It used to be that a big part of sixth grade at Stratham Memorial School was the weeklong outdoor experiential learning camp out in Hancock, halfway between Manchester and Keene. Known more formally now as the Sargent Center, it was Sargent Camp to us. We went in the late fall of 1986, for a week of hikes and woodsy adventure and the kind of team-building, personal growth exercises that would become so deeply familiar during my RYLA career. But it was all new then, the flip c
Everybody hikes Mount Major. It's more than a hill and less than a mountain at just shy of 1,800 feet, an easy ascent in exchange for the panoramic views of Lake Winnipesaukee and the surrounding area. Heck, I can remember a high school student government weekend retreat that included a few of us running up the trail on a dare. For many seacoast kids it is a perennial rite of passage, that first "real" hike to a summit that feels like an accomplishment. I know my boys felt li
Along Route 88 (also known as Exeter Road) in Hampton Falls you'll find the largest and oldest apple orchard in New Hampshire - in fact, the oldest continuously-operated apple orchard in America. And if you visit in September or October, you're in for one of the great traditions of the New Hampshire seacoast. The Applecrest Harvest Festival is a half-century-old classic that includes apple picking, pumpkin patches, and that quintessential New England treat, the apple-cider do
It isn't there any more, and hasn't been for a while. Long enough that even the interwebs have been reluctant to yield up a photo of the place. But it was there, I promise, on Jenkins Court, that little one-way side street in downtown Durham. The building used to be a movie theater in the old days, and housed a wing joint more recently before, apparently, becoming a Thai place. But during my mid-90s stint at UNH and for a few years after it was a restaurant called Benjamin's,
To be a great small town, there are certain inarguable requirements. One of these is an independent bookstore, shelves groaning with national bestsellers and local offerings in equal measure, a place where the community comes for literary satiation and artistic engagement, where conversation and friendship are always in stock. As with so many other criteria, Exeter is fortunate enough to make the grade. Water Street Bookstore is a local treasure, a gem among the jewels studdi
There are other, sandier beaches in Rye - Jenness, Wallis Sands - but Odiorne Point has always been my favorite part of New Hampshire's compact Atlantic shoreline. Natural beauty, recreation opportunities, and layers of local history inhabit the state park there in equal measure. The trails offer opportunities to wander under the shade of dense woods or to venture out among the rocky coves in search of tidal pools to explore. The Seacoast Science Center is a modest gem, with
As the calendar turns to March, we begin to taunt ourselves with dreams of spring, of a furtive sun shedding cloudy veils to bring warmer days. And with that spring, the sports of the season - baseball (more on that another time), and spring track. In my days at Exeter High School in the early 1990s, we'd have a few weeks between the dusty dungeon days of indoor winter track (again, more on that another time) and the onset of spring track season, which always came too early.