From Maine we headed out to the Mt. Washington New Hampshire area on a recommendation from my friend Nikki. Some places are like that; we just throw out there to friends, “Where should we go?” and then we go! So it all started with a sad, stale knock-off bag of bbq chips and a whole lota rain.
We had no expectations on what it would be like and were surprised by what a hiking mecca it was! We LOVE hiking! We just don’t get to do it very much with 3 littles. Joe and I actually aspire to hike The AT (trail that goes continuously from Georgia to Maine) one day when the kids are old enough to leave for the 5 months it takes to do it! Stay tuned for that blog!
Well the AT runs right over the Presidential Mountain Range and drops hikers less than a mile from the park we camped in! There were hikers EVERYWHERE! There were trails EVERYWHERE! There were supposedly moose EVERYWHERE! It was awesome!
The place we were staying actually had a hikers’ loft above their office where a father daughter team were staying while they hiked parts of the AT. I stared aspiringly in their direction for a day and a half, before hearing the dad mention on a phone conversation in the community laundry room that he was from Round Rock, TX (practically Austin!) and worked up the courage to walk over to him one evening and offered him a beer. Then his daughter came out and drank a beer with us too! Those two beers turned into too many beers to count and hours of good conversation and me serving up dinner. We talked about the trail and them almost freezing to death on Mt Washington (you’re not a serious hiker until you have an “we almost didn’t make it” story), a little about our travels, our pasts, and aspirations. Some time around 1am we parted ways. We wish you well Chelsea and Bill! Hope to run into you in Austin sometime when we all return! Happy Trails!
A lot of our time, and I mean A LOT, was spent at the campground playground/bounce house/pool/rec room. The grounds were run by a husband-wife team who had owned the place for 20 years and they were great! They gave us the front spot, right across from the playground. Upon arrival I wasn’t too sure it was the spot we wanted since it didn’t provide any shade–or much privacy–but it ended up being the best spot for us! Have I mentioned how much we loved that playground?
The owners lived in a house attached to the office and would light a camp fire every night and sit outside. Friends would come and join them every night and campers were invited too. One night, when Joe took the kids to bowl, I walked over and sat with them for awhile. I just kept thinking how cool it was that they were surrounded by friends and potential new friends every night, around a campfire, talking. The kids returned and sat with me awhile too before we all headed back to the RV for dinner.
Along with all the campground fun, we took a few trips out and about too…
One day, despite my intense fear of doing it, I took the kids and planned to drive our dually, supercab, extended bed truck over narrow, winding, dirt, mountain roads with no guard rails to get to the top of Mt Washington. But thankfully when I pulled up to the entrance booth a guy came out and said they did not allow dual-wheeled vehicles up the road. I could have kissed him I was so relieved! I almost really did kiss him when he handed me $5 off coupons for the tour van that takes you up the mountain instead, making the tour nearly as cheap as driving it myself. See it pays to be so cheap that you attempt to do things that scare you to death because then people give you coupons!
So we rode up the mountain my 3 children and I in the backseat with 2 other couples. My kids were decent on the 30 minute drive up, but not great. There was some crying and getting out of seat belts (Jonah), but we made it with minimal looks back from the couples.
When we got to the top the wind speed was 55mph and a clear day so you could see for miles!
There were several buildings on the top of Mt Washington, including the original inn that travelers would stay in when they arrived by horse and buggy.
There was also a small museum that told about the mountain, it’s wildlife and conditions, and was a lot of fun! It had a cafeteria on the top floor and post office. Cause even when you are on top of the world’s craziest weather having mountain, you still need to get your mail!
In addition to all this, there was a well stocked gift store, that is held to the ground with chains so it doesn’t blow away. Man, so much going on on this mountain top!
It was a fun day and THE thing to do in the Mt Washington area! And we didn’t fall off the mountain, so that’s good. Check!
Being around all these AT hikers and tailheads, had us itching to do a hike! So on Joe’s day off, we all headed to the ranger station to pick out a family hike and get the girls their White Forest National Forest Jr Ranger badges (whew, say that 5 times fast!).
And with Jr Ranger patches in hand, we started on our hike!
We also hit a sad little farmer’s market, but I found my snail-rv art there! And we went to Walmart several time to get Joe a new computer to replace his that finally bit the dust. And I cleaned the truck, and I mean REALLY cleaned the truck, with a high powered vacuum and everything! So that should keep for a few months, don’t you think? We found even more playgrounds to play on too!
That’s how New Hampshire was for us. Unplanned. Casual. Come what may. Lots of hanging at the campground, doing laundry, swimming, yoga. Sprinkled with new friendships. We all really, really loved this place an extra amount!