My winter in New Hampshire has come to an end. In addition to fabulous hiking nearby, here are some highlights of the area:
1. Did I mention I lived next to a castle?
2. Plenty of hiking right outside my door
I could walk outside, continue up the hill, and reach White Mountain National Forest in two miles. Hiking was either on snowmobile trails or bushwhacking. I didn’t do as much hiking here as I should have but I did bushwhack to the tops of Foster Hill and Young Mountain.
3. New England
How New England can it get? I lived in the town of Bath, which is celebrating its 250th anniversary this year. At the center of the one block wide town square is the Brick Store, the oldest general store in America. The town is surrounded by covered bridges.
Also, the nearest “big” town, Littleton, contains Chutters, home of the World’s Longest Candy Counter, and a thru hiker’s dream.
4. Maple sugaring
I learned the joys of maple syrup. Really, it goes on anything, but it’s especially good on fruit or ice cream!
We had a thaw early enough that I could help tap trees, but then it froze up again and I did not get to participate in boiling. To make up for it, I drank maple water (AKA sap) and made maple candy. Yum!
5. Spaghetti dinner night
There is a home in Dorchester that has a big spaghetti dinner every Wednesday night. Any one can show up. They’re a large, fun family, and there’s music after dinner! I got to go several times this winter.
6. Coldest February on record
I got to be in New Hampshire for the coldest February on record. I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing. I did wear fleece pants almost every day, and usually hung out within six inches of the woodstove. On the other hand, I also participated in the polar bear challenge: jumping from a hot tub into snow and back again multiple times.
All in all, I’m happy to be somewhere I can see the ground again. All I’ve seen is snow all winter. But I suspect once I am in the desert in two weeks, I will be desperately wishing for the snow and cold to come back.