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Last month, thanks to an awesome deal through Groupon, we went and explored Lost River Gorge and Boulder Caves in Woodstock, New Hampshire. This attraction features a series of over 1000 stairs leading you up, down, and through a glacial gorge notched into huge slabs of granite rock. Winding your way past a series of cascades, you can’t help but feel the weight of the passage of time upon the landscape. And while I wasn’t feeling the caves that day, (I proved myself enough at the Polar Caves in Rumney), there were a ton of tight, twisty little passages for spelunkers to explore. This is a fun excursion, easily lengthened by numerous hiking trails. While there, I highly recommend exploring the great towns of Woodstock and Lincoln, and taking in the gorgeous views, especially if you find your way to the Kancamagus Highway.
This is bound to be another one of those books that gets a ton of hype from people who either love it or hate it, which leaves me kind of surprised that my feelings are somewhere in the middle.
I couldn’t put this book down, but there were certain ‘issues’ that kept me from loving it. I usually LOVE disaster books. What I don’t love are endless paragraphs without breaks.
I understand the need for exposition, but, as an author, if you aren’t going to break the backstory dump up with some dialogue or action, then for goodness sake break it up into shorter paragraphs.
I choose the book I read next by what I’m in the mood for. In this case, I was in the mood for a juicy summer read. Which means my attention span needs something light and refreshing. There were multiple paragraphs I had to reread because my attention wandered somewhere during the page long paragraph. At times, reading the story felt like hard work, even though I enjoyed what I was reading. That’s my only major complaint, and the reason why, for me, this book doesn’t rate higher. 4 stars.
A huge thanks to K.M. from over at Ankor You for nominating me for the Travel Tag. If you haven’t been by her highly endearing, super entertaining blog, you’re missing out. So head on over and let her give you an eye full!
I love exploring new places, plain and simple. Whether traveling near or far, I’m always up for a new adventure, and my wish list is miles long. Hopefully I’ll have the opportunity to eventually check all the places off my list, but until then, writing about it (living vicariously) will have to do!
1) You are leaving tomorrow to start a life in a new country, where would you go?
This is a really hard one, because I have a top three of other countries I’d love to live in, but I’m going to have to go with New Zealand because the country offers enough to keep me busy exploring for a long time and they speak English (I am, unfortunately, horrible at speaking and audibly translating other languages.)
2) You can take someone for a weekend away to the place you had the best holidays ever, where would that be and who would you take to go with you?
I would take my husband to Lymes Regis in England to go fossil hunting on the cliffs and beach.
3) You can get married wherever you want to, your budget is limitless, what is your choice?
I would have LOVED to have gone to Iceland to be married! Standing on the edge of a volcano, underneath the aurora borealis . . . is that weird?
4) During your travels you can bring back home one animal as a pet, which one would you pick?
Another hard one! Among many animals on my wish list, I always wanted a monkey (new world, with a prehensile tail so it could hang from things, like a Capuchin), and if it could learn to pet my dogs I think it would fit right in, so I’d have to go with that.
5) You can go back in time and relive one family trip, which one?
I had a blast going to the National Museum of Natural History and the National Zoo while visiting my grandparents in Washington, D.C. I’d love to go back to all the same places and do it all over again! (Including that Mexican restaurant!)
6) What is the first thing you would pack for a one year travel around the world?
My kindle, so I would have endless books to read in the down time traveling between one spot to another.
7) What would your fantasy 100th birthday destination be, and why?
Norway. I think my 100 year old self would look awesome in a Viking helmet, and after I failed to wake up the next morning after consuming too much chocolate in celebration, they could launch me out on a boat for my funereal pyre.
8) During your travel you can learn one sport to become a pro, what would that be?
Wildlife photography! Crawling on my belly through the grass on the Serengeti, wedged in a tree in the woods, camouflaged in all white on the arctic snow plains, I would chose to become a pro at finding elusive animals and taking spectacular pictures of them. If that doesn’t count as a sport, then something medieval, like jousting.
This is the most fun I’ve had with a tag in awhile! I hope you had some fun reading it, and if you’d like to share some of your answers, I’d love to read them! I hope my nominees enjoy this one as much as I have! Don’t forget to check out their answers as well!
The rules are easy and fun. Just answer the questions below, repost the questions and tag fellow travel lovers, let them know you tagged them and let your blogosphere travels begin!
At 6,288 feet, Mount Washington is the highest mountain in the northeastern United States, and one of the 48 New Hampshire 4000 footers. Home to a weather observatory, a cog rail, and an auto road, it’s accessible to anyone in the area that wants to visit. For those who choose to hike to the summit, it’s an entirely different experience – one as beautiful as it is dangerous. The view as seen from the trail:
Maybe those of you who are Northerners already know the answer to this question, but for those of you who don’t, let me tell you. First, a little back story. At the grocery store, in the produce section, I kept seeing these . . . things. Things that I could only describe at green little alien coils. Things that did not look like anything that I’d want to put in my mouth.
Only . . . that’s not entirely true. Those of you that know me (or have followed my blog for a while) probably know where this is going. Because you know my secret. You know that I have a habit of being strangely drawn towards eating odd things. There’s really no way to explain it. I’ve always been this way. So while a part of me was repulsed by the strange looking things I saw in the grocery store, another part of me knew that it was my destiny to one day eat them.
I didn’t do any research until the day I put them in my cart. After I brought them home. I had no idea that Fiddleheads are part of the Ostrich Fern, or that they’re rather healthy for you. With some exceptions.
I read conflicting reports, but the bottom line is this – if you want to eat Fiddleheads, clean them well, snip the ends, and boil them for about 10 minutes first, which is what I did before I sauteed them in olive oil with a smidge of butter, garlic, shallots, white wine, lemon juice, and a bit of shaker Parmesan cheese. Then I served them over pasta with fresh grated Parmesan. Not only were they good, but my husband asked when we’d get to eat them again before we even finished dinner. (I have fully completed bringing him over to the interesting side of eating new things.) Mission complete.
So . . . what can I say that’s nice about this hike? The view was gorgeous. And that’s about it. While incredibly beautiful, Moriah was one nasty lady on the day we hiked her. Or maybe I shouldn’t blame her. Maybe it’s not her fault. Maybe it’s that the surprise part of hiking over (and especially back over, on the way down) Mount Surprise is that it seems to never end. Ever. Twilight Zone, stuck doing the same thing forever, never. Surprise!
Of course, it could also be that we hiked it on what was the hottest day of the year so far. And being 4000+ feet closer to the sun really does seem to make it feel hotter. Especially when you’re drinking over a pound of water an hour and sweating it out twice as fast as you can drink it. Then there’s that whole searing heat radiating up from the sun baked rock thing. It could be that some of that added to the sour taste this hike left in my mouth.
Whatever the case, I didn’t love this hike. Except when it was over. Actually, not until it was several days done with, but who’s counting (besides me). The important thing is that we completed the 9 miles safely. Some hikes are better than others. Some days make conditions more difficult. That’s what we prepare for. It isn’t always easy, but most things worth working for aren’t. The next hike will be better.
I like asparagus. Imagine that said to the tune of I like turtles. I know those extra syllables throw it off a little, but you get the idea. I hope. Anyways, I like asparagus, but they tend to be pricey up here in the northeast and they like to try and force you to buy a big bundle which you have to eat immediately or they go slimey and bad and and then money is wasted, and since no one’s going to pay me to film a TV reality series called When Vegetables Go Bad, I end up putting ginormous portions of asparagus on our dinner plates. (I’m going somewhere with this, I promise, just stick with me a bit longer).
So I’m trying this whole growing my own fruit and veggies thing, and I discover that asparagus are not only a perennial, but also that they will survive the snowy winter to come back year after year. The only catch is that you have to wait a few years for your first harvest. So I thought to myself, “You better get started, then.” So I did. And then I waited. And waited. And waited. Going out to my asparagus patch, day after day looking for something, seeing nothing, wondering if an underground rodent stole my crop or if my seedlings were bad. Staring at the dirt, feeling like an idiot, thinking, “I like asparagus,” to the tune of that little zombie kid saying, “I like turtles.” And now we’ve come full circle.
Then, after two months, when I’ve almost given up hope, I see this:
Looks like an asparagus, doesn’t it. So, instead of staring at the dirt, I got to look at this little guy while I crouched down next to the garden bed and cheered him on. Then this happened:
And more little asparagi raise their little heads and branch out into weird looking things every day. I wasn’t wasting my time! And the moral of the story is, if you’ve planted asparagus and you’re getting tired of staring at dirt, wait a little longer, my friend. If you plant them, they will come. You just won’t be able to harvest them for the first two or three years. And since I have no idea how to harvest asparagus, that, too, will be an adventure!
Middle Mountain is an 1857 foot peak in North Conway, NH that offers an excellent view of the valley below. Start at the Pudding Pond trail head (heading north on North-South Road, take a right onto Artist Falls Road, then another right onto Thompson Road, trail parking is on the right). When you see the kiosk with trail info, take the path to the left and chose the fork closer to the parking area.
This is an easy hike with a great payoff. It can easily be combined with a side trip to Peaked Mountain, also with a great view of the valley. Your hike can be further stretched to include Black Cap and Cranmore Mountains, all part of the Green Hills Preserve.
Although part of the Presidential Range of New Hampshire’s White Mountains, Mount Jackson was named after 19th century Geologist Charles Thomas Jackson and not President Andrew Jackson.
At 4052 feet, it is the 38th tallest of New Hampshire’s 48 4000 footers.
This is a moderate hike with numerous river crossings and rock scrambles.
There’s a great view of Mount Washington in the (not so far) distance.
In mid-May, there was still quite a bit of ice on the trail.
The views from the summit are wonderful, if very, VERY windy.
It was our first 4000 footer of the season, and I’m not going to lie – it was rough.
The 5.6 mile hike took us about 4.5 hours, though I have no doubt that the hike could be done much faster.