lost, for a little while

destination: hancock
April 4, 2011, 2:28 pm
Filed under: trips

The top of Bald Mountain in New Hampshire

The setting is sometime in the 1990s, wintertime. My family has met up with my aunt, uncle, and cousins in New Hampshire for a skiing vacation – one of our few trips that strayed outside of Florida and New Jersey. My uncle’s family has a house in Hancock that’s been around for several generations and we’ve been invited to join them for a stay. The surrounding mountains are covered in snow, and much higher than anything my brothers or I have experienced in Michigan or Ohio. They promise wild rides that stick with you long after you take your skis off; when I close my eyes the night after our first foray on the slopes, I feel like I’m still moving.

So with all this fresh air, beautiful scenery, and close family at hand, what did my brothers, cousins, and I spend most of our time doing? Playing Nintendo in the living room, of course.

Back then our interests were focused on seeing the pixilated Americans beat the blocky Russians in Super Dodge Ball (I’m serious here). We lay sprawled out on the floor in front of the TV for hours, ignoring my aunt’s not-so-subtle suggestions that we go play outside. When I visited this time around, I made sure to actually take advantage of that fresh air.

Go, Barbaribob! Go!

Day 1: After a hearty breakfast at Fiddleheads, my Aunt Barby and I hit the trails at nearby Boston University’s Sargent Center, an outdoor recreation area owned by the university. She maneuvers the loop we take around the grounds on cross-country skis while I stomp along in some snowshoes. Museums are good and all, but I’ve missed this: being outside and not counting the seconds until I can duck indoors again; walking through the woods without another person in sight; ignoring any phone calls, text messages, and emails that ping onto my phone.

For dinner, we head into nearby Keene and hit up Fritz, a salad/sandwich shop known for its variety of dipping sauces and thin, crispy French fries. We try the rosemary garlic sauce, and I need to physically stop myself from inhaling the huge basket of fries. Other gourmet sauce choices include curry pineapple, spicy chipotle ketchup, and a mustardy imported freetesause (frite-sauce) from Holland.

At the top

Day 2: We up the ante and decide to try out a 2.2-mile roundtrip hike up Bald Mountain. The Tamposi Trail winds in and out through the trees, making the yellow markers difficult to spot, at times, but we make it up and down with no trouble. It’s an excellent way to end my stay in New Hampshire.

Onto Boston!


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