This story was originally published in the Winter/Spring 2021 issue of Appalachia Journal. In a small patch of crumbly dirt and mulch, near the weather-worn trellis where the hydrangea had begun to bloom, my 5-year-old daughter, Uma, plucked a beetle off the wood and held it up to the sun. “Daddy, look Daddy. Isn’t she…

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  Mount Washington was feeling benevolent on the afternoon of August 14, 1945, and 14-year-old Hugh Dunphy was taking advantage of the mountain’s good mood. Dunphy was part of a crew of about 12 campers and counselors from Camp Ropioa in Harrison, Maine, that was hiking toward Washington’s summit under clear skies and mild temperatures—and…

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Every fall since 2013, Dave and Monica Metsky of Somerville, Mass., have loaded their mountain bikes onto their car and driven the nearly 200 miles to Kingdom Trails in East Burke, Vt. There, they check into a rental home and spend several days biking at what Dave calls “the mecca of New England mountain biking.”…

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  Visiting the home of a legend is a curious thing. Marty Engstrom, whose 30-second weather spots from the summit of Mount Washington became a comforting evening send-off to millions of fans in northern New England for nearly 40 years, is waiting for me at the porch door to his sprawling farmhouse in Fryeburg, Maine….

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Of all the places Dr. Baker Perry, a professor of geography at Appalachian State University, visited while training for an expedition to Nepal’s Mount Everest, dangling from a weather station in a winter storm at 4,000 feet was not something he had planned. “It was wicked up there,” Perry says of his experience on [the…

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When Mike Carmon decided to propose to his girlfriend, Jesse Jameson, he picked one of the most remote peaks in New Hampshire for the setting: West Bond, in the Pemigewasset Wilderness.  For these two veterans of the White Mountains (Carmon was then the operations director for the Mount Washington Observatory, and Jameson is the group…

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Since AMC opened its first hut in New Hampshire’s White Mountains in 1888, staff members (a.k.a. “croo”) have had the reputation of being tough and resourceful—perhaps none more so than those who reported to Joe Dodge. Working in Greenleaf Hut or Pinkham Notch under the watchful eye of AMC’s legendary hutmaster in the first half…

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  On January 8, 2008, New Hampshire held two elections. The first was the presidential primary. The second, in which more than 8,000 New Hampshire residents voted, decided the fate of arguably the most important non-human in the Granite State. That non-human was Marty, Mount Washington Observatory‘s current mascot cat. The black, long-haired Maine coon…

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