benefits of times outside can do much more. They increase our longevity, on average. They enhance clear thinking, oftentimes improving focus and performance in school and work. Finally, they aid our mental health by bolstering our self-esteem, assuaging our anxiety, and reducing depression. As aggression and anxiety fade away, our subjective sense of well-being blossoms, making us feel happier and more content.

Getting your fix Across the board, the advice is pretty simple: more nature is better than none. A landscape painting offers more relaxation than a cityscape, and a houseplant can help you de-stress in a way that other decorations might not. A walk outside, breathing the fresh air, will rejuvenate you more than a virtual reality simulation. So get what you can, wherever you can, and try to get at least 120 minutes a week, according to a recent study of 20,000 people. Across demographic groups, anyone getting just two hours of nature exposure consistently reported good health and high well-being.

GETTING OUTSIDE … RESPONSIBLY Shoot for 120 minutes of exposure to nature per week With packed trailheads and rivers, it’s important to be considerate if you choose to take advantage of nature’s health benefits. • Stay local. Don’t travel from areas of high infection to areas of low infection, and vice-versa. Avoid traveling to small communities with limited capacities. • Be self-sufficient with food, water, and bathroom needs. Services may still be limited. • Avoid popular or crowed areas. If an area looks busy, pick a new spot to explore. • Minimize risk. Mountain Rescue Service “respectfully asks our mountain-loving community to practice self-restraint and responsible recreation.” With all these advisories, you can be sure to still enjoy the benefits nature has to offer, without putting yourself or others at unnecessary risk!

Over 80 different Olive Oils and Balsamic Vinegars. Non-GMO, gluten free, and no preservatives or added sugar.

Visit us in North Conway Village or Settlers Green next to the White Mountain Cupcakery!

Find some fascinating olive oil facts and our recipe collection at

(603) 307-1066 • Two Stores! At Settlers Green and at 2730 White Mountain Highway, No. Conway, NH Summer/Fall 2020


GEAR REVIEW By David Lottman BightGear Solstice Graphene Hoody There is no doubt that the single most worn piece of clothing while guiding this season was the new BightGear Solstice Graphene Hoody. Most people who know me personally know of my affinity for the “sun hoody” category. This is a relatively new essential to outdoor clothing that is quickly growing, as evidenced by the half-dozen manufactures that are making these now. I’ve had the chance to try many of them, and this one is edging out my long-time favorite, Patagonia Technical Sunshade Hoody (also reviewed at, for a couple of reasons that I will get into below. But first… what is a “sun hoody” for and why should you consider adding it to your closet? PROTECTION FROM SUN & HEAT I’ve had multiple clients, friends, co-workers, and fellow guides ask me why I am wearing long sleeves and a hood when it’s 85 degrees and humid out. They assume I must be over-heating dressed as I am, and surprised when I explain I feel cooler than going bare chested. A sun-hoody is personal shade that travels with you as you move through the mountains. The fabric is super thin and insanely breathable. The fit of this, one of the things that is making it my current #1, is perfectly “looser,” which lets air flow through it more freely. When it is a scorching day, I wear this directly over my bare skin and there is no more comfortable option aside spending the day in the AC! On cooler days I’ll wear one of my Ortovox merino t-shirts underneath. A great benefit to this is that I do not have to wear sunscreen as often as the t-shirt only crowd—this is permanent UPF 55+! PROTECTION FROM BUGS Our bug season can be brutal in the Northeast. Many people use a few cans of DEET or Picaridin to survive. I treat my main outdoor clothing with Permethrin twice a season and stay bite free all spring and summer. No black flies in the eyes. No mosquito bites. Zero ticks. Not one. And I get to skip coating myself with toxic repellents. Win, win, win!

Here are features as noted by the manufacturer This is the best base layer we’ve ever made. Period. Years of development and iteration led us to a new synthetic fabric that feels like cotton, but wicks like synthetic. It incorporates Graphene nanomaterial for increased heat transfer and odor reduction, and comes in at UPF 55+ sun protection to keep you from getting microwaved up high. FEATURES: • Gen7 Graphene fabric • Naturally antimicrobial for reduced stink • UPF 55+ sun protection • Oversized hood for full coverage with or without a hat • Overlap below the chin to protect neck area from sun exposure • Fast-drying • Raglan sleeve for increased comfort and mobility • Thumbholes with extra hand coverage for sun protection

• Drop tail hem provides coverage and length where needed most • Flat seam construction for chafe-free comfort • Relaxed fit STATS: Fabrics: 95% Polyester (.04% graphene), 5% spandex Country of Origin: El Salvador Weight: 7.7oz

Reading that over reminded me that I wanted to talk about the lack of smell, or the “naturally antimicrobial for reduced stink.” I’m not sure how this works, but I would routinely wear mine for two weeks straight before washing without it collecting any body odor. SIZING/FIT I went with a size large due to a 42-inch chest, and I find it to be a perfect “looser” fit. The sleeves are a bit on the long side, which I’ve come to like. The material is stretchy enough that I can easily roll them up so they are out of the way while climbing; but when it’s really blazing hot and sunny, I can let them drape over the backs of my hands while using the thumb loops. That back length is excellent for tucking under a climbing harness and it stays put all day. SUMMARY If you don’t own a sun hoody yet, you need one. A life spent


outdoors is a life well spent, but is also one that is prone to skin damage and worse. A sun hoody will keep you more comfortable on more adventures than most any other piece of clothing in your kit. This one, designed by the guides who work on Mount Rainier, is a solid choice in this category! I genuinely feel it is worth full retail ($69), but I got some good news! BightGear hooked me up with a discount code for 10% off to share with my readers! For more information or to purchase: Men’s: Women’s: Use promo-code “GuideDaveL” to receive 10% off. This code is also valid on any full-priced items from BightGear! To read David Lottman’s complete review, go to www.northeastalpinestart. com/2019/09/04

David has devoted his entire adult life to climbing, currently working as a professional mountain guide and avalanche educator. He lives in Conway with his wife Michelle, son Alexander, daughter Madalena, and dog Jack. His blog is

Rooms & Suites

(603) 356-0039 · 2101 Wht Mtn Hwy, North Conway, NH Hours: Tuesday - Friday 9AM - 5PM Saturday 9AM - 4PM, Sunday 12PM - 4PM Closed on Mondays

Casual Dining

Full-Service Spa


Modern Comfort with Tradition at Heart Summer/Fall 2020

3 Blitzen Way, Black Mountain Road, Jackson – NH

603-383-4313 17

By Clem McAuliffe

SETTLE IN WITH A SONG AND A BELLY FULL OF BEER! Beer and music. Two of my favorite joys in life, yet I can’t create either—so apparently, I need a little help from my friends. They create … and I bask in their masterpiece. I’ve gone back to the classics like Sinatra, the Beatles, pilsners, and lagers. Still though, my playlist goes from the cover of the Rolling Stone to the Back Street and everywhere in between, IPAs DIPAs, NEIPAs and SIPAs, stouts, porters, saisons, and sours. The hits just keep coming, thanks to our hard working and creative brewers. Beer is like music for my mouth. Here are a few of my favorites that I wore out. BYP (Barnyard Pimps) from Rek-lis is the pilsner that brought me back to the lighter beer. This “Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress” is the cleanest five-percenter out there. Crisp, light—but not too light—with a kiss of hop finish. BYP had it all. Had it all. If that’s not enough temptation, Rek-lis has expanded and upgraded: from going solar and collecting grey water for flushing to adding more taps and extra room

outside. Ian and Marlaina didn’t expect to grow so fast, but you’ll never hear them singing “Just the Two of Us” because of the incredible staff that keeps on trucking. Saco River’s Flip Flop #47 was a power trio of hops. Citra, Mosaic, and Sabro. Apparently, “Three Is a Magic Number.” Saco River’s #47 had notes of citrus, pineapple, and coconut. I felt like I was sitting next to Rupert Holmes at O’Malley’s. That beer should be served with a tiny paper umbrella! If you don’t want your beer to taste like “Kokomo,” you can still take your pretty mama to Saco. With a wide variety of beers, it’s the perfect place to go when you feel like saying “Let’s Get Away from it All.” Hobbs’ Lake Life for the summertime when the water’s fine, when the sun goes down, to go tubin’ or swimmin’ in the lake—that's Hobbs philosophy. That, and a new look for their cans. They’ve got the Jack—Hi-Jack to be exact—and Whadya-Say in 16-ounce


an Brewing Co

Brewing Company

r Brewing

4-packs, so don’t get fooled again looking for something that “You Already Know.” & Brewing Tuck’s Summer Pils keeps away the “Summertime Blues” as your cruisin’ through the “Crosstown Traffic” to the TTR. With a rewing Company hint of orange, this pils pairs perfectly with a burger or taco. At Tuckerman’s Tasting Room you can “Drift Away” enjoying The Beer Co. Band and their exclusive brewery-only brews. ace Brewing The most requested hit was the Moat’s Clockwork Manck Inn Brewerydarina. Often misnamed when requested, this NE pale ale has big orange-juice aroma, slightly cloudy, and delicious by any Brewery name. There aren’t a lot of song lyrics about oranges—probably g Brewery because nothing rhymes with it. What does rhyme is Moat and G.O.A.T. Between their mouth-watering smokehouse BBQ restaurant and flagship brews, it’s “Boom Boom (Out Go the Lights)." There’s a “Dream Weaver” in Littleton, NH called Schilling Beer Co. Hop Weave #6 is a soft, cloudy NEIPA that takes you up the “Stairway to Heaven.” “Roll Over Beethoven” and tell the people the news, Schilling has pizza and brews–from one of their European style, like the Alexander 10* Czech Pilsner, to their American ale project, Resilience, which can quench any IPA seeker, and food that will have you “Dancing in the Moonlight.” You won’t be singing “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” Sure, it’s not 1969, but Woodstock still flew in a few new live acts to keep the show going. Their Mountain Haze NEIPA put me in a “Purple Haze” that had me hearing volunteers chanting, “NO RAIN! NO RAIN!” A feeling of “Freedom” came over me and I started to “Dance to the Music,” “Going Up the Country.” I wasn’t at Max Yasgur’s farm or “At the Hop,” but I was having fun in the sun with a can in my hand and no plans. “Peace and Love to Woodstock“ in Lincoln, NH To all the people it takes to get beer from point A to point ME, thank you for the “Good Times.” PILSNERS AND LAGERS Pilsners comes from the city Plzeň, in the Czech Republic and

Summer/Fall 2020







Moat Mountain Brewing Co. Saco River Brewing Tuckerman Brewing Co. Hobbs Tavern & Brewing Co. Sea Dog Brewing Co. Rek’•Lis Brewing Co. Woodstock Inn Brewery Iron Furnace Brewing Schilling Beer Co. Copper Pig Brewery One Love Brewery

Intervale, NH Fryeburg, ME Conway, NH West Ossipee, NH North Conway, NH Bethlehem, NH North Woodstock, NH Franconia, NH Littleton, NH Lancaster, NH Lincoln, NH



Midnight Industries LLC

Saco River & Rek-lis Brewing join forces to support community trails Mason Irish and Ian Dowling are two brewers who met during a beer photoshoot for this very magazine last December. As Dan Houde (Vibe’s head honcho) was setting up for the shoot, the brewers had time to share their interests. Lo and behold, they discovered they had a lot more in common than brewing. Mason is the head of Saco River Brewing in Fryeburg Maine and Ian runs Rek-lis Brewing in Bethlehem, NH. Their love of outdoor life in the North Country and their philanthropic philosophy to business and community brought them to bond as more than mere colleagues. That, and a couple of beers. Skinning and skiing, hiking and biking were some of their mutual likes. But it was mountain biking that launched the Hop-Strosky project. Their desire to donate to Ride NOCO and Bethlehem Trails Association (two groups that create and maintain bike trails) would be paradise, and the collaborative IPA Hop Harmony were their two tickets to get there. The beer is named after local legend hiker, biker, and general bad-ass outdoorsman Pete Ostrosky. This hazy IPA spent as much time on the shelves as Pete does on a trail, which is a record-breaking short time. If you missed it, don’t fret,

because these two composers have a B-side lined up. TK Hop will recognize another local rock hopper, Travis Kelley. This time they will be recording at the Rek-Lis studio in Bethlehem, NH. As much as I love their solo careers, these collaborations are special one-ofa-kinds that bring “Joy to the World” and pure Flavor Flav. Nothing is better than great beer for a great cause from two brewers who want you to “Trouble No More” and jump on two spinning wheels. Thanks guys, for all your Blood Sweat and Tears.

Come by to say hi to BOOMER!

• Over 500 Craft Beers • Make Your Own 6-Pack • Just South of Storyland

779 ROUTE 16, GLEN, NH (603) 383-4800 20

lagers come from Canada. Correction, loggers come from Canada. Lagers are easy to drink, but incredibly complicated to brew. True lagers come from the German lagern (to store) and originated in Bavaria. In the early 19th century, they began experimenting by storing their beers in cold cellars for long periods. They found

The most requested hit was the Moat’s Clockwork Mandarina. Often misnamed when requested, this NE pale ale has big orange-juice aroma, slightly cloudy, and delicious by any name. they could be kept for a few weeks or even several months, during which the drink would mellow and clear. In the early days of lagering, some brewers would take their beer to the frozen caves of the Bavarian Alps, packed with ice from the lakes and mountains, and leave it there for the summer! I don’t have that kind of patience. This long brewing technique meant that the yeast and other heavy matter in


the beer settled, leaving a clean taste, pale color, and was extra carbonated. At the same time in the town of Plzeň, their soft water and local barley gave us the first golden beer or pilsner, Pilsner urquell (original pilsner). The town began producing this golden beer on a large scale with vast beer cellars cut into rock for the lagering process. Soon, other cities took up pilsner production—Budweis, for instance—and soon it became popular all across Europe. Luckily for us in the 1850s, German brewers immigrated to the U.S. and brought their ingredients and knowledge. Thus began the explosion of pale, light lagers that became the foundation of American brewing. We have come a long way since then, but it was this approachable “everyday” beer that paved the way so we could go off road. Two different beers from two different cities, but essentially the same idea. I find pilsners to have a tighter crisper and hoppier disposition, while lagers are lighter, softer, and can even be a bit sweet. But don’t take my word for it, go out and get a belly full of beer, because Saturday night’s alright for tasting.


Clem McAuliffe, owner of Vista Bev & Market, loves beer. He loves talking about beer, reading about beer, writing about beer and, of course, drinking beer. All who enter the store quickly understand the benefit of asking, “Clem, what am I drinking today?”



(603) 356-5084 • Intervale


TAP INTO THE HIPPEST EATERY! Thirty ever changing craft beers on tap Seasonal street food layered with local products and international flavors Tap into your inner beer lover!

Almost There Sports Tavern & Restaurant

Settlers Green Streetside, 1699 White Mountain Highway, North Conway, NH 03860 • (603) 307-1037

(603) 447-2325 • 1287 Route 16, Albany, NH

Summer/Fall 2020 Summer 2019

Just south of the Kancamagus Highway


Vibe’s Choice



By Lynne LaPlante Castonguay

Let’s face it ... as much as we hope to get away from technology, there’s no doubt that phone apps have a place in our everyday world. As we seek to shop and recreate safely in 2020, phone apps continue to provide vast amounts of well-presented, accurate, and most importantly, real-time data. Armed with knowledge, in some cases never before available, many apps offer the potential to travel faster, farther, and at times more safely, into the no-signal areas than ever before. From navigation and first aid to trip planning and weather forecasting, we tested seven apps that, when used with common sense, can be beneficial in many ways for our next adventure. Let us know what you think. Do you have a favorite app? Let us know what has worked for you be emailing!

Sports, Adventure, Hiking HIKING PROJECT - (iOS/Android - FREE) • 1.4k ratings • 4.5 stars

Whether you’re a day hiker or a 2,000-miler, Hiking Project is a favorite companion of many trail-goers. The mobile guidebook’s high-quality descriptions, elevation profiles, photos, and maps of 229,251 miles of trails, can even be used offline. App features such as Hike Description & Highlights, Need to Know, Trail Run Notes, and Conditions, help hikers prepare, and History features enhance your hike. Save favorites, make a to-do list, and connect with the community. Latest update: Version 4.1.5 (May 2020) • 44 MB

The Mountains are Calling PEAKFINDER AR - (iOS/Android, $4.99) • 3.2k ratings • 4.7 stars

Don’t just see the beauty around you while you hike and explore, name it, too, with this truly awesome app that functions offline and worldwide! PeakFinder displays the names of all the mountains and peaks in a 360-degree panorama. With image adjustment, camera mode, and shutter capability you can explore and photograph any peak. Touch the peak name for additional information or use the telescope feature to explore less prominent mountains. Latest update: Version 4.1.6 (June 2020) • 16.9 MB

Local and National Weather WEATHERBUG - (iOS/Android - FREE) • 700k ratings • 4.7 stars

Heading to the market or up Mount Washington? Never get caught in the rain with WeatherBug’s current, hourly, or 10-day forecasts. Use any of the 18 different weather maps to plan ahead and know what to expect anywhere. This meteorologist in your pocket offers fast, reliable alerts with instant notifications for lightning, high pollen count, storms, and more. Save all your favorite locations to make planning your next trip a breeze. Latest update: Version 5.16.5 (July 2020) • 96.7 MB


Sports, Adventure, Mountain Biking MTB PROJECT - (iOS/Android - FREE) • 2.8K ratings • 4.7 stars

Looking to attack some baby heads or bomb down a booter? Designed like a guidebook, MTB Project is a crowd-sourced mountain bike guide offering mountain bikers detailed beta on more than 77,000 miles of trail with new rides continuously added with high-resolution photos and detailed topo maps. The apps GPS route info, elevation profiles, plus offline maps allow you to make a to-do list of the best rides in your location or any area you search. Latest update: Version 4.1.5 (May 2020) • 44.7 MB

Sports, Adventure Rock Climbing MOUNTAIN PROJECT - (Android, iOS - FREE) • 1.7k ratings • 4.7 stars

Need beta on where to place your crab on the crag to avoid a screamer? This “definitive rock climbing resource” will point you to the best areas and navigate you to them using the map. Sort routes by discipline, difficulty, and ranking or make a to-do list, keep track of attempts and sends, and join the chat forum. Use anywhere anytime by downloading route beta, photos, and topos.

Latest update: Version 4.3.2 (May 2020) • 86 MB

Summer/Fall 2020

Lists, Recipes & Meal Planning ANYLIST - (iOS/Android - FREE or upgrade for $9.99) • 40K ratings • 4.9 stars

With AnyList, you can get in and out of stores fast and never forget your to-do list! Use it to create checklists, plus plan meals and save recipes. Sync with family to share the shopping. Efficiently sort your list by store department and even by aisle location—so no backtracking! Cross items off your list as you shop; regenerate a new list for next time. Use your voice to add items to AnyList via Siri, so you never forget to buy something you need! Latest update: Version 5.14.3 (July 2020) • 15 MB

Sports, Recreation, Golfing GOLFNOW - (Android, iOS: Free) • 9.4K ratings • 4.5 stars

Keep track of bogies and birdies and book tee times on 9,000-plus courses worldwide. Score hot deals, earn and redeem rewards for future rounds, save a favorite course for quick, easy tee time booking, and keep score for your foursome with a built-in scorecard. Post-round analysis and in-depth stats will help you improve your game. Use GPS tracking to instantly reference accurate yardages at over 30,000 courses.

Latest update: Version 4.6.3 (July 2020) • 177 MB


Hikers on the Fan in Huntington Ravine. Photo by Nico Dubois, courtesy of Redline Guiding.

FIVE REASONS You may need to be rescued By Mike Cherim

Hikers are quite a varied bunch, coming from many walks of life and having many personalities, but they do have one thing in common: the reasons they sometimes need to be rescued. Here are five of these reasons. The mountains are inviting to many people. “They call to me,” many will say. They are beautiful from afar—a majestic backdrop to any scene. And for those able, they’re even more stunning up close. To be on and among them, of course, is the ultimate way to get to know them, and to many, this experience is quite sublime. Or “amazing,” “breathtaking,” even “otherworldly,” some will exclaim. Getting close to these mountains, however, is a doubled-edged sword. To the uninitiated, they can be deadly. Even to the experienced, this statement can hold true. Up close, you get to admire them in the most intimate way possible, but there are risks, especially to those who hike them instead of using the alternative means available on some mountains. The people who hike them, have one thing in common: the reasons they sometimes need to be rescued. And the reasons are oft repeated. Five of these reasons—in no particular order—follow.


What happens, exactly? The title is a literal description in this case. If you think it’s possible to hike in the dark, think again. It’s very dangerous and near impossible, except in certain conditions. When above tree-line in the winter, for example, hiking by the light of the full moon may be perfectly adequate, but the vast majority of the time, forget about it. How does it happen? This is a gear issue, or lack thereof. People don’t think they will be out after dark, so they don’t prepare accordingly, but obviously some are wrong. Some end up trying to use their phone’s flashlight. This is barely adequate, and that’s not even considering the really limited battery life. Packing right is key. What are the consequences? Being caught in the woods overnight will probably not be a lethal experience—though it can easily become one—but it will very likely be a crappy, scary experience. If it will be cold, a call for rescue may be required, and if it is, being this is an inadequate gear issue, a fine could result. How can someone remedy/avoid it? Carry a headlamp. While a flashlight satisfies the letter of the law, a headlamp that turns with your head and allows handsfree operation is far superior. In addition to a headlamp, carry another headlamp as backup. Spare batteries are also a good idea, but nothing beats a spare headlamp. After all, changing batteries in the dark has its own issues.


What happens, exactly? Often times you’re on trail one minute, then the next minute you’re facing down some tight vegetation. Other times a lack of visibility or experience can lead to your becoming disoriented. This is especially true in the late fall and winter when leaves or snow can hide the way. How does it happen? As noted a lack of visibility can sometimes be the culprit, or the trail may become obscured (even during the summer on some wilder, less defined trails), but often it is simply a lack of attention. Panic is also a byproduct, and it can make things worse. If lost—stop, take a break, think things through, and do not panic. What are the consequences? The consequences are many, ranging from being momentarily inconvenienced or alarmed to literally dying in the woods. And going from one state to the other is certainly possible, depending on weather, duration, your gear, and/or just how far off track you are. A fine could result if you don’t have a map and compass. How can someone remedy/avoid it? The number one thing someone can do is to prepare by getting to know the route then paying attention throughout the hike. And to add to that, if a moment of indecision does occur, don’t panic. Also, carry the right tools (and know how to use them): a current topomap of the trail and a proper compass. A wristwatch altimeter is also very helpful.


What happens, exactly? A misstep leading to a fall is quite common. Sprains, contusions, and broken bones are typical. Some can be life threatening for myriad reasons. Or anything medically can happen to anyone at any time and cover a wide range of issues from anaphylaxis to heart attack and anything in between. How does it happen? Injuries often happen to those descending. They’re tired, elated, and inattention takes over … then, bam. Sometimes, however, falls are gear-related due to a lack of traction, for example. Illness, on the other hand, can commonly be brought about through heat, cold, and hydration issues. Or simply by way of a lack of fitness.


What are the consequences? If injured or ill, barring intervention, the result may lead to a loss of life. And help can take a while in the mountains, even if alerted right away. A painful or uncomfortable wait is likely. A fine is unlikely as per the spirit of the mountains, unless the injury or illness is caused by a lack of gear (no traction or food/water, for example). How can someone remedy/avoid it? Bringing the right gear and layers is a good start; then pay attention and simply be careful. And to avoid illness, ensure you’re prepared for the task at hand on all levels. Also, carry a first aid kit to help with unexpected issues, and understand how to respond. And, do try 9-1-1, even if your phone says, “No Service,” as it may work anyway.


What happens, exactly? Being trapped can happen in myriad ways, some covered already (i.e., benighted, lost). Others might include literally being trapped in a spruce trap or tree well—so wear snowshoes and don’t hike alone. Another way is to become trapped in dangerous conditions, such as in icy terrain or on cliff faces in the vertical realm. How does it happen? Being trapped by ice is usually the result of missing, broken, or inadequate traction. And being trapped in the vertical realm is usually the result of unknowingly getting off route where it’s critical to get it right, or simply a matter of overconfidence when a hiker reaches beyond their physical or technical abilities. What are the consequences? You can’t go up and you can’t go down. And if you try, you fear becoming injured or dying. So, you’re stuck. Having appropriate layers at this juncture may save your life since you’re no longer moving. These types of rescues are more dangerous, lengthy, and complex than most, which could certainly result in fines. How does someone remedy/avoid it? Like much of this, having proper gear and knowing its use, coupled with experience, will keep you out of trouble. Simple rope tricks like hand-railing can also help a lot. In the spring and fall, some are fooled by warm weather, only to find old man winter still living in the mountains. Fix this deficiency with research.


What happens, exactly? River crossings are dangerous if the water is too deep, running too fast, is too cold, and/or there are downstream hazards that make it potentially lethal. Depending on the specific circumstances, such as trend and time of day, this can range from being an inconvenience to being an out-and-out killer. How does it happen? It should be obvious that if it is raining, water volume will increase as the rain continues and for a period after it stops while draining occurs. As it continues, the tame babbling brook you crossed on the way in may roar. Worse, this can surprise hikers on a warm, sunny day with no rain at all if there is snowmelt flooding the rivers. What are the consequences? The best-case scenario is that you will have to make a challenging and potentially dangerous crossing, but you will make it. And the worst case is dying while you try. Otherwise, the last choice is to wait it out or attempt to make a detour if possible. Neither is desirable, and neither may be even an option if you didn’t pack well. A fine could ensue. How does someone remedy/avoid it? Do research. Choose a trail without crossings if there is rain in the forecast or if it’ll be warm, adding to the snowmelt. This Summer/Fall 2020

means not only knowing the weather and the trails, but knowing snow-pack conditions high above you. To best determine what’s safe and the howto, a river crossing skills course can be very helpful.

Hiking in the Mountains and Staying Safe

Staying safe has taken on a whole new meaning now during the age of coronavirus. Avoiding rescue is even more important, nowadays, simply out of respect for the dozens of individuals and families of those who work or volunteer for the agencies that you hope will come to get you. You don’t want to get these folks sick.

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To avoid trouble for all, consider these bullet points: • Know the dangers • Do the research • Bring the right gear • Plan the day well • Know the weather forecast • Go with experienced others • Use your head/common sense • Get experience incrementally • Take related classes • Hire a guide for safety You also have the ability to purchase a Hike Safe Card,, in New Hampshire. This card is similar to carrying rescue insurance, if you will, in that you may avoid being fined, even if somewhat negligent by lacking some the appropriate gear or making some other oversight (though gross negligence isn’t tolerated). That said, please realize that this type of insurance, while certainly recommended, will NOT save your life. It is NOT a get-out-of-jail-free card. Be careful out there, because ultimately, it’s on you—you may pay dearly no matter who gets the bill. Mike Cherim, a North Conway resident, is a trailwork- and SAR-volunteer in the WMNF. His passions are primarily hiking and skiing (plus biking and fishing)—and he also loves to write. He makes his living, however, running a local guiding company: Redline Guiding out of Intervale.


NEW BEGINNINGS FOR LOCAL CHARTER SCHOOL By Sarah Arnold; Photography courtesy of Northeast Woodland.


ortheast Woodland Chartered Public School, an initiative member of the Alliance for Public Waldorf Education, is opening its doors on Technology Lane in Conway this September. The school’s mission is to awaken children to the wonder and joy of learning through nature, combining living arts and academics and showing the role these elements play in the development of the whole child. The school nurtures creativity, individuality, and independent thinking to inspire and prepare children to pursue educational excellence and to enter their community and the world with confidence, competence, and compassion. By addressing their heads, hands, and hearts, the school will

in 2021). Northeast Woodland is also planning to offer a tuition-based Early Childhood Program for children beginning at age two. The school will be using an adapted Waldorf curriculum. As part of the state’s charter school application process, members of the board of The Northeast Waldorf Education Foundation, sponsors of the school’s charter, had to demonstrate to the New Hampshire Department of Education (NHDOE) how the school’s planned curriculum will meet all of the Common Core Standards (New Hampshire’s college- and career-ready standards), which cover all academic areas and art. In March, NHDOE gave a hearty approval to the thorough and well-researched application. Outdoor education will be a central focus of the school’s educational model. The school plans to work in conjunction with local organizations, such as Tin Mountain Conserva-

encourage students to be lifelong learners and contributors to their communities and society as a whole. The school is tuition-free for New Hampshire residents and it will serve children in kindergarten through seventh grade in its first year (the school plans to add eighth grade

tion Center and Appalachian Mountain Club, to develop and elevate its outdoor programming. The school plans to conduct outdoor education on its property totaling 3.5 acres, which connects to trails along the Saco River and Upper Saco River Land Trust land on Pine Hill. Both Granite State College and



cha rte re d pu blic school -2 0 2 0 -

Using an adapted Waldorf curriculum, the school’s mission is to awaken children to the wonder and joy of learning through nature, combining living arts and academics and showing the role these elements play in the development of the whole child.


Outdoor education will be a central focus of the school’s educational model.

the Mount Washington Valley Economic Council have been supportive in negotiating leases for Northeast Woodland’s building and land, with options to buy, on Technology Lane. Every grade will take a yearly trip engaging in an aspect of outdoor education. For example, first and second grades, including family members, will go on a one- or two-night hiking and

are integrated into every single academic subject. In the Early Childhood Program, children will have the opportunity to experience the wonders of the natural world that surround us. The program encompasses a strong approach to language and literacy development, abundant outdoor and indoor play, and a focus on warm loving relationships among

camping trip. Beginning in third grade, students will take their first class trip without parents participating. By eighth grade, students will train to take a winter camping trip. The school’s entire education proceeds from the idea that to engage children in learning, the first step is to kindle their curiosity and desire to learn. The school’s curriculum is informed and inspired by an understanding of child development based on the work of Rudolf Steiner and other developmental psychologists, including Piaget, Vygotsky, and Dewey. Steiner believed that intellectual development and learning are not separate from social and emotional development and learning. Literacy instruction begins with developing a love of story. Science education begins with developing a deep relationship to the natural environment. Social studies begins in human relationships and participation in community. Mathematics is not a subject we learn, but rather a tool or even language we can use to help us interpret and take action in our world. Artistic activity, including music, visual arts, dramatic arts, as well as physical activity,

children and the adults who care for them and among the children themselves. The teachers provide children with regular daily, weekly, and seasonal rhythms, which help the children know what to expect so they can focus on their work, play, and relationship building. The Early Childhood Program is where all the foundational work of the academic subjects begins. Students learn to use language to communicate their needs, desires, interests, and ideas. Oral storytelling is a daily activity. Singing and moving provide another language experience. Numbers are also explored through song and patterns are explored in nature. This is often children’s first experience of community away from their parents. They learn that community is a safe place where they experience belonging and a place that needs their participation to help make it function. In order for children to experience feelings of satisfaction and accomplishment in their learning, the school’s curriculum takes a deep dive into one topic at a time. The first two hours of each morning are called the main lesson block, which

The school plans to work in conjunction with local organizations, such as Tin Mountain Conservation Center and Appalachian Mountain Club, to develop and elevate its outdoor programming.

Summer/Fall 2020


The school plans to conduct outdoor education on its property totaling 3.5 acres, which connects to trails along the Saco River and Upper Saco River Land Trust land on Pine Hill.

takes place over three to six weeks and has one core focus. For instance, third or fourth grade students may study the topic of homes and shelters. As part of the study, students will not use a textbook as a foundation. Instead they will approach the topic from many different angles, including listening to oral stories, reading written texts, and learning about different historical and cultural expressions of homes and shelters. Students will also

recorder playing is part of the daily classroom activity, and children will engage with more formal musical instruction in their music class. Developing and participating in community is a foundational aspect of the education at Northeast Woodland. Each class of children will travel through the school as a group from the beginning of their journey until their eighth grade gradua-

learn how to build a survival shelter and how to plan and execute a collaborative building project, incorporating math, drawing, planning, physics, writing, and building skills. The main lesson block consists of all four academic subjects, physical activity, and artistic activity, and are added to their main lesson book, a record of each student’s entire school year, as they are completed. In addition to the main lesson blocks, the school’s curriculum includes mathematics, language arts, and special subject classes that take place on a weekly basis: games and movement, music, outdoor education, foreign language (French or Spanish), and handwork. Middle school students will also have opportunities to engage in woodworking. Outdoor recess will be held twice a day for free play and social time. Singing and

tion. Beginning in the Early Childhood Program, teachers assist students in developing relationships in their group and participating in the classroom and the entire school community. All children in the school will participate in caring for the classroom environment, the outdoor environment, and helping peers in other grade levels and classrooms. Older children will visit younger children’s classrooms and engage with them through multiple activities. For example, seventh grade students might read to first grade students or fifth grade students might help kindergarten students build forts in the woods. The preschool class might cook extra muffins during their snack preparation and deliver them to a different class each week. The school community is created through the efforts of the students, the

In addition to the main lesson blocks, the school’s curriculum includes mathematics, language arts, and special subject classes that take place on a weekly basis: games and movement, music, outdoor education, foreign language (French or Spanish), and handwork.


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In June, Northeast Woodland’s school board hired Sarah Arnold as the head of school. Sarah has been working with the board since her hiring to assemble a dynamic team of educators to help found this new school community.

Summer/Fall 2020


faculty and staff, and the parents. In addition, the school is excited to be located in Conway to facilitate participation in the community and to bring community members into the school to enrich the classrooms. In June, Northeast Woodland’s school board, Jesse Badger, Ethan McKenney, Tara Hartnett, Spring McKenney, Heidi Miller, Carolyn Harrison, Jason Gagnon, Jory Bailey, Charles Greenhalgh, and Janice Crawford, hired Sarah Arnold as the head of school. Sarah has been working with the board since her hiring to assemble a dynamic team of educators to help found this new school community. The quality of the applicants the school has received has been outstanding. The team is shaping up to include a rich variety of educators with backgrounds in public education and Waldorf education. In late spring, the school’s staff and board were deeply saddened to learn that White Mountain Waldorf School in North Conway will be closing its doors for good this year.

Northeast Woodland is especially thankful for the decades of hard work put in by the founders and supporters of the White Mountain Waldorf School. The opening of Northeast Woodland would never have been possible without their efforts to build the foundation of Waldorf education in the Valley. Moving forward, Northeast Woodland aims to uphold the high standards White Mountain Waldorf set for academic success, community involvement, and personalized education. Northeast Woodland is excited to open this fall, serving preschool through seventh grade, and is looking forward to bringing joy and wonder to education for Mount Washington Valley families for many years to come. For more information about Northeast Woodland or to apply (limited spaces available), visit


Eating Smart and Feeling Safe, by Jessica Wright


t happens so quickly, that last minute fall, trip, or misstep. A single sudden rock or unexpected curb can roll ankles and break the stride of even the most surefooted traveler. From the ground, we look back over our shoulder to catch a glimpse of whatever the heck it was that tripped us up. For all of us in this moment, it’s COVID-19. As we start to get back up from this unpredictable tumble— wiping the gravel loose from our palms—it’s nearly impossible not to reflect on the systems that worked and the systems that, ultimately, did not. During this pandemic, the global food system was strained in ways that no one anticipated. Even as farm workers were deemed essential, the whole world watched as grocery store shelves in one part of the country went empty and a farmer

grace and humility as possible. Our small, family-scale farms pivoted nimbly to provide food to their neighbors during these unprecedented times. It felt safer to visit the farmers’ market or local farm stand then try to grapple with bigger box stores whose shelves were likely bare. Local farmers went deep into their larders to sell extra to folks when they needed it and developed physical distancing plans quickly to keep their customers safe. Shopping at local farms was as much about stress-free shopping trips as it was about an ample and safe food supply. Knowing where our food comes from and how far it has traveled was on the forefront of people’s minds. Suddenly, those not already in the local food choir were supporting neighborhood farms like never before. Several non-profit groups rallied together to

Local farmers went deep into their larders to sell extra to folks when they needed it and developed physical distancing plans quickly to keep their customers safe. on the other side threw away 100,000 pounds of food. The disconnect was hard to watch and even harder to fix. But as the global food system shifted slowly—finding solutions to bottlenecks in giant distribution systems—the local food systems in many communities bounced back quickly. With the help of our Land Grant University staff (University of New Hampshire and Maine Extension Services), our local food systems have responded to the changing demands with as much

respond to the growing demand for local food. UNH Cooperative Extension developed a map to serve as a statewide guide for consumers to find farm products available for sale. Their website notes: “Connecting farmers directly with consumers allows for curbside pick-ups or delivery methods that maintain physical distancing, while providing local, nutritious food to New Hampshire communities. In addition to food essentials like meat, produce, and dairy, farmers can list other


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offerings like cut flowers, hay, compost, seedlings, soap, candles, and more.” Extension’s online map includes farm locations and contact information, farm-preferred methods for relaying product, marketing updates to the public (websites and social media accounts), payment options, alternative purchasing locations, purchasing incentives/food access programs (such as SNAP, senior discounts or veteran discounts), and product category listings. The map can be found at https://extension. Local MWV non-profit MWVEG (Mt Washington Valley Eaters and Growers) also recognized the community need to connect consumers with farms in the region. In early spring, they launched their own website—www.mwveg. com—which offers a searchable database for farms and local food in the MWV. Local folks can search for the products they are looking for and find the farm or market that meets their needs. Information on CSAs, farmers’ markets, and restaurants that support local farms is also offered on MWVEG’s site. All of this information is available visually as well through their own local, interactive map also found on the MWVEG website. Both these tools will take some stress out of shopping and leave more time to enjoy the bounty of agricultural products that summers in the Northeast have to offer. Finding fresh produce, meat, dairy, flowers, or restaurants that serve local foods has never been easier. Enjoy! Summer/Fall 2020




Local Mt. Washington Valley non-profit MWVEG (Mt Washington Valley Eaters and Growers) has recognized the community need to connect consumers with farms in the region. Visit for an interactive version of this map which offers a searchable database for farms and local food information in the MWV.

A - Bridgton Farmers’ Market B - Bethlehem Farmers’ Market C - Gorham Farmers’ Market D - Lovell Farmers’ Market

E - Tamworth Farmers’ Market F - Wakefield Farmers’ Market G - Wolfeboro Farmers’ Market

Please note that MWV Vibe has created this list with the help of MWVEG. Some farms or markets listed may not be actual members of MWVEG and therefore may not be found on the MWVEG website. Please contact MWV Vibe with corrections and/or suggestions.



D 16 35


24 7 27

34 44 14

1 19


22 43



28 31 E 32 47 21 45 22 4


29 33



13 23

3 25 40




20 37 42 12 6 32 38 41 2 G 8 F 26

MWVEG (Mt Washington Valley Eaters and Growers) has launched—which offers a searchable database for farms and local food in the MWV.

1- A New Day Farm Conway, NH 2 - Abundant Blessings* Brookfield, NH 3 - Athena’s Bees Ossipee, NH 4 - Behr Farm Tamworth, NH 5 - Berry Knoll Eaton, NH 6 - Bly Farm Wolfeboro, NH 7 - Densmore Orchard* Conway, NH 8 - DeVylder Farm* Wolfeboro, NH 9 - Drake Farm Effingham, NH 10 - Earle Family Farm Conway, NH 11 - Fly Away Farm Stowe, ME 12 - Full Moon Farm Wolfeboro, NH 13 - Good Buddy Farm & Flower* Hiram, ME 14 - Grand View Farm* Conway, NH 15 - Hatches’ Orchard Conway, NH 16 - Highwater Farm Bartlett, NH 17 - Hosac Farm Cornish, ME 18 - Little Field Farm* Eaton, NH 19 - Loon’s Point Honey Bees* Madison, NH 20 - Meadowfall Farm & Forage Porter, ME 21 - Merrybrook Farm Tamworth, NH 22 - MiVida Gardens Madison, NH 23 - Moonset Farm & Floral* Porter, ME 24 - Mountain Flower Farm Intervale, NH 25 - Mountain Heartbeet Farm* Effingham, NH 26 - Mountain Laurel Farm Sanbornville, NH 27 - Naylen Farm No. Conway, NH 28 - NH Mushroom Company* Tamworth, NH 29 - Patch Farm Denmark, ME 30 - Pork Hill Farm* Ossipee, NH 31 - Red Gables Farm Tamworth, NH 32 - Remick Museum & Farm Tamworth, NH 33 - Sap Hound Maple Co.* Brownfield, ME 34 - Schartner Farm North Conway, NH 35 - Sherman Farm* Conway, NH 36 - Snow Brook Farm Eaton, NH 37 - Spider Web Gardens Tuftonboro, NH 38 - Terra Firma* Acton, ME 39 - Thompson House Farm Stand* Jackson, NH 40 - The Farm by the River Effingham, NH 41 - Top of the Hill Farm Wolfeboro, NH 42 - Tumbledown Farms* Brookfield, NH 43 - Waxing Moon Gardens* No. Sandwich, NH 44 - Weston's Farm Fryeburg, ME 45 - White Gates Farm Tamworth, NH 46 - Wotton Farm* Ossipee, NH 47 - The Farmstand Tamworth, NH

Summer/Fall 2020 * wholesale suppliers



Shannon Door Pub

20 9

J-Town Deli & Country Store


Thompson House Eatery


Christmas Farm Inn






12 7

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White Mountain Joseph’s Cider Co. Spaghetti Shed


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Wildcat Tavern



Margarita Grill

Notchland Inn

Shovel Handle Pub

4 22






McGrath’s Tavern Horsefeather’s

5 Deacon Street 16 Priscilla’s 19 Shalimar of India 13 Merlino’s

302 West Smokehouse & Tavern

Oxford House Inn

Black Cap Grille




5 302



3 Cafe Noche







113 To Portland

Max’s Restaurant & Pub at Snowvillage Inn

153 16 113

To Boston




Culinary Artists Valley

of the

Five culinary creatives from local eateries share their signature recipes From menu mainstays to family favorites, the chefs of the Mt. Washington Valley have no shortage of delectable dishes up their sleeves. We tapped five local culinary tastemakers for their signature recipes to teach our readers how to whip up a restaurant-inspired meal at home.

By Cathryn Haight 34

COQ AU VIN FROM JONATHAN SPAK Chef/Owner of the Oxford House Inn

Throughout his well-established career cooking in fine restaurants across New England, Jonathan Spak recalls his very first job out of culinary school as one of his fondest. The Culinary Institute of America grad honed his skills at Le Marmiton, a petite French restaurant nestled in northwestern Connecticut, where he rode his bike 4 to 5 miles to the eatery each day and shared daily meals with the head chef and his family around their table. “Le Marmiton means little kitchen boy, so I was his little kitchen boy and it was basically like a French apprenticeship,” says Spak, the chef/owner at the Oxford House. “It was brilliant. Didn’t really learn much French, but the background of French cooking disciplines are a fantastic foundation.” One dish that encapsulates French cuisine’s trademark simplicity and richness is coq au vin—a savory braise of chicken and vegetables that’s ideal for a rainy summer afternoon. Reflective of the entrée’s ease, no component of the coq au vin is particularly bespoke, but Spak’s philosophy is to put high-quality ingredients into the pot to yield a high-quality product. “This is a fairly simple recipe to follow,” says the chef. “The flavors remind me of a stew that my mother used to make and also a dish we served at Le Marmiton.” When cooked correctly, the tender meat should fall off the bone, while the root veggies add a delicate sweetness—balancing the smoke from the bacon and depth from the wine for an umami-packed bite. Spak suggests pairing Coq au Vin - Yields 5 or more servings 5 each chicken legs, thighs, and wings 3 cups cabernet 1 ½ bay leaves ¼ tbsp thyme 2 sprigs rosemary, bundled ½ tbsp salt and pepper, mixed ¼ lbs lardons 2 carrots, cut in chunks at an angle ½ parsnip, cut in chunks at an angle ¼ large rutabaga, ½” diced ¼ large celery root, ½” diced ¼ turnip, ½” diced ¼ bag of pearl onions ¼ cup sliced garlic 1/8 can tomato paste ¼ cup brandy

the dish with a starch such as potatoes or cauliflower rice, or with a grilled baguette as they do when they serve it at the restaurant. Despite the recipe’s simplicity, the chef does have one very important tip: double the quantity of wine, but save the second half for sipping. Owning and operating the Oxford House since September 2007, Jonathan and his wife, Natalie, met while working in the restaurant industry in Connecticut. When it seemed like ownership wouldn’t be feasible in the area, the couple set their sights up north toward the Mt. Washington Valley, where they often vacationed to ski, rock climb, and mountain bike. “Through a bunch of searches, [Natalie] found the Oxford House,” says Spak. “We came and looked at it and everything kind of lined up, and six months later, we closed.” The inn was originally a private home built in 1913 after the original Oxford Hotel burned down, taking much of the city of Fryeburg with it. The building was converted back into an inn in the mid-eighties, creating the perfect canvas for the Spaks to create their first joint ownership venture after working alongside each other for so many years. “We’ve actually not worked together for one job,” says Jonathan. “It was about four months of our life and it was the dark ages of our relationship.” When the pandemic hit in early spring, the Oxford House was already expecting their usual slight slowdown in business for the season, so the restaurant closed their dining room before the state mandate to keep their patrons safe—opening for takeout soon after. With a tremendous outpouring of support from regular and local guests, the Oxford House has been going strong since reopening for service in early May. “When this happened, we were committed to our family, to our employees, and to ourselves,” says Jonathan. “We are going to get through this together, whatever we have to do.”

1. In a large bowl, combine cabernet, bay leaves, thyme, rosemary and salt/pepper mix; place chicken in mixture and marinate for 3 hours in the refrigerator 2. In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, cook lardons slowly for about 10–15 minutes until the fat is rendered out; remove lardons with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel 3. Preheat oven to 350° 4. Brown the chicken in the rendered bacon fat on both sides in batches if needed, cook for 2.5 minutes on each side; set aside on a clean sheet tray and save the leftover marinade 5. Once chicken is browned, add carrots, parsnips, rutabaga, celery root, turnip, onions, and garlic and lightly brown (about 10 minutes) 6. Add tomato paste until it’s fragrant and begins to darken (about 5 minutes) then deglaze the pan with the brandy 7. Add marinade to the pot and bring to a simmer; let liquid reduce by half 8. Add chicken and place the lid on the pot; finish cooking in the oven for about 45 minutes


548 Main Street, Route 302, Fryeburg, ME (207) 935-3442;

Summer 2020



Although the phrase “BBQ ribs” usually evokes images of succulent pork cooked low and slow all day, Chef Bryan Lantagne’s rendition gets the job done in under four hours, but still packs a juicy punch. The Barley & Salt chef uses boneless country-style ribs, which offer carnivores more meat and less cooking time—so you can get back to enjoying your family cookout. The already-flavorful cut of meat gets a boost as it’s braised with garlic, celery, and carrot, as well as the addition of your favorite beer, which gives the pork a palate-pleasing sour note that rounds out

summer picnic table and is best served with corn on the cob, potato salad, and a hoppy IPA—along with friends and family. Just as home cooks have the opportunity to take liberties while making his rib recipe, Chef Lantagne has found a similar freedom in designing Barley & Salt’s innovative menu—brimming with globally-inspired bites such as an Asian “charcuterie” board and a pork chop drizzled with a raspberry/pear gastrique—as well as an arsenal of 30 draft beers. “This has probably been one of my favorite restaurants to run just because of the amount of freedom that we have,” says Lantagne. “We are influenced by different kinds of street food from around the world and different cuisines. I like to mix things up. I like to take ideas and then turn them into fun and exciting things.” With over 15 years in the culinary industry under his apron, Lantagne originally came to Barley & Salt as a line cook, looking for a reprieve from fast-paced positions in restaurants everywhere from Vermont to Boston, but it didn’t take long for him to flex his food chops and step up

the sweetness of the BBQ sauce baste. “The flavor depends on your choice of BBQ sauce and beer, so this is a great recipe that you can put your own twist on,” says Lantagne. With free reign over its flavor profile, this recipe is truly customizable. Even the level of sauciness can be tailored to your liking, depending on how long you choose to broil the ribs—a shorter time will keep the ribs slick with sauce, while longer will form a sweet and tangy crust. Lantagne reminds us, however, to keep an eye on the dish as it broils so the sauce doesn’t burn. “The pork should be tender and melt-in-your-mouth when you are finished,” says the chef. This crowd-pleasing dish is the perfect centerpiece on any

to helm the kitchen. “It’s been a blast,” says Lantagne. “I’ve had a great time.” As for how the eatery has fared amidst the pandemic, the B&S team is maintaining their alreadyconscientious cleaning standards and adding additional precautions, so patrons can feel just as safe savoring dishes on the restaurant’s patio as they would whipping up Lantagne’s country rib recipe at home. “We already were using gloves, being sanitary, and washing our hands all the time,” says Lantagne. “The real difference is making sure everyone’s wearing a mask and taking their temperatures before they come in and start working—just making sure everyone’s staying healthy.”

With free reign over its flavor profile, this recipe is truly customizable. Even the level of sauciness can be tailored to your liking, depending on how long you choose to broil the ribs—a shorter time will keep the ribs slick with sauce, while longer will form a sweet and tangy crust.

Country-Style Pork Ribs Yields about 8 servings

3lbs boneless pork ribs 12 oz beer 3 cups of water 1 carrot, roughly chopped 2 stalks of celery, roughly chopped 2 cloves of garlic, peeled BBQ sauce, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350° 2. Place ribs into a medium/large pot 3. Pour beer and 2 cups of water over ribs 4. Gently add carrots, celery, and whole cloves of garlic to the pot 5. Turn heat to high until the pot comes to a rolling boil, then turn heat to low and simmer for 2 to 3 hours or until the pork is tender 6. Once pork is tender, drain liquid and place pork into a casserole pan 7. Baste the pork heavily with your BBQ sauce of choice 8. Add 1 cup of cold water to the pan 9. Place the pan into the preheated oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the water is evaporated 10. Once the water has evaporated, leave pork in the oven and switch the oven to the broil setting, broil for 7 to 10 minutes or until the BBQ sauce is caramelized to your liking


1699 White Mountain Highway, North Conway, NH (603) 307-1037;


CRAB CAKES FROM BRYANT ALDEN Executive Chef at the Wildcat Inn and Tavern

Hearkening back to his Cape Cod upbringing, Chef Bryant Alden’s crab cake recipe is an elevated take on the classic New England starter. The executive chef inherited his culinary creativity from his grandmother—who made a living cooking for affluent families summering on the Cape—and adapted her original family recipe to create this top-selling appetizer. “It’s a savory seafood dish that has fresh, vibrant flavors,” says Alden. “I serve it here with a creamy horseradish sauce and I also accent that plate with a little bit of wasabi sauce.” Although it’s spiced up with appetizing add-ins such as Dijon mustard and Old Bay seasoning, the key to the dish’s full flavor and hearty texture is in the crab itself. Alden opts for high-quality lump meat from the blue crab, which yields a lightly sweet, succulent, and mild taste. However,

an adjunct instructor at New Hampshire Culinary Institute at White Mountain Community College and he brings the meticulous nature of a teacher to his fare, offering up tips and tricks for cooks of any skill set to achieve a restaurantquality result every time. “When you’re making the panatta, which is the term used for the binding agent of the crab cake ... it’s essential that we incorporate that cubed bread until it forms a paste,” says Alden. “It needs to be worked really, really well. We don’t want chunks of bread in it, we want that bread to break down and form a paste that will hold the crab cake together.” Although whatever pantry oil you have on hand will work just fine for this recipe, Alden’s secret to the perfect sear is replacing half of the required oil with clarified butter. The combination adds flavor and increases the smoking point, meaning the pan can sizzle without scorching your crab cakes. When asked about his focus for the Wildcat as he approaches his fifth year, the executive chef, who will be inducted into the American Academy of Chefs in July, says, “I’ve been striving to really increase the quality of the dining experience for the guests by creating consistency in a quality product.” Despite the challenges of keeping an

the gastronomic guru is quick to point out that his recipe can be easily modified to please every palate and suit every budget—whether it be replacing the crab with Maine gulf shrimp when in season to make a more wallet-friendly version, or forgoing the “cake” aspect of the dish to make a savory seafood stuffing ideal for adorning coastal cuisine such as lobster and haddock. Cooks can also tailor the crab cakes to their tastes by serving it alongside their favorite condiment; Alden suggests a bright lemon sauce or a traditional cocktail sauce (his wife’s favorite). Helming the kitchen at Wildcat since 2015, Alden is also

eatery operating during a global pandemic, the tavern has continued to serve its customers—first through takeout and gourmet heat-and-serve meals, and now as a full-service restaurant. Alden has implemented a slew of new safety standards—from requiring masks, to sourcing face shields, to looking into special bandanas to keep his staff cool during the summer—and it’s clear he has just as much care for his crew as he does his cuisine. “It’s a whole new dining experience throughout the country,” says Alden. “The restaurant business as we knew it has changed forever. I think that we have to stay vigilant.”

Although whatever pantry oil you have on hand will work just fine for this recipe, Alden’s secret to the perfect sear is replacing half of the required oil with clarified butter.

Crab Cakes Yields 12 cakes 4 eggs 1 tbsp Dijon mustard Pinch of Old Bay Pinch of white pepper 1 tsp granulated garlic 3 tbsp dried chives 1 tsp lemon juice 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce 4 slices of sourdough bread, cubed 1 lb backfin lump crab meat 1 tbsp olive oil

1. Crack the eggs in a large bowl. Add Dijon mustard, spices, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce; mix thoroughly 2. With a rubber spatula, fold in the cubed bread until evenly distributed; let rest for 5 minutes until the bread absorbs the egg mixture 3. Gently fold in the crab meat, taking care not to break up the lumps of meat too much 4. Portion and form 2 oz cakes 5. In a large pan over medium heat, sear a few cakes at a time for 4 to 5 minutes on each side until they’re golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 150° 6. Serve alongside your favorite sauce


94 Main Street, Jackson, NH (603) 383-4245;

Summer 2020


CHOCOLATE PUDDING CAKE FROM RICHARD FURBUSH Executive Chef at the Almost There Restaurant

There’s nothing sweeter than a New England family recipe passed down from generation to generation—especially when it’s a gooey and decadent chocolate cake. Named after the century-old lakeside camp in northern Maine he’s visited for years, Richard Furbush’s “West Branch mud” chocolate pudding cake is a simple dessert that seemingly defies the laws of physics. The camp has been owned and operated by the same family for nearly five generations and is known for its outstanding cuisine as much as its lengthy legacy. After much convincing, Furbush was handed the recipe for the dessert menu staple from the camp’s confidential collection. “The camp’s been up

water over it,” says Furbush. “It looks kind of weird—the floating water and cocoa and sugar—but when it cooks, the cake comes up from the bottom while the cocoa and sugar go underneath and make a pudding and so it just separates itself. You’ll see the pudding bubbling around the edges.” Although there really is no such thing as too much chocolate, Furbush recommends complementing the cake’s richness with a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream. Just as a skeptical baker has to trust in the pudding process when whipping up this cake, Furbush had to trust his own culinary ingenuity during the recent revamp of Almost There’s menu with the help of Sous Chef Simon Haime. Since starting at the sports bar one year ago, 20-year industry veteran Haime has applied his well-honed skill set to elevate the restaurant’s casual fare in collaboration with Furbush— introducing upscale entrées such as baked lobster mac and cheese and fresh specials in addition to the pub’s standard lineup of burgers and sandwiches. “We’re starting to do things like making our own pastrami, brining our wings, and starting to make a lot more offerings in-house,” says Haime. “My style is down-home cooking, but to the best of its ability.

there for loggers and campers and fisherman for years,” says Furbush, who’s been leading the kitchen at Almost There for two years. “I was lucky enough to get it from the now owner’s mom. He took over the camps, but they’re pretty tight with not letting recipes go.” The cake recipe begins in a recognizable way—first forming the batter and pouring it into a greased pan—but then takes a seemingly-magical turn when it’s time to make the “pudding” layer. “You mix the cocoa and brown sugar dry and sprinkle it over the top and then pour boiling hot

I take something simple and try not to make it complicated, but make it the best that I can make it.” Furbush and Haime couldn’t fine tune the menu as much as anticipated last season, with COVID-19 leaving the future of many restaurants uncertain, but with a tremendous turnout for takeout and rave reviews about the food—the proof is in the pudding that the restaurant is thriving now more than ever. “It’s amazing how the restaurant business can transform,” says Haime. “I’m learning that chefs themselves are very resilient people.”

We’re starting to do things like making our own pastrami, brining our wings, and starting to make a lot more offerings in-house.

Chocolate Pudding Cake Yields 1 cake 1 cup flour ¾ cup sugar ½ tbsp baking powder ½ tbsp baking soda ½ tsp salt ½ cup and 2 tbsp cocoa powder 1 cup milk 2 tbsp butter, melted ½ tsp vanilla ½ cup brown sugar 2 cups water, boiling hot

1. Preheat oven to 350° 2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and two tbsp cocoa powder 3. Using a whisk or electric hand mixer, incorporate milk, vanilla, and melted butter into dry ingredients 4. Grease a 9”x9” cake pan and then pour batter into it 5. In a separate bowl, mix together brown sugar and ½ cup cocoa powder 6. Sprinkle sugar/cocoa mixture over the top of the cake 7. Gently pour hot water over the top of the cake 8. Bake cake in the oven for 45 minutes to one hour until cake batter is firm, yet moist 9. Let stand for 30 minutes before serving


1287 White Mountain Highway, Albany, NH (603) 447-2325

RHUBARB MOSTARDA FROM TERESA STEARNS Chef/Owner of the White Mountain Cider Company

When rosy stalks of rhubarb begin appearing in markets and on menus, it’s a sure sign that the warm weather is here to stay. The tart and slender veggie usually acts as a filling for pies and tarts—with plenty of sugar to balance its puckery flavor—but rhubarb can also add depth and zing to savory dishes. Chef Teresa Stearns’ rhubarb mostarda is the perfect example of the plant’s versatility. “It’s a burst of flavor: sweet, tart, soft, and silky,”

to adjust!” says Stearns. “If you don’t want cane sugar, use honey. Don’t have whole grain mustard? Use Dijon. If you love ginger, use more!” Not only is summer the peak of rhubarb season, but it’s also prime time for breaking out the barbecue. Stearns says that grilled proteins such as chicken, pork, duck, and fish are the ideal accompaniment for the mostarda, as it undercuts the smokiness with delicate notes of bitter and sweet. Also in time for summer, the Cider Co. has opened its cozy stone patio for full-service outdoor dining as well as their indoor eating area with strategically spaced tables after months of operating on a limited takeout menu. Although the pandemic has inflicted numerous hurdles for restaurants to overcome, one special addition to the Cider Co.’s culinary offerings seems to be here to stay: a highquality, yet affordable selection of family-style meals to be heated at home available in the property’s market.

says Stearns, the chef/owner of the White Mountain Cider Company—a valley mainstay for rustic, elegant fare nestled in an 1880s farmhouse. A popular condiment in Northern Italy, a mostarda is a fruit chutney that gets a pungent kick from a healthy dose of mustard that often adorns plates of charcuterie or boiled meats. Stearns’ rhubarb rendition is spiced up with ginger, coriander, and garlic, as well as juniper berries—a unique addition which adds a citrusy and piney bite. But home cooks shouldn’t fear if they don’t have every ingredient stocked in their pantries; this recipe is flexible and can be modified to appease everyone’s appetite. “Don’t be afraid

“We are excited to be working on a plan for family-style meals for pickup in the market soon,” says Stearns. “People really enjoyed them and continue to ask about them.” On the ups and downs of being an eatery owner during a public health crisis, Stearns says, “It has been a challenge for us, as it has been with all restaurants. Like all the Valley businesses, we are doing our best to keep everyone safe while resuming life. I am incredibly grateful for the staff I have that stayed on and the staff that came back when called, but it is definitely harder than ever. All we can ask is that people remain kind to all businesses working their way through this.”

Not only is summer the peak of rhubarb season, but it’s also prime time for breaking out the barbecue. Stearns says that grilled proteins such as chicken, pork, duck, and fish are the ideal accompaniment for the mostarda, as it undercuts the smokiness with delicate notes of bitter and sweet.

Rhubarb Mostarda Yields 12 cakes

¾ cups sugar 6 tbsp red wine vinegar ½ tbsp ginger ½ tbsp garlic, minced 2 tbsp shallots, minced 2 tbsp whole grain mustard ½ tbsp ground coriander 3 juniper berries, ground 1 bay leaf 8 cups rhubarb, chopped well

1. Place all ingredients into a pan and cook on medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes until the rhubarb starts to break down and bubble, stirring intermittently 2. Reduce to low heat and continue to cook for another half-hour until chutney consistency is reached 3. Enjoy!


207 US-302, Glen, NH (603) 383-9061; Summer 2020



HEART & SOLE Limmer BootS & The back Stories

Story and photography by Ryan Smith


hen White Mountain trail crews prepare to embark on a long stint in the woods to repair hiking trails and rehab backcountry shelters, crew members spend hours sharpening their trail tools, packing food, and, most importantly for many, greasing their “Limmers.” Custom-made in Intervale for nearly 70 years, Limmer boots have become synonymous with the men and women working on the trail crews, the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) hut crews, and New Hampshire Fish and Game. Workers attest that no other boot exists that can withstand the White Mountain’s rugged terrain and weather conditions—all the while being comfortable enough to hike in for miles on end. When Peter Limmer, a fifth-generation bootmaker in his family and the owner of Peter Limmer & Sons, wants to glean feedback from his customers, he turns to the outdoorspeople who practically live in his boots all summer: AMC’s professional trail crew. “We really like to hear their testimonials,” he notes. “Why? Well, they beat the snot out of our boots.” Trail crew workers depend on their boots to withstand, to a certain degree, blows from axes and other tools. They also need stability in their ankles for supporting the heavy loads they carry to job sites.


ABOVE: As Peter Limmer looks on, Adam Lane-Olsen measures New Hampshire Fish & Game Conservation Officer James Benvenuti’s foot to begin the process of creating a custom-made pair of boots. RIGHT: Wearing their custom Limmer boots, Guy and Laura Waterman take in the view of Walker Ravine during a

After years of tweaking, today’s Limmer boot has only a third of the seams that are found in the older boots, contributing greatly to its waterproofing and durability and making them one of the most sought-after boots in the Mt. Washington Valley. Every summer, Peter anticipates meeting new and returning crew members who are in the market for a used pair of Limmers or who want to add their name to the waitlist of about 18 months for a custom pair. Never one to advertise, Peter relies on wordof-mouth to market his products to the right people. It’s this grassroots love affair for Limmers that began when Peter’s grand-

Over time, Limmers have become part of the unofficial uniform of employees working in the White Mountains and beyond. Some diehard boot owners go so far as to wearing their boots at their weddings, graduations, and for some, to the grave.

parents, Peter and Maria, bought 38 acres of land in Intervale and moved from Jamaica Plain, Mass., to start a ski and hiking boot business in 1951. Although Peter’s grandfather is credited for holding the patent for the first downhill ski boot made in the United States, it was his hiking boots that truly cemented their family’s name in the Northeast’s outdoor industry. Today, at the Peter Limmer & Sons workshop and retail

store located on Route 16A just north of the Mt. Washington scenic vista, Peter and his staff, Ken Smith and Adam Lane-Olsen, repair and make Limmer’s famous custom and stock hiking boot, which fetch about $800 and $400, respectively, in addition to other models of boots. Customers make pilgrimages from all over the world to the shop to have their foot traced for custom boots, which, if taken care of properly, Peter estimates could last up to 25 to 30 years. Over time, Limmers have become part of the unofficial uniform of employees working in the White Mountains and beyond. Some diehard boot owners go so far as to wearing their boots at their weddings, graduations, and for some, to the grave.

Rebecca Oreskes Globe-Trotting Limmers From long-distance trails to off-the-map locations, patrons have gone on to explore the world in their Limmers. Rebecca Oreskes, a former public services staff officer at White Mountain National Forest, traveled to India, Papua New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand, and Great Britain all in her Limmers. “Seems funny now but since [my boots] took up so much space and weight in a pack, I was taught to always wear my boots while flying,” says Oreskes, who bought her first pair in 1979. “Limmers were my all-around footwear in that case.” Oreskes says that after her first pair was re-soled three times, there wasn’t enough leather left on her boots to attach another sole, leaving her with no choice but to buy a second pair. “I got chastised by [Peter’s wife] for ‘not picking up my feet’ because I scuffed up and broke through [the boot] in the toes,” she says. Even overseas, Limmer’s iconic boot design is not


trip up the Old Bridle Path in 1980. Photo by Ruth Smiley.

lost on outdoor gear aficionados. “When it comes to wearing Limmer boots, it seems to me that no place, occasion, or part of the globe is really that unusual,” Oreskes says. “My boots have been recognized far from home. I think I met travelers in India who recognized them!”

Guy & Laura Waterman Two Lives Lived in Limmers Visiting the Peter Limmer & Sons workshop is like taking a trip down memory lane, where new technology takes a back seat to the style of bootmaking Peter’s great-great grandfather employed as a bootmaker in Germany in the 1920s. Customers relish going to the workshop for a fitting and staying for hours of lively conversation with the craftspeople who appreciate the fact that their boots are being used for doing a greater good in the world. “[Limmers] are not trying to be anything that they’re not,” remarks climber, conservationist, and author Laura Waterman, who has owned two pairs of Limmers in her lifetime. “They’re not glittering and they don’t have all the bells and whistles, but they’re super functional.” For 30 years, beginning in the 1970s, Laura and her late husband Guy Waterman climbed and hiked extensively in the White Mountains, especially in winter. “Guy would have said that you develop a relationship with [your Limmers],” says Laura with a chuckle. “They are like a tool that fits on your foot.” When the couple wasn’t hiking mountains or doing trail work, they co-authored numerous books, including Summer/Fall 2020

Cabinetes, Counters, Hardware & Accessories Exemplary service and over 40 years of experience in the kitchen and bath industry.

Phone: 603-383-3030

Fax: 603-383-3110 43

Forest and Crag: A History of Hiking, Trail Blazing, and Adventure in the Northeast Mountains, The Green Guide to Low-Impact Hiking and Camping, and Wilderness Ethics, and contributed greatly to the protection and stewardship of New England’s fragile alpine zone. For all the important work the Watermans have done in the White Mountains, Laura says that going to Limmer’s shop in 1970 with Guy to have her foot traced still stands out as a defining moment of her life. “[Going to the shop] was like a rite of passage for me,” she notes. “It was right at the beginning of a huge change in the direction of my life, so getting the Limmers was like buying your first piton or climbing rope. Back then you felt like you were buying the best boots in the world.” Sadly, Guy took his life in February 2000 on Mount Lafayette. In a letter to his friends, he asked that his Limmers be placed inside a rock cairn that he had built off trail on the Franconia Ridge as a memorial for his son, Johnny, who passed away in 1981. Guy had put Johnny’s Limmers inside the cairn and he wanted nothing more than to see that their boots could rest peacefully in the alpine tundra together. Doug Mayer The Limmer Liaison As more people recreated in the White Mountains in the 1990s, the need to maintain the aging hiking trails was answered by trail crews and a litany of volunteers, most choosing Limmers as their work boot of choice. For Doug Mayer, Randolph Mountain Club trails chair and co-chair from 1991–2001, Limmer boots were the iconic figure of the White Mountains during those times. Half-way through the summer field season, Mayer would take his trail crew to Peter’s shop for a custom-boot tracing or a fitting for some used boots. “To own [Limmers] was to be part of the club,” says Mayer, who bought his first pair in the early 1980s while interning at the Mount Washington Observatory. “To have a pair and take care of them was how I knew I was with someone who knew their

“To own [Limmers] was to be part of the club,” says Mayer, who bought his first pair in the early 1980s while interning at the Mount Washington Observatory. “To have a pair and take care of them was how I knew I was with someone who knew their shit ... “

shit. If you’re on a [search-and-] rescue or if you’re running around the mountains and you see someone in Limmers, chances are damn good they were someone who had their wits about them, had a lot of experience, and they could be counted on.” Owning a pair of Limmers was a “social shortcut,” as Mayer describes it, to understanding if a person had an established bond to the White Mountains. “You had to be curious to find out about Limmers back then,” Mayer notes. “You either knew someone that wore the boots or you found out about them on your own.” In 2005, Mayer and Rebecca Oreskes interviewed Peter’s cousin Karl, who worked alongside Peter at the shop at the time, for a book they co-authored called Mountain Voices: Stories of Life and Adventure in the White Mountains and Beyond. Reflecting on what he had learned in that interview, Mayer says that he is still amazed by the fact that the top grain leather for the boots is made in Germany from cows that live in high elevations where they are exposed to harsh

TOP PHOTO: During a hut-to-hut trip to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the Lakes of the Clouds Hut, Becky Fullerton’s hiking outfit consisted of wool knickers—short pants gathered at the knee that were popular in the U.S. from the 1860s up through about the 1920s. By 1915, women were wearing them more than the traditional long skirts of old. Fullerton’s were crafted from a pair of light wool Swiss army pants that she found at the Army Barracks in Conway. Fullerton’s coat is a Dutch-made military-style wool coat from 1955, though it fits well with the style from 1915, she notes. MIDDLE: Adam Lane-Olsen works on a pair of custom boots at the Peter Limmer & Sons workshop in Intervale. BOTTOM: The author, wearing a pair of stock Limmer boots, watches a layer of undercast roll in beneath Mount Jefferson. Photo: Jennifer Smith. 44

The Anatomy of LimmerS

A scree collar made with soft leather with open-cell foam padding is designed to hinder pebbles or bits of matter from entering the boot.

Limmer’s tongue design integrates open-cell foam padded with the outer bellows providing protection over the instep. The moderate padding has sufficient bellows to facilitate ease of entry while guaranteeing waterproof construction.

The inner lining, made from fine quality leather; coupled with the leather upper, allows Limmer boots to be characterized as “all leather” boots.

Limmer boots utilize two rows of stitching just outside the lacing fixtures, preventing the leather from stretching out and altering fit.

The Limmer single-piece pattern strategically locates the single seam at the concave curve of the arch, assuring the shortest length for the least number of stitches that can either tear out or leak. This location, as opposed to the convex surface at the back of the foot, affords it greater protection from wear. The toe box contains reinforced fiber helping the area maintain proper shape while providing added protection for the toes.

The Vibram® Lug Sole is used exclusively on every model of Limmer boot to ensure the toughest possible bottom. Lug pattern and thickness vary according to model. 45


CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Family photos and ephemera dating back five generations adorn the walls of the Peter Limmer & Sons workshop. Cobbler Ken Smith repairs a boot’s scree collar on a 1940 Singer 29K sewing machine. Adam Lane-Olsen (left) and Peter Limmer discuss how to fix a Landis K Stitcher. In the early stages of the bootmaking process, the boot’s liner and outer leather (pictured) are glued together before the tongue and hooks are added.

elements much like the White Mountains. “It’s that kind of material sourcing that a lot of companies aren’t thinking about today that makes Limmer stand out from others,” he says.

Becky Fullerton For the Love of Limmers If diamonds aren’t your partner’s best friend, try giving them a pair of Limmers. Such was the case for Becky Fullerton, AMC’s archivist, whose husband, Stu, gave his place on the custom-boot waiting list to her so she could get her own pair. “When I met Stu in 2001, he wore a pair of custom Limmers,” she recalls. “When he had that pair made, he put his name back on the list for another pair, thinking he would beat the current pair into oblivion pretty quickly. Instead, when his name came up for a new pair in 2006, he gave that spot to me. That’s when I knew he was a keeper.” In 2011, Stu and Becky got married and created many memories of hiking in their custom boots in the Whites. In 2015, for the 100th anniversary of AMC’s Lakes of the Clouds Hut, Becky dressed in a 1915 period costume and spent a week hiking hut-to-hut from Greenleaf Hut to Madison Spring Hut. She could not find the right boot that she could break in before her hike and one that she could trust would hold up against the rocky trails, so she wore her Limmers. “People asked a million questions about my costume, including the boots,” Fullerton notes. “Being made of leather, they did fit the material of the times, and if anyone asked about their likeness to boots actually worn in the 1910s, I would say they might not look exactly like boots from a hundred years ago, but the bootmaking family traced back that far!” Adam Lane-Olsen From Banker to Bootmaker In 2015, Adam Lane-Olsen, 41, left his job as a banker to become Peter’s apprentice. Lane-Olsen confesses that it was Limmer’s legacy of bootmaking dating back five generations that compelled him to take the plunge and change careers. “[Shoemaking] was something that never crossed my mind as a thing that I would do,” says Lane-Olsen, who moved from Michigan to Fryeburg, Maine, in 2013 so his wife could pursue a job in ministry. “I consider myself a woodworker. I really appreciate and enjoy those hands-on kinds of things, but as far as shoemaking goes, it was never on my radar.” When he first stepped foot in Peter’s shop, Lane-Olsen remembers that the nostalgia the building evoked and the smell of solvents wafting in the dusty air made him feel like he was home. “[The shop] is a place that felt incredibly familiar to me even though I’d never been there before,” he says. “Seeing the old tools and the photos of customers wearing their Limmers on the wall immediately drew me in.” LaneOlsen has been quick to pick up the craft, gleaning everything he can from Peter and cobbler Ken Smith, and he has improved upon his ability to repair and build boots. “What’s super fun [to me] is to be able to take a pair of boots that somebody’s grandfather had worn and make them work for you,” he says. As Lane-Olsen spends more time at the shop, he’s met past and present trail crew, hut crew, and Fish and Game conservation officers, who have shared stories and deepened Lane-Olsen’s appreciation for the work that’s been done in the boots he repairs. “Out of all the people I’ve met, I’ve found that [trail crews] are very closely tied to their footwear,” he notes. “The boots are almost as tough as the people wearing them.” Eventually, Peter plans to retire and hand the business over to Lane-Olsen. “After 47 years, it is about time for me to hit some of the peaks I have only heard about from my customers,” Peter says. Though it’s hard to say which mountain he’ll start off with, there’s no question as to what kind of boots he’ll be wearing on his feet.

Summer/Fall 2020


Joe Klementovich photo

TEAMING UP TO TEND TO THE TRAILS by Lynne LaPlante Castonguay

Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much. - Helen Keller

The White Mountain Trail Collective Turns Its Focus to the Mt. Washington Valley Where do you go to clear your mind, heal your soul, and exhilarate your body? For many of us who live in or visit the Valley, our first thought is a trail. The White Mountain National Forest attracts millions of visitors from around the world each year who use its trails as access points to activities they love. Do you ever wonder, as you approach Thin Air, or hike to Glen Ellis Falls, or don

executive director of the White Mountain Trail Collective (WMTC) explains that no set organization maintains all the trails within the White Mountain National Forest. Trail clubs, formed with groups of like-minded folks who see the importance of trail systems and adopt trail maintenance, have been around for hundreds of years. These clubs, volunteers, and professional crews that are hired by groups all work on a multitude of areas separately or together. The truth is, there are many, many groups working indepen-

no organization that doesn’t need help in some way. The WMTC is a backbone organization that performs essential functions so that individual and club maintainers’ efforts are more efficient. “We come in and add capacity to the amazing work they are already doing,” says Luce. Individual trail maintenance and land management efforts and projects are many, but organizations sometimes struggle to make an impact due to a lack of volunteers (and a larger lack of volunteers with expertise), to achieve funding, hire

your helmet to take on Kettle Ridge, who it is that made that climbing access, hiking, or mountain biking path—and who preserves, maintains, and protects it for us? Often the assumption is that the State of New Hampshire, the National Forest Service, or even the AMC maintain all the trails in the White Mountain National Forest (WMNF). However, Melanie Luce,

dently to develop, maintain, and repair the plethora of trail systems in the Valley. These organizations are challenged with finding funding and volunteers to achieve their goals; the WMTC wants to help them get those resources and unify them with other groups to fulfill these objectives in the White Mountain National Forest. Luce explains that there is

crews, and purchase tools. In addition, they sometimes lack the knowledge, contacts, and skills to find and obtain available grants. The “Collective” helps them with these challenges and unites them with other groups in a communal effort. “The Trail Collective is not about the Trail Collective. It’s about our partners, trail maintainers, and stewardship,”

The mission of the White Mountain Trail Collective (WMTC) is to preserve the legacy of trail stewardship in the White Mountains Region by supporting and enhancing sustainable care of our trails.


explains Luce. Their mission is “to preserve the legacy of trail stewardship in the White Mountains Region by supporting and enhancing sustainable care of our trails,” and they accomplish it by supporting local projects and organizations with funding, work force, and training. Funded with a healthy mix of grants and private donations, Luce explains that the Collective tries to seek more federal funding, so as not to compete on the local levels with partner organizations. “We don’t want to take funding from partners. Any funding we get goes back to our partners. It’s all about them,” she says. Who benefits? WMTC project coordinator Yohann Hanley explains that locals, tourists, and visitors with a variety of interests will benefit from projects taken on by the WMTC

Last year, the Collective successfully joined forces with nine organizations to repair and maintain the Crawford Path. In 2020 and 2021, the Collective’s focus is dedicated to the Mt. Washington Valley/Saco River Drainage Area.

and its partners. “The end users of our trails are as varied as the trails themselves,” he says. Last year, the Collective successfully joined forces with nine organizations to repair and maintain the Crawford Path. In 2020 and 2021, the Collective’s focus is dedicated to the Mt. Washington Valley/Saco River Drainage Area. Currently, they are focused on the Mount Washington Valley Collaboration Project, a partnership between the White Mountain Trail Collective and staff from several non-profit organizations, land managers, and paid contractors, with a goal “to promote and improve outdoor recreation in the Mt. Washington Valley.” The Collaboration Project aims to “build and create a network of sustainable trail systems and jobs to bring together the outdoor community.” The trails they work on will accommodate locals and tourists alike for climbing access, hiking, and mountain biking. The partner organizations, overseen by the WMTC, will work together this year (in different combinations on each of the project areas) to maintain and develop Glen Ellis Falls, Cathedral Ledge, Hurricane Mountain, and Cranmore Connector. Hanley, a climber and hiker dedicated to conservation, will oversee the Collaboration’s four on-the-ground projects this summer. He explains, “It’s not just ‘we’re doing a project’—it’s that we’re facilitating a project for our partners and bringing in other partners. We’re trying to pass that knowledge around.” “Our whole goal as a collective is to provide funding and the ability for groups to come out and do trail work. The Access Fund has had this [Cathedral Ledge] project in its back pocket for two or three years, trying to get the funding, so we were able to help get it funded; and we’re going to take a big portion of the funding and we’re going to split it up. A lot of it is going to the AMC for their crew to come out; another portion of it is going to the Access Fund to pay for their crew. More of it is going to Vermont Youth Conservation Corps to pay for a crew for them to come out,” says Hanley, who will Summer/Fall 2020


work most closely at the Cathedral project. “One of my favorite things about trail work is being able to go back in 5, 10, 15 years and see the work still in place. I have been lucky enough to have my hands on trails all over the WMNF and other parts of the Northeast, so I regularly get to see that work when I go out to hike or climb—with the knowledge that those structures have served hundreds of thousands of people over the years, allowing them to safely access these beautiful spaces,” says Hanley. Glen Ellis Falls was one of many areas that was developed during the Roosevelt era, when the former president hired skilled laborers who were out of work to do conservation projects.

quarter-mile long and there’s all this gorgeous old-world stone mason work. It’s something else! It’s beautiful. A big part of that project is restoring some of that historical work, which will be a huge learning experience for me because I’ve never done anything like that,” Schultz adds. “As a kid, there was a great walking path behind my home where I used to go to de-stress. I thought it would be great to give that to the world. I guess I do it [trail work] because I want everyone to have a safe, non-biased space to go and de-stress and just be out there with your own thoughts—no pressure from the outside world, no technology. I think it’s a really special and important space to have, especially in today’s world,” says Schultz with a smile. She is enthusiastic about another aspect of Glen Ellis Falls work: accessibility. “We are going to be

“Out of that era, a lot of really cool trails and interesting work came about,” explains Ally Schultz, assistant project coordinator for WMTC. The work here is a historical restoration of trails for walkers and hikers that were originally built in the 1930s by Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Drainage issues, eroded treadway, and slumming base materials will be addressed and repaired. Schultz is excited about the stonework repair on the project. “It’s a little less than a

building a section of accessible trail for people that are handicapped or have a tough time walking. It’s pretty popular—and it’s pretty steep—but there’s a nice flat spot to the falls and it will be cool to be getting more people out there,” she beams. Jason Whitehead, director of operations for HistoriCorps, a Colorado-based non-profit that specializes in hands-on historic preservation education, will join Schultz at Glen Ellis. “We will be teaching historic rockwork techniques to the crew so that their work will match the work of the CCC era rockwork,” he


Glen Ellis Falls was one of many areas that was developed during the Roosevelt era, when the former president hired skilled laborers who were out of work to do conservation projects.






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(603) 323-8135

Lynne LaPlante Castonguay photo

explains. “We are really excited to be building a new relationship with WMTC and the White Mountain National Forest.” Also working at Glen Ellis will be Dusty May, Conservation Corps director of Vermont-based NorthWoods Stewardship Center, who will lead a professional crew. May and his crew worked last year with the WMTC on the Crawford Path project. “The Conservation Corps was excited to expand our reach and start working within the White Mountain National Forest,” says May. Hanley adds that there will also be involvement from the Androscoggin District trail crew.


At Cathedral Ledge, WMTC joins with members of partner organizations at the State of NH Parks, National Forest Foundation, Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC), and the Access Fund in the repair of deteriorated wooden trail supports on the steep slope near the base of the iconic climb, Thin Air. The route is heavily traveled by climbers and onlookers. The work will require highline rigging, stone splitting, and shaping dry stack stone to build stone steps and a retaining wall that will endure time and protect from erosion, making the trail safer and more accessible. Mike Morin is the Northeast director of the Access Fund, a national non-profit that keeps climbing areas open and conserved across the U.S., which will celebrate its 30th anniversary next year. The avid climber who attributes some of his interest ed in conservation to childhood icons, Woodsy the Owl and Ranger Rick, will work closely on the Cathedral Project. ed No stranger to Cathedral, Morin who in 2016, took point ed for the Access Fund, and joined with local organization, Friends smooth_dissolve of Ledges, to build a big stone retaining structure at the base

Yohann Hanley and Ally Schultz from WMTC, and Mike Morin, Northeast director of the Access Fund, stand alongside of Cathedral Ledge where their organizations have partnered with others to repair deteriorated wooden trail supports at the base of iconic climb Thin Air.



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Summer/Fall 2020

Open Daily Dailyat at11am 11am Open (603)733-5550 733-5550 (603) 6 1464 Mountain Valley Blvd, Highway No Conway White Mountain



of popular historic Henry Barber climb, They Died Laughing, recognized the unmet maintenance needs at Cathedral. The Access Fund’s conservation team crew will be joining Morin and the WMTC in July at Cathedral to address those needs to build long-lasting structures from stone. They hope that the work they do this summer will last a century. Because of its history

has hired consultant Matt Couglin from Recon Trail Design to teach them how to properly use the rigging to place it in the right locations. “Part of what the trail collective does involves hosting trainings and inviting others to come in,” says Hanley. WMTC will use the inclusion of Coughlin at the Cathedral Project as a training opportunity for their staff and for their

in mountaineering, the trails of the White Mountains tend to require more structure than other parts of the country. Tools and technique haven’t changed a whole lot over the years. “We will use feathers and wedges, drills to turn larger boulders into usable building material,” details Morin. Morin is happy to see the work finally addressed and grateful that the WMTC’s partnership made the project possible. “The cool part of this project is that the WMTC is serving as a mechanism to help fund this work. They did all the fundraising, which is a full-time job, frankly,” says Morin. Building a climbing access route is different than building a hiking or biking trail. “You don’t think of things the same way when you are designing a hiking trail, versus a climbing access trail versus a mountain biking trail,” says Morin. Because climbers use the trail differently than hikers, Morin explains that understanding user patterns helps with planning the repair. Getting the stone in place will be complicated, and WMTC

partners. The training will bring together several organizations to spread the skills out more. “We have the money for the training, but we also want all of our other partners and clubs to have access to that training,” Hanley adds. Summer is a busy time for climbers. “We do our best to work around the folks that are visiting these sites to climb,” explains Morin. Generally, says Morin, climbers really appreciate the work being done. At Cathedral, for safety reasons, there will be some temporary closures in the area being worked on and Morin has alerted climbing guides of this in advance. The AMC’s professional trail crew worked with WMTC on the Crawford Path project, and WMTC hired them to work this summer at Cathedral ledge. Zack Urgese, AMC, White Mountain Trails supervisor remarks on what he is most excited about: “The finished product! Trail work is always a process. That process can be fast or slow, easy or hard; either way, I think the before and after at this particular site will be amazing.”

They hope that the work they do this summer will last a century. Because of its history in mountaineering, the trails of the Whites tend to require more structure than other parts of the country.

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WMCT has hired professional trail contractors Corbett Tulip of Tulip Trails and Chris Lewando of Tyrol Trail to work on various mountain bike trail projects around Cranmore and Black Cap Mountain. Tulip, who grew up riding the very trails being worked on, is excited to see the Valley’s unique terrain and recreational resources being recognized and developed for mountain biking in the region.


WMTC partners Ride NOCO, Cranmore Mountain, Conway Conservation Commission, and Upper Saco Valley Land Trust, come together to focus on the Cranmore Connector, a popular hiking trail and main artery trail to access the mountain bike trail network in the Hurricane Mountain zone that is suffering erosion, deterioration, and structural loss from overuse and water runoff. “This new trail is intended to remove downhill bike traffic from the existing connector trail, which is a hiking and biking trail, and gets very busy,” explains Hanley. The project involves rockwork, scree wall, and switchback repair and development, along with the development of the new, dedicated downhill mountain biking trail between Black Cap and Cranmore Mountain. Sometimes WMTC brings in paid contractors when volunteers or employees don’t have the skillset or time to complete a given project. “It is more difficult to find people with the

on the existing multi-use trail,” explains Ide. He says the greatest challenges will be the site’s minimal soils and rocky terrain. Ide looks forward to “riding our finished product and the other great trails that exist there!” A combination of hired trail crews and volunteer crews will be used to finish the trail, and all crews will be provided trail maintenance training to establish a sustainable maintenance program so the trail will continue to thrive.


The Collaboration will focus on mountain biking trails at Hurricane Mountain. This project, which will alleviate a parking problem on Hurricane Mountain Road (HMR) and at the Black Cap, focuses on two machine-built mountain bike trails in a bi-directional connector corridor from Cranmore Mountain north to Hurricane Mountain Road. New trails will allow bikers

The project involves rockwork, scree wall, and switchback repair, along with the development of the new, dedicated downhill mountain biking trail between Black Cap and Cranmore Mountain.

skillsets needed to do more advanced trail work, such as setting rocks, cutting down trees, operating highline systems—those require training and skill. And finding people who are dedicated to doing it right can be an issue, too,” says Hanley. Both of the Collaborative’s mountain biking projects will be completed by hired contractors. “The mountain biking trails require a certain level of experience to execute well,” explains Hanley. Professional trail builder Knight Ide of IdeRide will build the 1-mile, hybrid, flow/jump parallel mountain biking trail which will be 3 to 4 feet wide with full bench construction, armoring, bridges, and beams. “This will alleviate bike traffic

wanting access to the popular trail network to park at the base of Cranmore Mountain Ski Resort. “This trail connects the larger parking area at Cranmore with the parking areas on Hurricane Mountain Road and also collects the ends of several existing trails that currently end in neighborhoods. The aim is to reduce/eliminate parking pressures on HMR, and reduce user conflict in the neighborhoods,” says Hanley. “Machine-built biking trails require special training with machinery and construction techniques that are very different from building a hiking or climbing access trail,” explains Hanley. Because of the level of complexity and skill required, the WMCT has hired


professional trail contractors Chris Lewando of Tyrol Trail and Corbett Tulip of Tulip Trails to work on this project. Tulip says he is excited to see the Valley’s unique terrain and recreational resources being recognized and developed for mountain biking. “I am also very excited and honored to be spending the entire summer building trails in the same hills I grew up riding mountain bikes in as a kid.” “The trails we are constructing are much-needed additions to the growing network,” says Tulip, whose Rumneybased company specializes in mountain bike trail design and construction. “The climbing trail we are building will become a major access and artery for the entire trail network on Cranmore Mountain and Black Cap. It is a huge step and investment for the MWV and creating easy, safe access between North Conway Village, Cranmore Mountain, and Hurricane Mountain Road,” he adds. Tulip says the area is “great for constructing.” One challenge that Tulip foresees is unrelated to his trail work at the site. It is “the major increase in riding traffic [in the MWV] they are going to see as it becomes a major riding destination. Trail user conflicts and keeping up with trail maintenance and

damage for increased riders will be growing pains for the clubs.” The WMTC plans to rotate its assistance through the three major districts of the White Mountain National Forest every two years. When the Mount Washington Valley Collaboration Project is completed, the WMTC will move its focus from the Saco River district, to the Pemigewasset District and then to the Androscoggin district, “unless we grow enough that we can do multiple districts in a given year,” says Hanley. While the four projects under the Collaborative’s focus are all unique in their own ways and will be worked on by specific organizations, planned individually and executed differently, they are truly a collaboration of effort and love for conservation by a community of organizations to improve the Mt. Washington Valley. “Without these groups, the trails would disappear. Weather events and overuse will cause them to disappear. It would drastically change the experience that the user has when they go into the woods,” says Luce. She asks, “If you’re aware of the importance of maintaining trails, please donate. If you aren’t able to donate, please

Partners on the Mount Washington Valley Collaboration Project

White Mountain National Forest HistoriCorps National Forest Foundation State of New Hampshire Parks Access Fund Ride NOCO Cranmore Mountain Conway Conservation Commission Upper Saco Valley Land Trust The Nature Conservancy State of New Hampshire Conway Conservation Commission • Map design by Resilience Planning & Design LLC share the information with your friends, or on social media. We’re happy to get people involved and happily welcome volunteers—so please reach out!” WANT TO HELP? You can contribute to the Mount Washington Valley Trail Collective, or any the specific projects they manage, via their website,


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Paddling Quiet waters in the Mt. Washington Valley


hen most folks think about paddling in the Mt. Washington Valley, they think of the sandy beaches and meandering waters of the Saco River. The most popular sections of the Saco—between First Bridge in North Conway and Davis Park in Conway, and below the Route 302 bridge in Redstone into western


The folks at Great Glen Trails in Pinkham Notch like to use the tagline “Closer To Nature, Away from the Crowds” for good reasons. Their guided paddling tours on the meandering Androscoggin River provide opportunities for wildlife sightings during half- and full-day trips. Photo by Wiseguy Creative

Maine—attract thousands of canoers, kayakers, and tubers each year. But for those seeking to get off of the beaten path and explore beyond these crowded waters, the lesser-known rivers and lakes of the extended Valley region offer solitude, stunning scenery, and excellent wildlife viewing opportunities. Summer/Fall 2020


Photo by Wiseguy Creative

The upper sections of the Saco River offer a less crowded experience, with a bit of easy whitewater excitement thrown in for good measure. The “Ledges” section, immediately above First Bridge, provides stunning views of Humphrey’s, Cathedral, and Whitehorse Ledges, and a few Class I rapids to navigate to keep things interesting—remember to aim for the downstream “V." Access the river at the Humphrey’s Ledge pull out on the upper West Side Road and carry your canoe or kayak over the guardrail and down the embankment. Make sure to start all the way on the left side of the river as you pass the white gazebo on the right bank, to avoid a shallow gravel bar on the right. This section collects strainers, so give any downed trees a wide berth.

rapids are found just upstream of the Covered Bridge Shoppe in Bartlett, as you pass under the Conway Scenic Railroad trestle, and after the following sharp left-hand bend in the river. Take out 5.5 miles downstream at the Humphrey’s Ledge pull out on the West Side road for a long half-day, or continue on down to First Bridge for a full-day trip.

Take out at First Bridge in North Conway, 3.5 miles downstream. This is a half-day trip. Further upstream, the Inferno section of the Saco offers some easy whitewater to spice things up a bit. This section is used as the kayak-leg of the annual Tuckerman Inferno pentathlon adventure race. Access the river at the Thorne Pond conservation area directly across from Attitash Ski Area’s Bear Peak base area. The action starts right off with several gravel-bar rapids with large boulders to dodge. The most significant Class II

into Maine. The Androscoggin River Trail, managed by the Androscoggin River Watershed Council (ARWC) provides great opportunities for overnight river trips, family-friendly whitewater rafting, and excellent instructional venues for whitewater canoeing and kayaking. The stretch between Gorham, NH and Bethel, ME is an accessible day trip from the Mt. Washington Valley, offering stunning views of the Northern Presidentials and Mahoosic Mountain ranges; moose, beaver, bird, and other wildlife sightings; and great swimming holes along the way.

North of the Notches

Over on the other side of Pinkham Notch, the Androscoggin River offers a less-trafficked alternative to the Saco. The Androscoggin flows out of Umbagog Lake and meanders through northern NH, turning west in Gorham NH and heading back

The Androscoggin River Trail, managed by the Androscoggin River Watershed Council (ARWC) provides great opportunities for overnight river trips, family-friendly whitewater rafting, and excellent instructional venues for whitewater canoeing and kayaking.


Photo by Jake Risch

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There are three access points managed by the ARWC that allow for both full- and half-day trips. The first is at the Shelburne Bridge on Meadow Road in Shelburne, NH. The second is at the Gilead Bridge on Bridge Street in Gilead, ME. The third is at Bethel Outdoor Adventures on Route 5 in Bethel, ME. The Shelburne to Gilead stretch is 6 miles long, and the Gilead to Bethel Stretch is nearly 10 miles. The Androscoggin continues on through western Maine with plenty of other options for exploring as the river meanders its way to the Ocean in Bath, ME.

South of the Saco

On the southern edge of the Mt. Washington Valley, the Bearcamp River drains the Sandwich Range of the White Mountains. There are two main sections of the Bearcamp. The river offers intermediate to advanced whitewater paddling as it passes through South Tamworth to the base of Whittier Mountain in West Ossipee. The more accessible flatwater trip starts as the Bearcamp flows under the Route 25 bridge just west of the Yankee Smokehouse at the Route 16/25 intersection. This trip combines the best of river and lake paddling. The clear water of the Bearcamp twists and turns through old New England forests with white sand beaches and refreshing swimming spots on its way to Ossipee Lake. Crossing Ossipee Lake offers stunning views of the surrounding mountain range and plenty of opportunities for wildlife viewing. The end of the trip is at the public boat launch site on the Pine River on the south side of the lake. This trip is a bit over 8 Summer/Fall 2020

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Some of the smaller lakes around the Valley, such as Chocorua, Conway, and Silver Lakes, offer spectacular opportunities to break away from the crowds—and stand-up paddleboarding is just another way to enjoy being on the water.


Our White Mountain rivers and lakes see thousands of visitors every summer and fall. It is incumbent on all of the users to be good stewards of this vital re­source. The best way to keep the beaches clean and safe is to minimize litter that enters the river. Avoid bringing glass bottles on the river. Use a strap or other system to lock packs and coolers to reduce the chances that contents spill into the river if a boat capsizes. Have a plan to contain trash other than using the bottom of the boat as a container. Bury human waste in at least 6 inches of soil above the highwater mark—not on the beach or on private property. If you plan to spend more than an afternoon on the river, only kindle fires with the appropriate permits and with dead and down wood—preferably driftwood—on sandbars only. Do not cut live trees. Respect private land, and avoid contributing to the erosion of sandy river banks.

miles and will take around four hours. Extend the trip to cover a full day by spending more time exploring Ossipee Lake. There is more remote canoeing for intrepid explorers in the Upper Bearcamp watershed. Google Earth is your friend to figure out access points and hazards. The Ossipee River drains Ossipee Lake and joins the Saco River in Cornish, ME and also has lots of stretches to explore in a canoe or kayak.

Lakes and Ponds of the Valley

The lakes and ponds in the southern half of the Mt. Washington Valley offer a different flavor of paddling. Many of these bodies of water offer spectacular views of the White Mountains and Presidential Range, opportunities to observe loons, mergansers, and other water foul, great fishing, and plenty of swimming holes to beat the heat. Another advantage of lake paddling is that you start and finish in the same place, simplifying your logistics for the day. Access Conway Lake from an access poi r Road for a more re-

The lakes and ponds in the southern half of the Mt. Washington Valley offer a different flavor of paddling. Many of these bodies of water offer spectacular views of the White Mountains and Presidential Range, opportunities to observe loons, mergansers, and other water foul, great fishing, and plenty of swimming holes to beat the heat.

mote feel and to avoid the hustle and bustle of the public boat ramp. Access Silver Lake in Madison from the Kennett Park cartop boat launch on Route 113 in Silver Lake. Access Chocorua Lake and majestic views of Mount Chocorua from “the Island” cartop access site on the west shore of the lake, off of the old Route 16 roadbed in Chocorua or from the Grove by the narrows bridge on the south end of the lake. In addition to



Find kayak, paddleboard, and canoe rentals at the following outlets. GUIDED TOURS/INSTRUCTION - GREAT GLEN TRAILS OUTDOOR CENTER 1 Mt. Washington Auto Road, Gorham, NH (603) 466-3988 • GUIDED TOURS - RAFT NH 196 Main Street, Gorham, NH (603) 545-4533 •

RENTALS - SACO CANOE RENTALS COMPANY 558 White Mountain Highway, Conway, NH (603) 447-4275 • www.sacocanoerentals RENTALS - SACO VALLEY CANOE 1734 East Main Street, Center Conway, NH (603) 447-2444 • RENTALS - SACO RIVER CANOE & KAYAK 1009 Main Street, Fryeburg, ME (207) 935-2369 • RENTALS - SACO BOUND CANOE & KAYAK 2561 East Main Street, Center Conway, NH (603) 447-2177 •

these main Valley lakes, there are several lakes and ponds in Eaton, including Crystal Lake, Long Pond, and Purity Lake; Iona Lake and Whitton Pond in Albany; and Pea Porridge Pond in North Conway that are worth an evening paddle. Make sure to respect local landowners and only use designated public access points. From hair-raising extreme whitewater to placid remote unpopulated ponds, the Mt. Washington Valley has something for every paddler. This is just a brief sample of the day trips available to visitors and locals. If you are out exploring the waterways of the Valley, adventure responsibly, wear a personal flotation device, pay attention to the weather, bring plenty of food and water, be mindful of your alcohol consumption, and aware of the natural hazards on your trip. There are several professional guide services and liveries available in the Valley to outfit, help with logistics, and/ or provide guiding or instruction. Most of all, appreciate and enjoy the natural beauty of the area, and do what you can to leave it the way you found it.

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Curiously Elusive & Elusively Curious

This High-Elevation Mountain Dweller May Be Watching You on Your Next White Mountain Hike By Matt Maloney

Photo by Owen Strictland


or many who venture into the Mt. Washington Valley for the first time, or even the hundredth time, there is often a desire to leave behind the bustle of North Conway and head into the forest for a chance to see some wildlife. Moose and bear are probably the greatest crowd pleasers, in addition to fox, coyote, and porcupine. Most animals stay hidden though, reluctant to leave behind the resources and relative safety that their habitat provides. As you spend more time in the backcountry, the chances of seeing wildlife improve as you hone your observation skills, become more patient, and learn the distinctive features of the habitat that wildlife prefer. The pine marten is one of only a few mammals that can be found primarily at high elevations in New Hampshire, and unlike moose and bear, are rarely seen traipsing

So what are your odds of seeing a pine marten? I can tell you that many more hikers see martens than they do fishers and other weasels. My reasoning is that martens seem to be intuitively curious. They have a reputation for people watching, usually from the safety of a tree, and they are fond of hiker food and engage in various forms of chicanery, including stealing underwear that’s left out to dry at a campsite. I’ve seen fishers on my hikes but they always run away and seem to be quite wary of us. The same goes for mink and the other weasels, with the exception of the curious water-loving otter. Of our land-loving weasels, though, none is more seemingly tolerant of humans than the pine marten. On several occasions, I’ve seen them staring at me intently from a tree branch. Sometimes they will chatter at me, not

The pine marten is one of only a few mammals that can be found primarily at high elevations in New Hampshire, and unlike moose and bear, are rarely seen traipsing along the ride. But with a trained eye—or some pure luck—the pine marten could be the next animal that you check off your wildlife list. along the ride. But with a trained eye—or some pure luck—the pine marten could be the next animal that you check off your wildlife list. Throughout North America, the pine marten’s habitat is almost exclusively boreal or spruce-fir forests. Unlike northern Canada, where these type of forests dominant, most of the boreal habitat in New Hampshire, especially in the White Mountains, is limited to elevations of 3,000 feet and above. The pine marten is a subject of great curiosity amongst hikers. It doesn’t share habitat with people living in the Valley like the black bear does. Many folks who are lucky enough to see one describe it as a weasellike creature, which is correct. The pine marten is a mustelid and a member of the Mustelidae, or weasel, family. Other weasels that can be found in forests throughout New England include fishers, minks, ermines, long-tailed weasels, and otters.

necessarily thrilled at my presence, but generally I’ve found martens to be quiet and merely curious. A pine marten has very fine reddish brown fur, a long tail, and short, pointy ears. Their body is typical weasel in form: long and tubular. They have sharp, little canines that are used for catching and restraining their prey, including red squirrels, redbacked voles, snowshoe hares, and grouse. Like all mustelids, pine martens are predators, thus they are always on the prowl. In winter, when snow covers the ground to great depths, martens become subnivean (below the snow) hunters, tunneling beneath the snow in pursuit of mice and voles that live in this zone. In the warmer months, martens will also eat insects and fruit occasionally, embracing the omnivorous lifestyle. Pine martens mate in July and August and give birth to 1 to 5 kits in March or April (NH Fish & Game



The fisher Photo by Andrew Dreelin


Martes americana ORDER: Carnivora FAMILY: Mustelidae

Population Size: Uncertain Life Span: 12-17 Years Weight: 280-1300 g (1-2.5 lbs) Length: 32-45 CM (12-18”)

website). I have never been fortunate enough to find a den full of kits, but it’s something to look out for in late winter. Martens prefer to set up their dens in tree cavities, abandoned squirrel nests, boulder piles, or anything else that offers good shelter. The marten was one of the most trapped and sought after animals for their fur in the 19th and early 20th century. By 1935, the marten population was in decline throughout New Hampshire (NH Fish & Game website). Thankfully, marten populations in the White Mountains have rebounded, though they are still listed as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need in New Hampshire, due in part to their very limited habitat. Though they might have lived in southern New Hampshire at one time, they are not known to live south of the White Mountains. If you’re interested in spying a pine marten without having to drive to Canada, look no further than the upper slopes of the Moat Mountains, which overlook North Conway and the Saco River valley. A drive up Route 302 to Crawford Notch will get you into even higher terrain that’s home to many 4,000-foot mountains that feature extensive spruce-fir marten habitat. If you’re

Though martens might have lived in southern New Hampshire at one time, they are not known to live south of the White Mountains.

a backpacker, the interior of the Pemigewasset Wilderness is a great place to spot a marten, especially around Shoal and Ethan ponds, extending south to Nancy and Norcross ponds. Wherever you explore, seeing a marten is a reward worth the effort. A sighting of this beautiful creature and knowing that there

Photo by Jake Davis


• Martens communicate to each other by sounds (such as huffs, chuckles and shouts) or visual signals, such as different body postures. • A group of martens’ is called a “richness”. are few other places that the marten can be seen should make us all feel thankful. All creatures need habitat and we have a gem of a forest that is the White Mountains that allows for the continued existence of unique creatures such as the pine marten.


Other members of the weasel family can be found throughout the forests and waterways of New England, including here in the Mt. Washington Valley.

The fisher is perhaps the most famous weasel, possibly be-

cause of its popular image as a vicious animal that’s not to be messed with. Relatively large for a weasel, fishers are harmless to humans and want nothing to do with people. Quite often they will climb a tree when they feel threatened; otherwise, they dash out of sight. Red squirrels and other small mammals are their chief food source in addition to bigger prey, including snowshoe hares, birds, and even porcupines! Fishers are one of the few animals that will take down the prickly porcupine, flipping them over and attacking their spike-less belly. Fishers get a bad reputation for eating domestic chickens and house cats, but they are no more to blame than any other wild predator. The otter is the region’s other large weasel but is mostly aquatic. Otters are curious and will approach a canoe or kayak from a safe distance to satiate their curiosity or to see if you’re a threat. The best way to see an otter is to spend time on the Saco River, Conway Lake, and or Mountain Pond in the White Mountain National Forest. Otters spend most of their time grooming and conditioning their water-resistant fur, which insulates them from the cold mountain-fed waters. Although usually seen from a boat, it is a nice treat to see their shiny fur as they lope about on land or move in a bounding fashion as they pick up speed. The slide prints that otters leave in the snow are one of the coolest


The otter

Photo by Peter Hoare

The mink

track patterns to observe on snowshoes in the winter! They will travel quite a ways over land as they move to different bodies of water, sliding on their bellies on any sort of an incline. Perhaps this is just for fun or maybe just for ease of movement. Their scat is green, slimy, and often full of fish scales. The mink is another primarily aquatic weasel, but is much smaller. Mink have shiny, black fur and can be observed in brooks, streams, and lakes. They feed on a wide array of creatures, such as frogs and mussels. I’ve been fortunate enough to come upon their bank dens on the side of rivers and lakes before. Sometimes the mink kits can be heard whimpering from within. In the northern portions of their ranges, weasels acquire a white winter coat for camouflage purposes, but the mink’s fur remains shades of brown to black.

Photo by Jake Davis

The ermine

Photo by Stephan Morris

Tin Mountain Conservation Center TMCC offers environmental education programs for school children, adults, and families that foster greater awareness, understanding, and appreciation of the natural environment. Programs, camps, and trails are offered at their 228-acre Field Station in Jackson as well as the Nature Learning Center in Albany, NH, which also serves as headquarters. Please call or visit the website for updates, plus changes in schedules and programs. Bald Hill Road, Albany, NH • (603) 447-6991 •


The ermine rounds out New England’s weasel species and

Matt Maloney is a teacher naturalist at Tin Mountain Conservation Center in Albany, New Hampshire. Tin Mountain Conservation Center (TMCC) offers environmental education programs for school children, adults, and families that foster greater awareness, understanding, and appreciation of the natural environment.

Summer/Fall 2020

1712 Lost River Road, North Woodstock, NH




is also known as the short-tailed or the long-tailed weasel. The ermine is the smallest of our weasels and is about the size of a red squirrel. They turn all white in the winter with the exception of their black-tipped tail. Why the tip of the tail remains black is a mystery, but one theory is that an attacking owl or hawk will see and go after their tail and not their head, which blends in with the white snow. Ermine are often seen around wood piles or stone walls hunting shrews, mice, and voles. The long-tailed weasel is very similar in appearance to the ermine. It has a black-tipped tail and it also turns white in the winter. The tail length, as the name implies, is the main identifying feature. Long-tailed weasels have tails that are equal to half their body length, while ermines have tails equal to about a third of their body length. Good luck telling one from the other as they dart away from you at high speeds! Also take note that all weasel species have powerful anal musk glands for marking their territories and often the scent is left near or on their scat and urine. So, if you don’t see a weasel, use your nose and it may lead you to some fresh scat.

ADVENTURE • 603.745.8031 67

The Balsams Resort CHRONICLES A Multi-Part Series Exploring the Past and Future of a Frozen-in-Time New Hampshire Grand Resort by Rick Tillotson

The Balsams Resort Chronicles is slated to be a series of short stories and rare photographs, featuring historic highlights surrounding The Balsams Resort, dormant since 2011. Written exclusively for Mt Washington Valley Vibe, each article will be followed by a brief update relaying the current status of The Balsams redevelopment and expansion efforts. This aerial photo was taken in the fall of 2019 and shows the current conditions of the main property.

Located in the northern part of Coos County, the remote and secluded township of Dixville, originally called Township No. 2, is roughly 70 driving miles north of the Mt. Washington Valley. During the height of the Grand Hotels era from 1870 to the early 1920s, it was more difficult to travel to Dixville than it was to any other hotel location in the White Mountains. Today, Dixville is widely known as the location of

The Balsams Grand Resort Hotel, which is currently closed and awaiting restoration and a re-birth. Since 1960, Dixville has been nationally known as one of the towns to vote first in presidential elections, mentioned in greater detail later in this article.

DIXVILLE NOTCH - WILD & RUGGED Running east to west and spanning only about three miles in length, Dixville Notch is considerably narrower than Pinkham, Crawford, and Franconia notches. The


The Balsams Resort, located in Dixville Notch, 70 miles north of the Mt. Washington Valley and just 20 miles south of the Canadian border, is a grand hotel and ski resort unlike any other in New England. The resort grounds cover 11,000 acres and feature 95 kilometers of cross-country ski trails and an alpine ski area, including 16 trails, five gladed areas, and a terrain park. The resort is also home to a nine-hole golf course in addition to an 18hole, Donald Ross-designed, championship course called the Panorama. After being purchased in December 2011, The Balsams closed to the public and it remains closed at the time of this publication. In 2014, former American Skiing Company head, Les Otten, joined The Balsams redevelopment and expansion effort to build a new hotel wing and renovate the main hotel buildings, the Dix and Hampshire houses, and the golf course clubhouse. Otten also plans to expand the resort’s ski area, quadrupling its current size and becoming one of the largest ski areas in the Northeast. After years of effort by the property owners, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu signed the so-called “Balsams Bill” into law in May 2019, allowing Coos County commissioners to create a tax increment financing district around The Balsams. Otten seeks to sell $28 million of bonds under the municipal finance structure in order to begin the redevelopment. No buyer for the bonds had been found as of January 2020.

earliest photos show little vegetation on its steep sides. Newspaper articles in the early 1800s reported frequent rockslides that buried the narrow road connecting Colebrook, NH, and the Connecticut and Mohawk river valleys to the west with Errol, N.H., and the Androscoggin River valley to the east. Rising nearly 800 feet from the valley floor and extending 100 feet from the mountainside, Table Rock is the notch’s tallest rock outcropping. With a viewpoint from the top that is only 8 feet at its wid-

Summer 2020

est, it is the most dangerous trail to hike in the notch. Summiting Table Rock affords hikers with expansive views of Maine, the Mohawk River Valley, Monadnock Mountain in Vermont, and Hereford Hill in the eastern townships of Quebec, Canada. Guidebooks during the 1800s often painted Dixville Notch as a place with wild, rugged terrain full of tall, jagged spires that have since eroded over time. Dixville Notch is also home to a series of beautiful waterfalls on the eastern side of the notch. Dixville


Flume is visible from the parking area on Route 26, while the Huntington Cascades are accessible via a relatively easy walking trail to the lower part of the falls. The cascades are named after Joshua Henry Huntington (1833– 1904), who was the principal assistant to state geologist Charles Hitchcock. Huntington Ravine on Mount Washington also bears his name. The original inhabitants of Dixville and Coos County were the Coashaukees of the Western Abenaki. The tall towering cliffs of Table Rock would have made an excellent lookout for tribe members to spot incoming visitors to the notch.

Unknown family on wagon in front of the original 25-rooom Dix House. This was taken at some point before the first major renovation in 1892. Note the Dix House sign on the roof. Credit: Scanned copy from personal collection.

This photo was taken between 1896-1899, after the second major renovation of the Dix House. The new owner, Henry Hale of Philadelphia, renamed it The Balsams and owned the property until 1922. Credit: C.P. Hibbard 3” Glass Negative from personal collection

FIRST SETTLEMENT In 1805, only two years after Coos County was created from a part of Grafton County, Township No. 2 was granted to Lt. Col. Timothy Dix of Boscawen, NH, by the New Hampshire Legislature. It was agreed that he would pay $4,500 and establish 30 settlements within five years, though little is known of Dix’s efforts after he purchased the land. The township was eventually passed to the care of Daniel Webster after Dix’s death in the War of 1812. Webster, a noted attorney and statesman who was also from Boscawen, shared the ownership with his brother, Ezekial, and William Gerrish of Salisbury, NH. Dixville’s first settlers were John and Betsey Whittemore of Rumford, Maine, who moved to the notch in 1812 with their four children. Historic documents state that John left the notch shortly after his wife passed away in the winter of 1815; however, he was listed in every census as a farmer in the notch from 1820 to 1840. Unlike the location of the current hotel, the Whittemore house, which was also used as a wayside inn, was built on the eastern side of the notch just past the small roadside cemetery near the Flume and Huntington cascades. John passed away in 1846, leaving his new wife and daughter alone in the notch. His wife would remarry and move to nearby Columbia.

DIX HOUSE The Dix House was a 25-room summer inn built by George and Clara Parsons of Colebrook. It was formally opened on July 14, 1875, with about 500 people in attendance. The house was named after the town’s founder, Timothy Dix, whose son, John Adams Dix, a Union major general and the governor of New York, wasn’t able to attend the ceremonial event, but said the following about the occasion in the Essex County Herald: “My knowledge of [Dixville Notch] dates from my childhood. I remember it as the object of my father’s expeditions from 1805, when a portion of the township was granted to him by the State, to 1810, when he became the owner of the remaining portion. His departures from his home at Boscawen, always once in summer, and usually once in winter, are among my earliest recollections.” Interestingly, John Adams Dix was also attributed to this famous line written in 1861, a few months before the Civil War: “If any one attempts to haul down the American flag, shoot him on the spot." George and Clara operated the Dix House until


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Located in Scenic Jackson, NH • Spectacular Views (603) 383-9111 • 179 Carter Notch Road, Jackson, NH This photograph was taken in 1900 with a view of Table Rock along the left and Mount Sanguinari on the right. More trees are able to remain along the steep sides of the Notch and rockslides are becoming less frequent, but upon closer review, the road is seen diverted because of a large slide on Mount Sanguinari during the summer of 1898. Credit: Detroit Publishing Co. 1900

t ...get ouhere! t

Midnight voting tradition Dixville Notch is best known in connection with its longstanding midnight voting in the U.S. presidential election, including during the New Hampshire primary (the first primary election in the U.S. presidential nomination process). In a tradition that was started by Neil Tillotson in the 1960 election, all the eligible voters in Dixville Notch gathered at midnight in the ballot room of The Balsams. The voters cast their ballots and the polls are officially closed when all of the registered voters have voted–sometimes merely one minute later. The results of the Dixville Notch vote in both the New Hampshire primary and the general election are traditionally broadcast around the world immediately afterwards. Neil Tillotson held the honor of the first vote in Dixville for 40 years, from 1960 to 2000. “I don’t think it makes any difference if you’re the first vote or the last. It’s the vote that counts–the privilege.” – Neil Tillotson, 89 – Essex County Newspaper – Feb. 16, 1988

Northeast ATV Rental is located at the southeast portal of the Jericho Mountain State Park trail system. Conveniently located 30 minutes north of North Conway, NH, Ride the Wilds is the nation’s best interconnected summer & fall ATV trail system. Complete with the best views, marked trails, and the most friendly locals.



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Summer/Fall 2020


ABOVE LEFT: This view of The Balsams is looking northwest with Mount Abenaki in the background. An early painting from the turn of the century has the mountain named Polmageni, which may be an original Coashaukee name of the mountain. Credit: Rick Tillotson Photo – 2005. ABOVE RIGHT: View of the Notch before the creation of Lake Gloriette in 1898. Figure is sitting in the middle of a meadow; the earliest written accounts mention fields of raspberries. Credit: Kilburn Brothers Stereoscope Photo – Gates of Dixville Notch - 1872. BELOW: This photo was taken from Mount. Abenaki looking southeast with the nine-hole Coashaukee golf course on the right, the latex glove factory, and biomass power plant in the foreground, and The Balsams on the edge of Lake Gloriette. Credit: Rick Tillotson Photo - 2004

George’s death in 1890. Clara went on to complete the inn’s first major renovation in 1892, increasing the guest capacity from 50 to 75, before selling the house to Henry Hale of Philadelphia in 1896. He and his wife renamed the inn to The Balsams and they built most of the wellknown property features, including the Hampshire House, the Panorama Golf Course, and three man-made lakes, over the course of their 26-year ownership.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Dixville Notch and The Balsams Hotel hold a special place in my heart. I imagine most visitors and guests have had a magical moment that remains etched in their memories. The moment that stands out to me was when I married my wife at The Balsams on a picture-perfect fall day surrounded by our family and friends. I grew up on the property and worked at the hotel since I was 14. This was the result of my grandfather, Neil Tillotson, who purchased the hotel at an auction in 1954. His invention of the modern latex balloon in 1931 allowed him to purchase the lands of his Abenaki ancestors. Most visitors cherished driving down the steep hill from the eastern entrance on Route 26 and catching their first sight of the Hampshire House’s tall towers and seeing the Dix House reflecting in the calm waters of Lake Gloriette. Other memorable moments include watching the moon and sunrises over the notch, playing golf at the legendary Panorama Golf Course, skiing at the Wilderness Ski Area, and last but not least, experiencing the fine-dining cuisine and world-class service. It was a truly unforgettable experience and is what brought guests back year after year. Summer/Fall 2020

The Future of The Balsams STATEMENT TO MT WASHINGTON VALLEY VIBE June 29, 2020 The Balsams Resort redevelopment remains largely focused on securing the financing required to advance. An exciting new opportunity is our ability to present The Balsams as an “ESG” project. ESG stands for Environmental, Social, and Governance and comprise a set of standards that socially conscious investors often look for. Environmental standards examine whether a development is a good steward of nature and how it addresses climate change and its impacts. Social criteria look at a project’s relationships with employees, guests, suppliers, and the community. Governance deals with a company’s leadership and things such as internal controls and shareholder rights. There are many ways The Balsams as proposed already meet ESG criteria, and we are collaborating with experts in this space to enhance other areas. With respect to the environment, we will make sure our power consumption and production is carbon neutral. This includes buying renewable power, installing solar panels on site, and ensuring that our development is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified. Our plan to utilize farm-to-table ingredients at all our dining establishments will rely on sustainably harvesting our land. We will grow as much food as we use, and source other produce, meat, and dairy from farmers in our community. And after we prepare delicious food for our guests, we can run snow cats and other equipment with used vegetable oil. We are looking very closely at “dark sky” initiatives to reduce light pollution, which could include pointing our lights to the ground, utilizing shields, and installing ground lighting where possible. Electric vehicle charging stations have been part of our proposal from the beginning. We will also encourage the use of semipublic transportation for guests traveling from urban centers. In addition, more than 5,000 acres of our property is under an existing conservation agreement with the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. For our community, beyond purchasing local goods and services, The Balsams Resort is projected to lift up New Hampshire’s North Country by creating more than 400 direct jobs initially, increasing to 1,500 jobs at full buildout, and generating almost $1 billion of total economic activity over its first ten years, as measured by output or sales in Coos County. While this year’s pandemic has created some challenges securing financing and investment, discussions with financial institutions remain on-going and Les Otten and the development team remain committed to restoring and expanding The Balsams to its majestic glory.

Questions? For additional information and news about The Balsams Resort, please visit


Know of an interesting story, past or present, pertaining to the Valley? See something here that isn’t accurate? Let us know! Send suggestions or corrections to 2018/12/the-babe-was-here.html

Babe Ruth, the Sultan of Swat, was a frequent guest to the White Mountains in the 1930s. Ruth retired from baseball in 1935, which allowed him to play golf and make trips to the White Mountains. In August of 1939, The Eastern Slope Inn sponsored a golf tournament at the North Conway Golf Club, The White Mountain Open Championship, and the Babe was in attendance. He was invited to play by Harvey Dow Gibson, owner of the Eastern Slope Inn and Cranmore Mountain.

The Chocorua Mountain Road (now the Liberty Trail) Liberty Cabin on Mt Chocorua, was built in 1897 and was the most popular route to Images of NH History) the summit and Peak House. In 1891, David Knowles bought the road and replaced the Peak House, which was two tents surrounded by a stone wall. He built a three-story house that served as a hotel until 1915, when it was blown off the mountain. Its replacement was built in 1924, by the Chocorua Mountain Club and it lasted until 1932, when the roof was blown off the house. The final house, an enclosed cabin with a stove and six bunks, was built in 1934 by the Forest Service. Two large chains were attached to the roof to combat the high winds. This cabin still stands on the southwest shoulder of the mountain today. Auto Road 1870s,

In 1853, Gen. David O. Macomber of CT, was granted the charter for the Mount Washington Road Company. Macomber had grand visions of horse-drawn omnibuses on a road to the summit, along with a summit hotel and observatory. Work on the road began in summer of 1854 and proved to be an enormous undertaking. By fall of 1856, the money ran out and the road was only half completed. The effort was stalled until1859; the Mount Washington Summit Road Company was formed and resumed the project in 1860. The gala opening took place on August 8, 1861, with guests arriving at the summit on a Concord Coach.

Franklin Leavitt (1824-1898) was born in Lancaster, NH, and is credited with producing one of the first maps of the White Mountains. He grew up working at the Notch House, an early inn near Crawford Notch, and moved on to building trails and working on the Carriage Road (now Auto Road) at the base of Mount Washington. Leavitt also worked as a guide, which contributed to his knowledge of the Leavitt Map 1871) area and increased his cartography skills. With the coming of the railroad in the early 1850s, Leavitt saw the need for tourist maps of the region, which could be sold at the various hotels. None of Leavitt’s maps were topographical, or drawn to scale (it could not always be determined), were riddled with spelling errors, and names of mountains were contested. Based on folklore, the maps depicted men hunting bears and lynxes, surrounded by lakes, grand hotels, and railroads, rather than topographical lines. Leavitt produced eight different maps of the White Mountains between 1852-1888.

James W. Black, a photographer from NH, took the first photographs of the White Mountains printed on paper in 1853–54. Black partnered with John Adams Whipple, who patented a photographic process that printed photos on glass, producing a negative, which could be printed on treated paper. It was called crystallotype, or “salt prints,” which lacked the sharpness of their contemporary, the daguerreotype. Nathaniel Hawthorne found himself in poor health towards the end of his life. He refused to seek medical help, hoping a trip to the White Mountains would cure his ails. His college friend, and former president of the United States, Franklin Pierce, accompanied him on his trip. They checked into the grand Pemigewasset House in Plymouth, NH. Later in the evening, on May 19, 1864, Pierce discovered his friend had passed on. Mount Agassiz, a 2,500-foot mountain in Bethlehem, NH, has fantastic views of Franconia Notch and the Presidential Range. In the 1880s, visitors walked or took a ride up it in a carriage or wagon. The first automobile ascent was in 1910, but the road itself was not upgraded until 1929. In the 1940s, there was skiing available on two trails. By the 1950s, the Magic Mountain Express, a brightly colored tractor, pulled a shuttle covered by a canopy that transported tourists to the summit. Today, there are remnants of rope tows, and hikers are allowed to use the old auto road. In the days before helicopters were used to bring mattresses and blankets to the summit huts, they were carried up the mountains by crew members, who folded and tied multiple mattresses and blankets together and strapped them to their backs like a backpack. The wool blankets were Army issue from WW I and were purchased directly from the War Department. The Barnstormers Theatre summer playhouse was started in 1931 by Alice and Francis Grover Cleveland, son of 22nd and 24th President Grover Cleveland. The family had a summer home in Tamworth, NH, which they frequented from 1903-08. Francis supported the theatre until his death in 1995. The Barnstormers Theatre remains the oldest professional theatre in the state.


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Mt Washington Valley Vibe - Summer/Fall 2020  

A look as unique and distinct as the Mt Washington valley itself. With such a distinct blend of scenic landscapes, recreational, dining and...

Mt Washington Valley Vibe - Summer/Fall 2020  

A look as unique and distinct as the Mt Washington valley itself. With such a distinct blend of scenic landscapes, recreational, dining and...

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