Motorcycling in the North Country of NH

This coming weekend I have plans to go on a group ride with other motorcyclists from NH on a northern route ride.  My plan is to leave Ossipee in the morning and ride into Conway and then go up route 16/302 into Bartlett.  Once in Bartlett I’ll continue on route 302 up through Crawford Notch and past the AMC Highland Center, Mount Washington Resort and Bretton Woods.  From there, I’ll pass the entrance road to The Cog and make my way to a meeting point in Twin Mountain.  From Twin Mountain we’ll ride up to Jefferson where Santa’s Village is located and then across to Gorham Berlin area.  Once in Berlin we’ll stop for Ice Cream then head south to Pinkham Notch past the Mt Washington Auto Road, Great Glen Trails,  Wildcat Ski Area and the AMC Joe Dodge Lodge.  There is a plan to stop for a group picture at one of the picturesque turn offs then back to North Conway area via Jackson.

At this time the weather outlook for the weekend is great, so if you’re planning a trip to the Mt Washington Valley area for some sight seeing and foliage peeping, then this would be a great weekend to do so.

Doug

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First Foliage Report!

Greetings from Mt Washington Valley, NH:

This is the first of ongoing foliage reports from Mt Washington Valley. We hope you will use images provided in your weather reports throughout the fall.

View from Scenic Vista in North Conway
View from Scenic Vista in North Conway

As temperatures continue to drop, we are beginning to see changing foliage colors accelerate, especially in the higher elevations of Mt Washington Valley. Always the first to change, the red maples are beginning to turn and we’re seeing wisps of color throughout Mt Washington Valley.

While temperatures at the summit of Mt Washington were 31degrees at 8:45am, the base of the Mt Washington Auto Road was 44.8 degrees at 8:46am. These colder temps and shorter days combine to create the pageant of color that is beginning in Mt Washington Valley and New Hampshire’s White Mountains.

Flowers and Foliage at Wildcat Mountain
Flowers and Foliage at Wildcat Mountain

An area of low pressure forecasted from the Mount Washington Observatory promises cooler temperatures next week, which will continue to impact foliage color.

Looking out from Cathedral Ledge in North Conway
Looking out from Cathedral Ledge in North Conway

Food, Rain, Wind and Mud in Mt Washington Valley

This weekend had plenty to offer for those living and visiting Mt Washington Valley.

Friday morning the Mud Bowl kicked off and ran through Sunday and the championship games.  The rain from Hanna on Saturday night helped the field for the mudbowl, but stayed off long enough for the first Annual Fields on the Saco event to go off tremendously.

Speaking of the rains from Hanna, we moved our daughter back to college for her senior year at Endicott and got to drive home 3 hours in the pouring rain Saturday evening.  There were times just seeing the yellow and white lines on the road were near to impossible.

Hanna pushed out in the early hours of Sunday allowing beautiful blue skies for a (windy) motorcycle ride to North Conway and Settlers’ Green OVP to see the annual MWV Old Car Club car and motorcycle show.  The cars were great as always and fun to see.  Not many motorcycles to see though, it made me think I should have entered mine as there was only one “nice” chopper and the rest were run of the mill bikes.  Honda VTX1300C

What did you do this weekend?

Doug

Labor Day Weekend in Mt Washington Valley

Well, another beautiful 3 day weekend has passed and what fun it was.  We had company up for the weekend and enjoyed the beautiful area in which we live.

Friday night was relaxing with cooking on the grill and staying in.  Saturday morning though the activities began.  Mary Ellen and our friend Donna went hiking at Dianas Baths in North Conway off West Side Rd, while Jeff and I went off to the driving range.  When we got back to the house the ladies were still out so Jeff and I set up horseshoes at the new house.

The ladies got back a bit later and we got together some appetizers as we were going to a neighborhood party that we were invited to so we could meet some of our new neighbors.  Well, the party was fun and it was at one of the houses right on the runway.  Afterwards we went out for more late night appetizers at the Whittier House.

Sunday we loaded up the kayaks and went over to Chocorua Lake.  Jeff and I went out first and when we got back Mary Ellen and Donna took the kayaks out.  While they were out the wind picked up and actually had some whitecaps on the lake.  While coming back if they stopped paddling, the wind would push them backwards!  After kayaking we decided to go as a group to the driving range again.  Mary Ellen and Donna enjoyed this and Mary Ellen got to try her clubs out.  Last year Mary Ellen played golf with me once at Eagle Mt House and Golf Course.  After we got back we went over to Wolfeboro and had dinner at a restaurant right on the shores of Lake Winnepesauke.

Monday our friends left early after breakfast to avoid much of the traffic heading south.  Mary Ellen and I geared up and took the motorcycle out to North Conway for some shopping and relaxing.  Mary Ellen needed some supplies for her classroom so that was our first stop at Lowes, then once that was done we headed up the North South Rd to The Met for a coffee.  While there we met our friend Mike who along with his partner Sal own Salvatore Michaels Framed Art Superstore and Soyfire Candle.  While talking with Mike we also ran into our friend Kate who was in the village with family.

On the way home we passed many political signs as it is that time of year again.  We also passed Coldwell Banker Wright Realty where our friend Sean Bossie works.  Sean is the one who was instrumental in getting our blog up and running so that we could post these tidbits of our lives in the valley.

Hope everyones weeekend was a good one.  Care to share your weekend adventure with us?

Doug

Up Up and Away – Flying over Mt Washington Valley

Last night after getting home from work and playing with the dog, there comes a knock on the door.  It was one of my neighbors with an offer to go flying!  Without hesitation I agreed as I love flying and welcomed the opportunity.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I live in an aviation community with a 4000′ grass runway.  For the past two months I have been watching the planes take off and land and do maneuvers over our area.  My wife even took her summer school students to see the planes as part of a school field trip.   The local residents took the older children up while the younger ones could get into the planes and see what it was like to sit in them.  The kids had huge smiles on their faces on the pictures my wife took of this field trip.

In the past before moving to the mountains I was in International Business and flew around the world and across the US.  The smallest plane up to this point was an eight seater that one of the companies I worked for owned.  That alone was fun to fly in and I had even gone to Chicago on a business trip in that small plane.

The plane I went up in last night was a two seater and is now the smallest I’ve ever been in.  It is owned by Kelly and L.D. who live right next to the runway.  It was one seat behind the other with a sliding canopy.  We flew over Ossipee Lake and over to Moultonborough and could see Mt Washington, Lake Winnepesauke, Silver Lake, White Lake, the Sandwich Mountain Range and the Presidential Mountain Range.

I have to say besides riding my motorcycle, this has to be one of the best experiences I’ve had.  I really have the bug now to take flying lessons and hope that this will happen.  If I ever figure out how to post a video, I’ll put the video of last night on the blog

Thanks Kelly for taking me up last night!  Hopefully Mary Ellen will have the opportunity to do this soon.

My “local” vacation in Mt Washington Valley

Well I took some time off recently and what better way to spend it than to stay local with all we have here than go somewhere else.

Last Wednesday my wife, daughter and I went to Wildcat Ski Area and went on the Scenic Gondola and Zip ride to celebrate my daughter’s 21st birthday.  The Zip Ride was great and certainly something everyone needs to try once, even those like me that do not like heights too much.  On the way home we saw a moose on the side of route 16 in Pinkham Notch.  We then went to Decades for dinner and drinks with my now legal 21 year old.

This week I took 3 more days off to make my weekend a 5 day weekend.  It started off with a coed hockey tournament at Ham Arena where I skated in 4 hockey games in a little more than 24 hours.  Boy was I tired! 

Monday my wife and I went over the “Kanc” to Franconia Notch to meet friends from MA who have a place at Waterville Valley and rode our bikes from the Basin up to Cannon Mountain and the “Old Man of the Mountain” site.  It took about an hour plus to ride up the hills and not quite 30 minutes to coast down.  We even saw a moose on the way home on the Kanc (look for my video to be posted Friday). 

Tuesday was different and we did some house things in the morning due to weather and then came to North Conway for Flatbreads and a movie.  Later that night I skated in another hockey game at Ham Arena that Laurel from Chinook Cafe puts together each week.

Wednesday we finally got the motorcycle out and rode to North Conway for coffee at The Met and lunch at Chef’s Market, Bryant out did himself again with the duck dish he prepared for a TV show he was taping the day before.  We then decided due to high winds we would not ride into Crawford Notch and went the scenic route home through Fryeburg, Brownfield, Eaton and Freedom before arriving in West Ossipee.  All in all a 70 mile ride on a perfect weather day.

Hockey again tonight, Thursday night league at Ham Arena – more later…

Where do you vacation locally?

Doug

Kids in the Valley

Having a six year old son offers some insight on what to do with the kids in Mt. Washington Valley.

You may have a a couple of hours, a day, a week or longer if you are fortunate, but whatever time you have there is stuff to do. Hike, walk, bike, skip rocks at a pond or stream, drive up to the top of Cathedral Ledge and look down on North Conway, visit any one of the many ice cream shops, go the one of the libraries, go to the grocery store and put together a picnic – then choose a view. Look at the trains and fire engines in Schouler Park,  look for leaves that are changing color (I saw a red one yesterday!).  Visit a tent sale and get a good deal on winter clothing, visit one of the many attractions in the area, take out a map and try to find as many mountain peaks as you can.  Explore the Kancamagus Highway and visit Lower Falls and Sabbaday Falls then look for a good spot to swim along the river.

And that’s just the tip of the granite block. With a little planning, a map, and a guidebook you and the kids can have a fun and meaningful experience from sun-up to sun-down.

What do you do with your kids in Mt. Washington Valley?

Mad Hatter Weekend Extravaganza in MWV

So this past weekend I went to the Mad Hatter Tea Party put on by Starting Point. SO MUCH FUN!! I got to dress up and wear a crazy hat…zebra print to be exact.  There was a silent auction, and although I just graduated college and have only a few pennies to my name, I had to bid on the gift certificate to Settler’s Green.  I mean no girl can have too many clothes, and it was for a good cause right!?!  So I couldn’t say no.  Well I won, which comes as no surprise, as I was hovering over the bidding sheet and making sure that I was the last one to submit a bid.  So now I have to go on a shopping spree, and even though I paid for the gift certificate, it feels like a free shopping spree!

Anyway, back to the party.  The food was amazing although I was more interested in the dessert table.  Chocolate cake, tiramisu, and carrot cake to die for, all made by Riverstones.  And if you haven’t tired their baked goods…you got to go.  I’m pretty sure I circled the dessert table 4 or 5 times…oops!  But, the party was a success, all the money raised went to support Starting Point and services for victims of sexual and domestic violence.  All in all a great time, and I can feel good about spending this coming weekend shopping…one of my favorite pass times.

Keep an eye out for pictures of me in the crazy hat….coming soon!
-Siiri

It’s my birthday month!!!!

I know some who are closing in on my advanced age that want to keep the actual number a big secret. Not me. I love my birthday. I celebrate all month long, I mention it to complete strangers, given the chance, and I wait with baited breath to see what my presents will be. Oh sure over the years my wonderful husband has indulged me with beautiful jewelry, fun vacations and even a car one year, but my favorites are the ones where he really listened. My favorite song on the radio, WMWV, when he knows I’m trying to wake up, the tree peony that replaced the one  that moved with us several times only to decide it had had enough and gave up for no reason and the cards that come from the dog and cat that he never forgets.

So here it is two days to go and the anticipation is killing me. With all the beautiful shops and great eateries in the valley I’m sure not to be disappointed…I haven’t been so far and this is number 48!!!

Motorcycles in Mt Washington Valley

2004 VTX1300
2004 VTX1300

I had a chance Sunday morning to take the bike out for a ride as the weather has been pretty dismal lately.  Since moving to West Ossipee I have found a new loop to take which is a short but fun ride.

I head down Ossipee Lake road and go past Danforth Bay Camping Resort and the Bluffs at Danforth Bay down to Route 153 in Freedom and take a right.  From there I go past Bobby Sues Ice cream and out to route 25.  I go right onto 25 and head west and pass Lazy Susan’s Restaurant until I reach route 16 and head north.  On 16 I pass by Indian Mound Golf Course, the Pizza Barn and the old Mt Whittier Ski area before turning onto route 41 and back to Ossipee Lake Road.

The weather was a bit questionable and I only did this loop, but other times I’ve stretched this out by continuing on 41 and 113 until I get into Madison and take East Madison Road until I get to King Pine Ski Area and Camp Tohkomeupog then I head route 153 south until I reach Ossipee Lake Rd and head back that way.

Do you have a ride you want to share?

Doug

Living in Mt Washington Valley

So where do you want to live in Mt Washington Valley? 

We moved to the valley 7 years ago to open a Bed & Breakfast, The Lavender Flower Inn in Center Conway.  We were right on East Main St and it was a great location for a B&B, but when we closed the inn we were hoping for a more secluded location.  So this year after living in the old inn as a private residence for 3 years we put it on the market with David C from Badger Realty.  

The property sold quickly and we were on the hunt for a new property, again with David’s help.  We ended up in West Ossipee in an Aviation Community called Soaring Heights.  Believe it or not, the community has an airstrip that is shared with another Aviation Community, Windsock Village.  We have a 4000′ grass runway that residents and guests can use.  I have neighbors with planes, although a plane is not in my 5 year plan, I would like to take lessons if any of them are up for it.  The planes use the roadways to get to the runway, so you have to yield to them if they are on the streets.  In actuality, the planes are not that many and it is much quieter than trucks that had gone by my old property.

As of this time we are still settling in and trying the restaurants in the area to see what they are like.  I’ll post more on them later as I get to try them out and make comparisons.  We still come to North Conway for eating out at places like Bangkok Cafe and Flatbread Company.

Have a great day!

Doug

X-Files anyone?

There’s PLENTY to do in the Mt. Washington Valley in the rain!

This weekend after swimming with my daughter at Echo Lake State Park between rainstorms (Michelle Cruz of the Mount Washington Observatory would be proud that we waited until the thunder had stopped roaring!), my husband and I stole away to the movies on a date night to see the new X-Files movie. We were huge fans of the series while my daughter was a baby and even went to parties where co-fans would watch the series together in homes with X’s on the windows made with masking tape.  It was fun to see the new movie yet at the same time the movie was a bit of a disappointment. What happened to Scully?! I didn’t like her at all. Did I change or did she? I wish Chris Carter spent a little more time on the movie’s development. Still, like with old friends, it’s nice to meet up again. And it was fun watching Mulder and Scully … well… you’ve got to watch the movie! And look for the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce’s ads promoting services in Mt. Washington Valley, NH.

Next up … Fiddler on the Roof presented by Mt. Washington Valley Theatre Company! I know this is a HUGE contrast! But variety is good. You can see it at Eastern Slope Inn Play House in North Conway Village, NH.

Melody

Anything is Possible!

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