I first came to the Lakes Region on a vacation, like many do. My family and I had set aside 2 weeks to learn something about New Hampshire and visit with relatives who had a second home on Loon Pond. The setting presented an entirely different environment for my 3 children who had been born and raised in Colorado. I mean the novelty of a lake outside your back door was something you dont have in most parts of the west.
But, children being children, by the third day I was given to understand that there was nothing to do. Unless of course one went fishing or canoeing or sailing or water skiing or swimming or kayaking, or just floated out on the lake in an inner tube. I guess its all in ones perspective. So, I drove out to a chamber of commerce kiosk and picked up copies of things to do in New Hampshire. Just a few out of more than 100 brochures.
The next day, we were introduced to Lake Winnipesaukee by booking passage on the Mt. Washington from Alton Bay to Meredith and back. This turned out to be a major hit with everyone. The excitement of activities on the lake and the observance of what seemed like an exotic island life was we talked about that night around the campfire.We decided we wanted to see more of New Hampshire and picked out our favorite places to go.
The following day we all took a drive to the actual Mount Washington and rode the cog railway to the highest point in New England. No one really knew what to expect but we were keen on getting to the top via a steam engine. From the base the climbappeared to beimpossible, from halfway up we were sure it was. The views seemed to encompass all of New Hampshire as well as Vermont and Maine. We were, the conquerors of fourteeners in Colorado, impressed. Shopping in the afternoon at the discount stores in North Conway proved to be a real bargain and practical side trip for everyone.
The day after we all went to the Loon Sanctuary in Moultonborough, had lunch in Sandwich at the Corner House and then drove up and over Sandwich Notch into Campton and on to the Waterville Valley ski resort. Earlier in our vacation I had read The Road Through Sandwich Notch by Elizabeth Yates. And so I was able to point out and reflect on the individual histories of many of the 200-year-old stone foundations we saw along the dirt road. This book is well worth reading for anyone curious about the colonial life of the settlers in the interior wilderness of New Hampshire.
Late the following morning we made a visit to the Weirs for a more contemporary view of the life styles of those drawn to the Lakes Region. And then on to the nearby Fun Spot arcadeium completed our required not to be missed agenda.
Well rested the next morning we decided to stretch our legs on what we expected to be a stroll of a mile and a half up Mount Major. We came away with yet another understanding of and respect for the physical beauty of Lake Winnipesaukee, not to mention the vertical challenges of hiking in New England.
After the hike we all voted to travel the circumference of the lake itself. Everyone loved Wolfeboro and at Center Harbor we saw the Mt. Washington again taking on passengers for a new cruise. We had an early dinner in Meredith and walked along the town docks admiring the private boats and yachts moored there.
The following morning with our vacation dwindling down to just 4 days we felt we should see the White Mountain region again and so made drive and saw the states official emblem. Back then the Old Man in the Mountain still held onto his place on the cliff face in Franconia Notch. A quick trip over the Kancamagus Highway brought us by Loon Mountain Ski area, which impressed the Steamboat Springs skiers.