Tag - NH

Climbing Mt. Monadnock, 2nd Most Climbed Mountain in the World

CAM02013When we arrived to the top, we were exhausted and the kids were crying. People going by us were a mocking smile like, “what were you thinking?” We had somehow managed to climb to the top of the mountain, in order to admire the wonderful 360 degree view of the area. The Valley seemed so vast and beautiful, like a green carpet spread over the area. The wind was strong, and the sun was hot. We stayed few more minutes before heading back on a different trail (which we thought an easy one). We were remembering the difficult rock climb we had faced coming up, and decided that it would be almost an impossible task to go down with kids on our back.

CAM02016

We took the white Cross trail that brings you down to the parking lot. We already wished we were there when we began the descent. The first part seemed easy and much less challenging. We were pleased. The kids were calming down, and we grew happier with each step, since each one got us closer to the parking lot.

CAM01997

We were walking about 30 minutes when we hit the second part of the trail. It was made out of boulders, both large and small. There were millions of boulders that we had to hop over. It seemed easy at first sight, but when you are almost 2 hours into it, you don’t feel as enthusiastic. You are wondering when your legs will give up on you. We hopped and hopped over what seemed like thousands of boulders. Finally, we reached a flat area, hoping that this would lead us to the bottom of the trail so that we could relax. We were again wrong. We met people coming up, and asked them how far we were. We were told that we had at least an hour to go. That was disappointing news, and my wife seemed exhausted. Usually she is a trooper, but this whole climb with kids on her back for almost 4 hours had weakened her a little. I also began to feel the same thing. We somehow had to slowly walk down again over the boulders, until finally we reached the bifurcation of the trail (White Cross trail and the White Dot trail).

CAM02001But this isn’t over yet. We thought it was just around the corner, but again, it was another half hour walk down to the bottom of it. This was an easy task to walk down, but our legs and backs were so weakened by the whole event that we struggled a little. Finally we reached the parking lot.

To our surprise, we met grandparents waiting for us. They didn’t want to leave us since we had kids on our back. They were happy to see us, and we were equally happy to see them. Taking the backpacks off of our back did not feel any better in the beginning, but gradually, our backs started to feel better. We sat down, and let the kids run around the parking lot area. They were happy to be out and playing. At first though, they didn’t feel good walking. They had sat several hours in the back packs, and their legs were a little numb.

CAM02000We had a warm cup of chocolate, and drove off to go have an ice cream at Cumberland Farms. It was delicious, and we were able to rest for half hour before we drove off home.

Conclusion:

It is a great mountain to climb, but if you bring kids or babies in backpacks, think twice. Sometimes the hardest part is coming down, not climbing up. Don’t listen to people on the trail who say, “That trail is easier than the other.” All the trails are difficult, and you get to pick which one you feel comfortable going up or coming down. You are climbing a mountain, after all.

Bring plenty of water, a bug spray, some food, and some milk for you and the kids. You are not in control, but if you want to feel like you are somewhat in control, food helps.

Don’t listen to rangers or volunteers who say, “Don’t take that trail: there is snow on the trail.” Sometimes, the snow is there, but if you go slowly and take precautions, you will be fine. Sometimes you will not even know if you want to climb the mountain after all. Some feel like they have climbed enough, and they want to come down. It is not an easy walk either way. The other two trails are easy to climb, but they are longer (4 miles more than the others).

Make sure to stay on the path and follow the signs. Those signs sometimes are not well marked, but look carefully for the white dot or the white cross on certain rocks, and follow them. Don’t wander off.

Here is a small video to what you see when you are up there.

Franconia Notch

It is a major mountain pass through the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Dominated by Cannon Mountain to the west and Mount Lafayette to the east, it lies principally within Franconia Notch State Park and is traversed by the Franconia Notch Parkway.

The notch was home to the Old Man of the Mountain, a rock formation whose profile is a symbol of NH, until 2003, when it collapsed.

Echo Lake

Echo Lake

Echo lake, different view

Echo lake, different view

Echo Lake lies in Franconia Notch State Park. The park’s Cannon Mountain ski slopes rise directly to the southwest of the lake. Its a beautiful lake to visit. You can see people fishing in the summer times. I was amazed to see a beach area designated to the lake.

Echo lake

Echo lake

Franconia Notch region

Franconia Notch region

We took the aerial tramway up Cannon Mountain, fabulous views.

Mountains near by

Mountains near by

This drive through Franconia Notch took my breath away!  it is one of the most beautiful experiences I have ever had!

Fall Colors

Fall Colors

Fall over the notch

Fall over the notch

Beautiful fall in the area

Beautiful fall in the area

Fall is beautiful. Its one of the spectacular views I have ever experienced. There are no words to explain the beauty of the region during the season. You have to visit to experience it.

Mountains near by

Mountains near by

Hiking Mt Lincoln and Lafayette is very popular full day hike for good reasons. On a clear day, you are likely to find better views in New England. Combine this with strenuous and nerve-wrecking hiking on the ‘knife-edge’ between Mts. Little Haystack, Lincoln and Lafayette and you have the recipe for a wonderful day out. You would reach around 4000 ft.

Franconia Notch Pkwy

Franconia Notch Pkwy

 The Franconia Notch Pkwy winds its way through Franconia Notch. In this northbound view from the trailhead parking lot is Cannon Mountain on the left and Eagle Cliff in the distant background.

The best amusement parks for little children

Best amusement parks-Cr-jaunted.com

Best amusement parks-Cr-jaunted.com

Many parents with young children forgo visiting theme parks until their kids grow into them.
Most rides are not designed for children smaller than 48 inches. However, there are parks that provide fun rides for younger kids, besides other attractions. Let’s take a look at a few of the family oriented theme parks throughout the United States and see what they have to offer for our youngest offspring.

Legoland in California

(it also has its branches in Denmark, UK and Germany) The whole park is decorated with sculptures made out of Lego blocks. There are over 50 rides and activities for all ages.

One of the most popular rides is the Knight’s Kingdom Robo Coaster. It is designed for children of 40 inches and taller. It has six arms, which makes it look like a robot and each arm holds two seats. A large dragon made of Lego blocks guards the entrance. There are five levels of fun with level 1 and 2 being mild and level 5 – quite intense. Upon entrance riders can choose the level of thrill.

Other rides worth trying are:

– Dragon Coaster – where you ride through a medieval castle.

– Technic Coaster – full of sharp twists and turns. They are also for children 40 inches plus tall.

There are also some rides for smaller kids (need to be accompanied by an adult), like:

– Safari Treck Ride – is a slow automated car ride going through a “jungle” full of Lego-made animals.

– Sky Cruiser – is a monorail powered by your own legs (it has pedals) and it goes about 10 feet in the air.

– Spellbreaker – is a coaster, which looks a lot like a complicated ski lift.

Sesame Place in Langhorne, PA

Everyone knows Sesame Street! Here is a park just for fans. There are lots of rides and for kids:

– Vapor Coaster – is a kid’s size roller coaster. Children need to be 3 years or older, to ride alone they should be at least 44 inches tall and 7 years old.

– Sunny Day Carousel – with Muppet-like horses.

– Grover’s World Twirl – tea cup like ride children under 42 inches tall must be accompanied by an adult.

– Big Birds Balloon Race – you sit in a balloon basket and go up the 40 foot high tower. You can see the whole park from above.

Storyland in Glen, NH

It has 21 rides for parents and children to enjoy together. Riders must be at least 36 inches tall to ride most rides (under parental supervision), but there are also a few for smaller children:

– Polar Coaster – is a great first-time coaster for young children.

– Crazy Barn –

looks like a big barn that goes up and down in the air and spins.

– Dr. Geyser’s Remarkable Raft Ride – a raft floats through a fast running creek. You are sure to get wet.

– Bamboo Chutes – oriental themed flume ride with dragons and singing bamboo people. Great for toddlers.

Who doesn’t like Christmas. Here are two of the best Christmas theme parks in the country:

Santa’s Village in Jefferson, NH

From a two year old to an adult, everyone will find a fun ride:

– Rudy’s Rapid Transit Coaster – a coaster for the whole family. The children have to be over two years old.

– Christmas Carousel – you have to be 42 inches tall to ride alone. Toddlers can be held by an adult.

– The Pixie Mix – is a coaster ride for children only. Kids need to be at least two years old.

– The Great Humbug Adventure – is a ride through old Scrooge’s house. Watch for humbugs and tickle them with your JOY sticks to make them giggle. Children 48″ or taller can ride alone.
This is a dark ride with a slope. If your child isn’t afraid of the dark, they will want to ride this one over and over again!

Northpole Santa’s workshop in Cascade, CO

Great park in Colorado. All the rides for young children are grouped in Santa’s Enchanted Forest:

– Candy Cane Coaster – is a kid’s size coaster with lots of fun.

– Christmas Tree – children sit in a car that goes up and down around the giant Christmas tree.

– Carousel – vintage ride dated since 1919, still operating.

For older family members the best are:

– Ferris Wheel – world’s highest (altitude) wheel.

– Skyride – the ride resembles a ski lift. View the beautiful Rocky Mountains as you ride.

 

Idle Wild in Ligonier, PA

The park is divided into seven different zones, but only three of them offer rides: Olde Idlewild, Raccoon Lagoon, and Hooting Holler.

At Olde Idlewild there are rides for the whole family. Although on most of them children have to be at least 36 inches high, it is worth mentioning because many of the attractions have been operating since the early 1930ies. The best ones are:

– Caterpillar – is a set of linked cars that speed around a circular track. During the ride, a green canopy covers the riders. From the outside, the covered ride resembles a caterpillar.

– Rolo Coaster – was built by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company and opened to the guests in 1938. Even kids can have fun on this classic wooden roller coaster.

– Wild Mouse – is a modern version of the classic coaster. Mouse-shaped cars, with four guests in each car, follow the steel track full of twists, dips and hills.

– Hootin’ Holler zone is full of live entertainment, games, shops and a few rides. The best one is:

– Loggin Toboggan – where you ride log boats in a fast flowing river to the top of a 30-foot tower. From there you come down a chute with a big splash.

From the Hootin’ Holler there is a train called Loyalhanna Limited Railroad that can take the whole family to the Raccoon Lagoon.

Raccoon Lagoon is a 9-acre Kiddie Land, one of the largest in the United States. There are at least 12 different rides, where riders cannot be taller than 56 inches. It also offers pony rides. Some of the rides include:

– Cattail Derby – miniature bumper cars,

– Rainbow Wheel – kids size Ferris Wheel,

– Dino Soars – each child rides their own car in the shape of a dinosaur. The cars spin slowly and children can make them go up and down.

– Ricky’s Racers – miniature car ride through the trees.

 

Dutch Wonderland in Lancaster, PA

The park offers 30 rides which include two kid friendly coasters plus many rides for children under 36 inches tall:

– Kingdom Roller Coaster – is a wooden coaster. Children have to be at least 42 inches tall, or 48 inches if they want to ride alone.

– Joust Family Coaster – minimum height is 36 inches.

There are at least 10 rides for children smaller than 36 inches. Here are some of the most fun ones:

– Dragon’s Lair – is a ride in a log boat through dragon’s lair.

– Wonder Whip – is a miniature version of the whip. Kids love to twist and turn as they go round and round.

– Off-Road Rally – electric “monster truck” ride, where the kids are in the driver’s seat.

To top it all there is even a Nursing Mothers Station located near the train station at the front of the park. It has a rocking chair for the mom and a kid-sized chair for the older brother or sister and, of course a changing station.

Many theme parks strive to accommodate guests of all ages. There are parks that are specifically designed for younger children throughout the United States. It is impossible to list them all. When you plan a trip to an unfamiliar area, first call the local Chamber of Commerce and find out what kind of attractions are available.

Hampton Beach – New Hampshire

Hampton beach, Cr -stumbleupon

Hampton beach, Cr -stumbleupon

Hampton Beach, New Hampshire is a popular tourist destination. It has a seafood festival and a sand sculpture festival. The seafood festival happens the weekend after Labor Day. The sand sculpture festival takes place four days in Mid-June. They also host a fireworks display every weekend in the summer and have numerous concerts as well. The beach is a year-round destination.

Hampton Beach State Park provides RV hookups for campers. Mid-June is an excellent time to come. Not only is the sand sculpture festival in full swing but also the Catamaran Regatta begins. On Saturday and Sunday, racers grace the waves with their skills and beautiful boats.

The town has cottages, hotels, motels, inns, condos all within in walking distance from the main beach or right on the beach to rent. Rates are diverse, and everyone has a chance to find a restful place to sleep.

Camping, golf, and water activities along with a lively night live round out the attractions of Hampton Beach which has a casino with poker tables, roulette, blackjack, and craps. Tourists who crave entertainment will find it at LaBec Rouge, Boardwalk Inn and Café, Hampton Beach Seashell and Stacey Jane’s. However, Stacey Jane’s advertises that it has karaoke seven nights a week. The place also has dancing on the upper floor, and Irish cuisine. Stacey Jane is a happening place.

Shal-Al Campground, Tidewater Campground and Wakeda Campground offer camping sites. Shal-Al offers grassy campsites with full hookups. This campground is family-owned for thirty years. Tidewater and Wakeda have campsites in the wood. Tidewater has a new swimming pool. Wakeda has all the comforts of home.

Jet skiing, deep sea fishing, para-sailing, whale watching and waterslides include all the beach activities to fit any visitor needs. These are not far from Hampton Beach itself.

Hampton Beach only has mini-golf courses. To get to the bigger golf courses, a visitor would have to travel a few miles away to Portsmouth or Greenland.

Like any town, Hampton Beach has shops and services. Shirt Mania has funny and custom t-shirts. The new bath houses are near it. Sanborn Candies caters to those with a sweet tooth with hand-made chocolates, salt water taffy and many other candies. These make a great souvenir for others. Sweet Hannah’s shares the same amenities as Sanborn Candies adding beach toys, supplies, and home- made fudge to their shelves. Fox Run Mall and Kittery Outlet Stores are malls with many stores to satisfy every traveler. However, these malls are fifteen miles away at Newington.

Climbing Mount Monadnock, NH

2nd Most Climbed Mountain in the World (after Mt Fuji, Japan)

The hiker is provided with key information on climbing 3,165 foot Mount Monadnock in New Hampshire with views into the surrounding states. The two and a quarter mile-long Spellman Trail to the top of Mount Monadnock begins a little beyond Monadnock State Park Headquarters just outside of Jaffrey, New Hampshire. There is no other way to get here than by private car where there is enough parking for over a hundred cars. The starting point of the Spellman Trail (marked with a vertical white bar) is 1,000 feet above sea level.

CAM02002Hikers should sign in at the State Park Headquarters for the Spellman Trail (there are numerous other trails to the summit, but Spellman is the most picturesque).

The best times to climb Monadnock are mid spring through mid fall. Be aware that afternoon thunderstorms may build up during this period of time. The worst times to climb Monadnock (unless the hiker has good winter gear) would be from early November to mid April. There are no man-made hazards on this two and a quarter-mile trail but the hiker should be wary of a least one very steep section of the trail after about two miles shortly before the summit. Once the hiker is under way s/he will enter a lush hemlock/maple/birch forest that is full of song birds.

A Thoreauvian Bog

CAM02011From the beginning of the trail up to the junction of Red Spot Trail (one mile in), hikers should bear right and continue through a forest of paper birches, white pines and giant beech trees having large, heart-shaped leaves. At an elevation of 2,000 feet and a bit beyond the Red Spot trail junction, the hiker will be treated to a beautiful northern bog that Henry David Thoreau, in 1852, described as staying perpetually moist by “retaining some of the clouds.” The climber should pause here to enjoy the fragrance of the striped maple forest and to listen to the piping of white-throated sparrows and eastern warblers.

A False Tree Line

Reaching to the top

Reaching to the top

The trail rises quite steeply above the bog into a forest of red spruce replacing the white pines of lower elevations. From up here the hiker will notice farther above a false tree line near the rambling, turtle-shell summit of Monadnock. This false tree line was created by a fierce forest fire in the early part of the nineteenth century. The evergreens have not yet come back due to the fact that above 3,000 feet in New Hampshire the climate is quite severe, even more severe atop Mount Washington farther north and over 3,000 feet above Monadnock. The hiker will notice a distinct chill in the air as she approaches the summit.

Ice-cold Falcon Spring

In the summer forests of red spruce and yellow birch, grow abundant clusters of white Canada mayflowers. Before a steep and rocky ascent to the summit lies Falcon Spring where the hiker may be refreshed with an ice-cold drink of pure spring water. While pausing for a drink, one may be treated to a chorus of piping Tennessee warblers and hermit thrushes from the deeper woods. The trail steepens sharply at an elevation approaching 3,000 feet. The hiker must be careful to keep alert and not look at the fantastic views of valleys below and hills beyond unless she stops at a secure spot.

Views into Massachusetts and Vermont

Views into Massachusetts and Vermont

Views into Massachusetts and Vermont

As the climber gains the rocky summit, he will see southward on a clear day to Mounts Wachusett and distant Greylock in Massachusetts and westward into the rolling hills of Vermont, and to the east, the lakes of southern New Hampshire. The rocky, turtle-shell summit of Monadnock rises to 3,165 feet or 2,165 feet above the trail head.The hike up takes two to three hours, depending on how long a person spends photographing. Bring sufficient water even though there is a trail side spring. There are no rest rooms on this trail. You can pick up a map of Monadnock’s many trails back down at the State Park Headquarters at the beginning of the Spellman Trail.