White Mountains

(C) Chester Ludlow, 1972

Rain clouds are just starting to roll in over Franconia and Chris Brooks is leading me through saplings and overgrown grass. We’re trying to find a trace of the buildings that once stood here.

 

“It’s always hallucinogenic when I come in here, because it doesn’t look like anything I remember,” Brooks says.

 


Flagsonthe48.org

 

New Hampshire hikers have once again honored the lives lost in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The 17th annual "Flags on the 48" memorial hike was held Saturday. Hikers placed American flags on the summit of each of the 48 mountains in New Hampshire with peaks above 4,000 feet.

Organizers say the first hike was a spontaneous effort by six hikers who raised a large flag on the first Saturday after the attacks in 2001 on Mount Liberty.

Taylor Quimby

About a mile from downtown North Conway is a house. A sign out front says, “Residents Only.” An old silver camping trailer sits off to one side, half buried by tall grass and weeds. A half-dozen bikes are parked in the driveway.

Inside, it’s dark and smells strongly of mildew.

Fernando, who is just about to turn 21, is leaning forward, his elbows on his knees. He and four others sit around a coffee table, laughing awkwardly about the radio reporter who knocked on their door just a few minutes ago.

Wikimedia Commons

A sewage facility in the works in the town of Plymouth will give the state a new market for recycled cooking oils, fats and grease.

There's only one plant in New Hampshire that currently processes what's known as FOG, which comes from places like commercial kitchens. FOG can cause costly, unsanitary sewer overflows and gum up standard wastewater treatment systems.

The state’s existing FOG disposal facility is in Allenstown.

Justine Paradis

Do you ever wonder about the sounds we hear every day, by choice or by circumstance? How does the sound of our daily environments affect our lives and minds? One man seeks the quietest place in the White Mountains and we explore the art of the soundscape.  

Going Local: The White Mountains

Jul 25, 2018

We look at the White Mountains as part of our regional series, Going Local.

The White Mountains have some of the best hiking, ATV trails, skiing, and other outdoor sports opportunities in the country, and the region features plenty of attractions for families and adventurers alike. However, sustainable workforce opportunities and affordable housing remain a challenge for the area, and the ever-growing popularity of tourist attractions like Mount Washington present problems for both traffic, and conservation. We'll talk about what makes the White Mountains region unique, and what is on the minds of people who live there. 

James Napoli

Dennis Follensbee took a hike in the White Mountains about a month ago. He wanted to get away, to find some peace and quiet. Or, as he puts it, “nature sounds and not people sounds.”

As he climbed out of the valley, the trickling of water from the brook below slowly faded away. The leaves rustled in the trees. But then, all of a sudden, he hit a ridge and everything changed.

“You feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere, pushing through the forest,” he said. “And then you hear the brrrrrruhhhh coming through, all the way from Lincoln, and you’re like, man!”

It turned out it was motorcycle week.  The noise was echoing across his path.

Sara Plourde; NHPR

The Exchange will explore a different region of the state every Thursday starting July 12th: the Great North Woods, the White Mountains, the Lakes Region, Dartmouth/Sunapee, the Monadnock Region, the Merrimack Valley, and the Seacoast. 

We look at what makes each region distinct, the biggest issues facing that part of the state, and what people who live there love about their home. 

Courtesy photo

Victoria is 23 and working her way through college. Over Memorial Day weekend, she and her parents piled into the car and drove from New York for a vacation in the North of New Hampshire.

Hanging out at the hotel, taking a ride on the Cog Railway, that kind of thing.

New Hampshire officials say visitor safety is a concern at Franconia Notch State Park as more people park illegally along the shoulder of Interstate 93.

Officials say in particular, visitors have been parking outside of the designated parking lots at the Falling Waters/Old Bridle Path Trailheads and Lafayette Place at the park.

Annie Ropeik for NHPR

A long-running debate is heating up on top of New Hampshire's highest peak. It’s attracting more visitors every year, but some fear its delicate ecosystems are at risk from proposed development and overuse. 

Scroll to the bottom of this story to see a timeline of the history of development on Mount Washington.

Robert Garrova for NHPR

Just off busy Main street in Conway Village, George Wiese gives a tour of the inside what’s known as the Bolduc Block in the center of town.

Constructed in 1931 by local businessman Leon Bolduc, this batch of brick buildings has housed a department and grocery store, the post office and many other businesses over the years. And at the heart of the block, a theater: The Majestic.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

Amusement parks like Story Land in Glen, N.H. can be a never-never land for children with autism spectrum disorder. The loud noises and commotion can be too much.

And it’s hard to be excluded from such fun, says Ashleigh Lowe of Merrimack, whose 12-year-old son Alexander has autism.

“It is very disappointing in the normal – not-autism world – to see something that you know your son or daughter would really enjoy but not be able to experience that,” she says.

Annie Ropiek for NHPR

Crews in the White Mountains will spend the summer repairing the oldest hiking trail in continuous use in America. Crawford Path has carried countless hikers to the summit of Mount Washington for nearly 200 years, and endured a lot of wear and tear along the way.

Now it’s getting a badly needed facelift, to mark the White Mountain National Forest’s hundredth birthday

Google maps

 

Two teenagers from Massachusetts have been rescued from an icy New Hampshire trail considered too dangerous for descending any time of year.

Selbe B via Flickr CC

Coos County officials have sided with the Mount Washington Cog Railway in a dispute over a trail near the summit – but the fight is far from over.

The Coos County planning board says the Cog didn't need a permit to clear the trail on its property, as long as it's used for maintenance and recreation.

They say it will need a permit if it's ever used commercially, but it's still not clear what that means.

U.S. Forest Service

You might see smoke rising or trails blocked off in parts of the White Mountain National Forest over the next six weeks.

The U.S. Forest Service will be setting as many as 20 fires across the park in an effort to keep the forest healthy. Fire management officer Patrick Johnson says the fires' locations depend on what the forest needs every year. 

Risk, Decisions, and Death in the Presidentials

Dec 28, 2017
(Photo Matty Bowman)

N.H.'s beautiful Presidential Range attracts hikers in all seasons. Mt. Washington holds the dubious distinction of having “the world’s worst weather” yet hikers and climbers are attracted year-round to the challenging terrain.  It's also been the scene of  hundreds of accidents, including the one that took the life of Kate Matrosova in 2015.  We examine Matrosova's story and the lessons learned about risk-taking and decision-making.

This show originally aired on September 29, 2017. The rebroadcast is Friday, December 29th, 2017 at 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.


Courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection

U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested eight adults for immigration violations during a three-day checkpoint on Interstate 93 in the town of Woodstock last week.

Customs officials say those detained were from Bulgaria, Ecuador, El Salvador and Guatemala, including two people who overstayed their visas.

In addition, agents seized small quantities of marijuana and hash oil from U.S. citizens during the roadblock, which was coordinated with the New Hampshire State Police.

Courtesy

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents are again staging an immigration checkpoint on Interstate 93 in the town of Woodstock, New Hampshire, approximately 75 miles from the international border.

In August, Border Patrol agents detained 25 undocumented immigrants, including several minors, during a weekend checkpoint. The majority of those detained were for overstaying their visas.

Thirty legal U.S. residents were also arrested by the Woodstock Police Department for various drug and alcohol related offenses.

Sean Hurley

Steve Wilkes is a drumming professor at Berklee College of Music in Boston.  He’s also a former member of Blue Man Group and has toured the world with The Empire Brass Quintet. 

But for his latest gig, as this year’s White Mountain National Forest Artist in Residence, Wilkes won’t be making or teaching music - or painting his face blue.  Instead, he’s recording the sounds of the forest and compiling the first ever audio map of the White Mountains.

From Small Mountains to Twin Peaks

Aug 11, 2017
Logan Shannon / New Hampshire Public Radio

Diehard New Hampshire hikers tend to fixate on four-thousand footers, but as any peak bagger who's climbed Owl's Head or Mount Isolation knows, big mountains aren't always the best mountains.

On today’s show, a day out with a heartwarming hiking group that's been shouldering packs since 1979: the Over the Hill Hikers.

We continue with a seemingly simple listener question about the Wapack Range that sends our producer into a geological can of worms for this week's Only in New Hampshire segment.

And, Twin Peaks is back and weirder than ever. We’ll talk to Kristine McKenna, the author who collaborated on a forthcoming memoir and biography of David Lynch, about the filmmaker's life and career. David Lynch is being honored at this year’s Medal Day at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough.

This N.H. Hiking Club Has Been 'Over The Hill' For Decades

Aug 11, 2017
Photo courtesy of the Over the Hill Hikers

There are loads of hiking groups in New Hampshire—groups for women, families with young kids, birders...a quick search on Facebook will turn up one or more that fits your style. The Over the Hill Hikers club has been climbing New Hampshire’s mountains since 1979. Back then, the group's schedule was mailed out by hand. 

Word of Mouth's Virginia Prescott recently took a hike with the club, and came back with plenty of stories to tell.

New Hampshire: The Birthplace of the Summer Camp

Aug 4, 2017

Paul Hutchinson is a Boston University lecturer and co-curator of an exhibit on New Hampshire’s summer camp history.  It's on view at the Museum of the White Mountains in Plymouth until September 13. I went to the museum to see the exhibition and to talk to Paul about the long history our state has as a summer camp getaway. 

NHPR/Sara Plourde

The woods of New Hampshire are scattered with signs of civilization: crumbling foundations, railroad spikes, scraps of unidentifiable metal.

Find enough of these in one place, and you're probably looking at a ghost town - a place people once called home, and have long-since abandoned. 

To the uninitiated, it's the French horn — though that's a bit of a misnomer. To its players and students, it's simply a horn, an instrument that has featured in orchestras for centuries.

The horn's sound is easily recognizable thanks to the prominent role it's played in some of the most epic classical songs and movie themes. But it's still an uncommon instrument, and not the easiest one to build community around. To that end, dozens of horn players head into the woods in the White Mountains every summer to celebrate and learn more about their instrument.

The Mount Washington Avalanche Center issued a serious warning for Tuckerman and Huntington Ravines Thursday morning.

Intrepid winter hikers and skiers are cautioned against braving the terrain, most of which has a high avalanche danger through the day. Eight inches of new snow fell overnight, increasing the likelihood of both natural and human-triggered avalanches.  As wind speeds increase over the course of the day, large avalanches in many areas are likely.

It's been nearly 13 years since Maura Murray packed her car, lied to professors about a death in the family and left Massachusetts. The 21-year-old nursing student crashed her car on a rural road in northern New Hampshire before she disappeared.

Since then, some North Country residents have been keeping up the search for her. They are holding a remembrance and informational event in Littleton on Feb. 11.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

The Appalachian Mountain Club is withdrawing its proposal for a new overnight hut in Crawford Notch State Park.

The AMC notified the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development of its decision after more than a year of what the non-profit called ‘careful consideration.’

MWV Chamber of Commerce via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/DCd9Ju

Yellowstone may be the first national park, but it was New Hampshire's White Mountains that for decades prior captured the imagination of American tourists, scientists, and artists. Today, a portrait of Mount Washington's artistic history.

Plus, from Bob Dylan to Yoko Ono, audiences have long had a fascination with the off-beat or out of tune - so why do we love some bad singers and love to hate others?

Then, America's great repository of world knowledge faces an existential predicament. In a world where information is stored in servers and googled at will, can the Library of Congress really keep up?

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