Little River Bed and Breakfast
Innkeeper(s): Paula & Rob Fox
Hitting for "The Cycle"...Mt Monadnock Style 18 Jul 2016, 7:11 pmNew Hampshire loves baseball... and hiking. In baseball, "Hitting for the Cycle" means hitting a single, double, triple and homerun in the same game. It may seem like a bit of a stretch, but I think Mt Monadnock has its own version of "Hitting for the Cycle" (this is, of course, my own creation). So here's how it goes...
There are six main trailheads on Mt Monadnock:
- White Dot/White Cross (From the Monadnock State Park Headquarters)
- Old Toll Road/Halfway House
- Dublin Trail
- Marlboro Trail
- Birchtoft Trail
- Pumpelly Trail
The first three trailheads (White Dot, Old Toll Road and Dublin Trail) are like hitting a single. That's not to say these are easy trails, they all gain approximately 1700' in elevation over a two mile climb (about four miles round trip) covering plenty of rocky terrain but they are your easiest routes to the top.
|Do we look tired and hot yet? It was 90 degrees!|
|Paula stopped to pick and eat wild blueberries...yum!|
|Thorndike Pond, we paddled there just a couple weeks ago|
The homerun is Pumpelly and is also the reason I am writing this blog post now. Paula and I have been climbing Monadnock at least once a year since we moved to New Hampshire and up to this year we had peaked from every trailhead on the mountain except Pumpelly. It was mostly elusive to us because we had to commit a lot more time for the hike and we never seemed to be able to schedule it...until last week.
Pumpelly's elevation gain is 2000' over 4.4 miles (8.8 miles round trip) but that is a very deceiving 2000' gain. The hike began gentle enough as we started by hiking through some forested land right off Dublin Lake. But then the trail started to climb...not steep but consistently up. About 1.5 miles in the trail got steeper and rocky and we had to start scrambling a bit. This trail definitely progressed getting more challenging the further we went.
|There's the peak...looks far away :(|
When we reached the top of the first steep section after the 2 mile mark, the views became glorious to the East and West and we realized we were on a ridge. That's the deceiving part. For the next 1.5 to 2 miles we were constantly ascending and descending the rocky ridgeline so the elevation gain may be just 2000' but my guess would be we had gone up closer to 2500' (and of course that means you have some more climbing to do on the return trip). About 3/4 of a mile from the peak, we merged with the top of Red Spot and made a "dash" to the peak.
|Yup, that's the ridgeline with our return destination way down at the lake|
As moderate hikers, this trail really challenged us, but the views were outstanding and the lack of other hikers on the trail was welcome. It took us four hours to get to the peak (although the two younger hikers that started at the same time as us probably did it in closer to three) and it took us three more to get back down to the trailhead.
Anyone looking for a challenge in the Monadnock Region will find no better challenge than Pumpelly, but no matter which trail you choose, the views from the top are worth the climb!
100 Views of Mount Monadnock at the Sharon Arts Center Gallery 15 Jun 2016, 5:32 am
The Sharon Arts Center Gallery of the New Hampshire Institute of Art recently reopened after an extensive remodel to transform their gallery space with more area for exhibits, better flow and museum quality lighting. On a recent visit, I had the pleasure to see the new space and spend time in the exhibit titled “100 Views of Mount Monadnock” curated by local artists Michelle Aldredge and Corwin Levi. The exhibit is a collection of postcards featuring 100 views of Mount Monadnock, showing the mountain at various times, in various seasons and from various angles. The postcards have been arranged chronologically by postmark date, ranging from 1900 to 1976. Some of the postcards reveal features on the mountain that no longer exist, such as the Halfway House Hotel and the Tip Top House.
The exhibit illustrates the point that although the times have changed, the mountain has remained a steady reference point. And while the various views of Monadnock are interesting in themselves, there is an extra dimension to the exhibit in that the original messages (written on the postcards) have been typed onto old library card displayed with each postcard’s image.
What struck me as most interesting was that many of the messages, especially among the older cards, were extremely short-and-sweet. They seemed more like today’s text messages than what you would think of as travel correspondence. Many authors wrote of meeting times, train schedules, wildlife, and weather. Some messages clearly did have deeper meaning though, such as the following:
August 27, 1906
To: Rachel Knight, Derry, NH
Are you all dead and buried?
(It actually made me laugh out loud!)
The Sharon Arts Center Gallery is located at 30 Grove Street in Peterborough. The “100 Views of Mount Monadnock” exhibit will be on display through July 3, 2016.
The postcard images displayed here (and many more) can be found at a Flickr album created by theKeene Public Library and the Historical Society of Cheshire County titled “Mount Monadnock, Cheshire County, New Hampshire”.
Visiting the Home and Studios of America's Greatest Sculptor 3 Jun 2016, 7:56 amThe National Parks Service celebrates its 100th birthday this year! So to join in the celebration, we took a day trip to Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish, New Hampshire, one of just two National Park Service locations in the state. (The other one is the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.) Saint-Gaudens gives a fascinating look into the home and studios of the famous American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Rob and I had visited a few years ago on our own, but this time had the pleasure of bringing some friends to see the site and had a little extra time to be able to explore some of the hiking trails on site.
|View from Saint-Gaudens' studio|
The only National Historic Site dedicated to an artist, Saint-Gaudens makes a wonderful destination for people interested in history, the arts, peaceful and beautiful surroundings and hiking. After arriving at the historic site, we started at the Visitor Center where we read and enjoyed a twenty minute movie about his life career.
|Aspet, home of Saint-Gaudens|
We finished our day with a short scenic ravine hike to the Blow-Me-Up Brook where the sculptor and his assistants would go for respite from their work. You can see the remnants of some damming that was done to create a swimming hole.
The park also hosts a sculptor-in-residence during their open season (late May through late October), sculpture classes and workshops, changing exhibitions and special Summer Concerts on Sundays in July and August.
Although not right in our "backyard", a visit to Saint-Gaudens makes a great day trip that can also include many interesting stops along the Connecticut River Valley such as L.A. Burdick Chocolates in Walpole, NH, the Cornish-Windsor Covered Bridge linking NH and VT, Harpoon Brewery in Windsor, VT, King Arthur Flour in Norwich, VT, and more!
Driving Miss Daisy...and more...in 2016 16 May 2016, 9:16 amThe Little River B&B Dinner, Theater and Stay Package...
Peterborough Players is award winning equity theater entering its 83rd year of performing. However, from the moment you arrive at this intimate, fully updated, 1700s barn tucked into the woods North of downtown Peterborough you know are not on Broadway or in the theater district of any large city. The theater is state-of-the-art but the experience is old charm as you walk the halls soaking in the photos of the performances of many decades ago, the exposed wood beams and the candles flickering near the stage before the performance begins that get "snuffed" out.
Every year "The Players" offer a mix of classics, known award winning shows and first time productions. This year is no different as the season begins in June with Pulitzer Prize winning book/play Driving Miss Daisy, two Tony Award winning shows for best play and George Bernard Shaw's comedy Pygmalion. In between you will find a mix of dramas and comedies. This looks to be a great season of productions and we hope everyone will come out to enjoy the experience.
Here at Little River B&B, we want to remind blog readers that in conjunction with Peterborough Players and Del Rossi's Trattoria in Dublin, we offer a Dinner, Theater and Stay Package that is historic, delicious, entertaining...and a sweet deal!
- Dinner at Del Rossi's, an Italian Restaurant that celebrated twenty five years in business under the same owners/chefs. It is located in Dublin in a 1700s farmhouse serving up fabulous home made pastas and other entrees.
- Two tickets to Peterborough Players
- Overnight accommodations with us at Little River B&B in Peterborough. The home was built in the 1870s and offers four comfortable rooms, some with views of the river and all include a wonderful multi-course hot breakfast in the morning.
Check out our Special Package
Peterborough Players 2015 Season:
- June 22 - July 3: Driving Miss Daisy (Pulitzer prize winning comedy)
- July 6 - 17: Annapurna (a new drama)
- July 20 - 31: Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Tony Award winning comedy)
- August 3 - 14: Pygmalion (a comedy by George Bernard Shaw)
- August 17 - 28: The Ladies' Man (a farce by Charles Morey, former Players Artistic Director)
- August 31 - September 11: God of Carnage (Tony Award winning comedy)
- September 14 - 18: Cry Havoc (a one man drama by Veteran Stephan Wolfert)
Please note 2016 starting times for performances have changed a little (which could affect dinner times at Del Rossi's):
- Tuesday - Friday evenings @ 7:30 PM
- Saturday evenings @ 8:00 PM
- Sunday afternoon matinees @ 4:00 PM
- Pygmalion (Sunday, August 7th) @ 2:00 PM
Two wonderful movie houses in the Monadnock Region 8 May 2016, 7:20 pmWondering what to do on that rainy evening...or have a hankering for the smell of freshly popped popcorn?
Well, forget the mega multiplexes where you have to park miles away from the theater entrance at the back of a giant parking lot,. Forget the long lines for tickets which end up as long lines for overpriced concessions and stale popcorn. And forget the endless hallways as you try to find theater #22 which is showing the movie you want to see.
|Historic picture of the Peterborough Community Theater|
|Inside the Peterborough Community Theater|
The theater is just over a mile from Little River B&B so it is very convenient for our guests!
|Wilton Town Hall Theater|
|Wilton: tickets to the left, concessions to the right :)|
Sweet Sixteen...Happy Birthday Geocaching! 2 May 2016, 7:23 pmAs most of you who read our bog know, Paula and I are Geocachers (GCers) and we encourage everyone who enjoys walking and hiking to try it. Well...today, May 2nd, is sixteen years to the day since the U.S. Government flipped the switch on its satellites allowing consumer GPS devices to be substantially more accurate.
|Our nephew finding a geocache back in 2009|
|Another niece and nephew finding a GC in 2011 :)|
Oh and by the way, there must be close to fifty geocaches just within a five mile radius of downtown Peterborough!
Kulish Ledges: A Hike with a Different View 25 Apr 2016, 7:38 pm
As we keep telling everyone, there is so much hiking in the Monadnock Region we have been here for ten years and still haven't hiked all the different trails the area has to offer. Last week was no different as we hiked a trail we didn't even know about until several months ago.
We did not have any guests checking in at the B&B until much later in the evening so we set out to explore once again.
Kulish Ledges is a three mile round trip hike within the Harris Center Super Sanctuary. Although its not the most challenging hike climbing just 700' on the way to its 2100' peak, it was well marked, had some interesting sights to see along the way and offered very nice views from the top.
Shortly after we left the parking lot, we crossed a foot bridge that spanned a babbling brook and overlooked a pond created by a dam to run a local mill. Over the years, this man-made dam has been "enhanced" by the local beaver population. What made this unique for us is that the trail was about five feet below pond level so we were actually eye level with the surface of the water creating a sort of natural "infinity pool".
As we continued on, the trail led through some thick forests and we listened to the resident woodpeckers working for their mid-day meal.
When we reached the East Pinnacle, the views opened up to the East overlooking Nubanusit Lake and Spoonwood Pond in the foreground and Crotched Mountain, North Pack and South Pack in the background. We have kayaked on Nubanusit and Spoonwood but this was our first chance to see them from above. It was easy to simply close my eyes and soak in the solitude of the moment.
From there it was a much steeper climb to the peak.
A wonderful afternoon could be had by stopping at the Hancock Market or Fiddleheads (both in Hancock), picking up lunch, hiking Kulish Ledges and having a picnic. Although it is certainly worth finishing the hike and reaching the peak, the East Pinnacle is definitely the spot to stop and have lunch while enjoying the best views on the mountain.
The Harris Center - East Side Trails 13 Mar 2016, 4:01 pmWelcome to the Little River Bed & Breakfast Blog
When the going gets easy, the innkeepers go hiking :) This crazy warm weather has been bad for cross country skiers and snowshoers but it has been a boon to hikers! This past week when the temps soared into the 70s (that's soaring for early March in New Hampshire) Paula and I decided to put on our walking shoes and get outside.
- Not too adventurous...it is still early March and we were concerned about muddy or icy trails and didn't want to get caught on a steep trail we could not find safe footing on.
- Something new...we have no issues doing hikes we have done before but there are so many trails in the region we have never explored before.
New England Sweetwater Farm & Distillery...legal moonshine and more :) 6 Mar 2016, 1:04 pmLittle River B&B
There's no shortage of places to wet your whistle around the Monadnock Region including several micro-breweries and wineries. However, this winter we decided to check out one of the newest places in the area...the New England Sweetwater Farm & Distillery in Winchester.
|Paula anxious for me to take the pic so she can get to the tasting room :)|
|Really liked the decor! There's Rob photo-bombing us :)|
|I feel like George Thorogood should be playing on the radio|
|OK, shameless plug for all their spirits. They sell shirts too.|
|The mother lode!|
Winter Wonders 14 Feb 2016, 6:14 pm
For Valentine's Day, Mother Nature gifted us with hearts and flowers! And sub-zero temperatures... but I suspect it is this very cold spell that helped deliver our natural gift to us, so we have to accept the good with the... well, cold!
As a bit of background, we were talking with guests about the river and I had mentioned that with the cold we had the previous night, we woke up to hoarfrost on all the grasses and branches along the river. If you aren't familiar with hoarfrost, it is this thick coating of bright white crystals that make everything look like it was dipped in sparkly glitter. Here's an example from a few years ago. It isn't uncommon, but it is pretty when it happens and hard not to notice.
Then we got on the topic of some photos I had seen posted at the Beekman 1802 website, online home to all sorts of creative things by Dr. Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell (whom you might also know from their success a few years ago on The Amazing Race or from their TV show The Fabulous Beekman Boys). They had posted photos of what they called "Winter's Blooms" which appear to be giant frost flowers on their pond. Beautiful! (You can link to their post here.)
So this morning, our guest came down to breakfast and asked if we had any hoarfrost by the river this morning. My answer was "No, but there appears to be something going on on the surface of the ice".
Fast forward a couple of hours and after breakfast our guest ventured out into the cold to check out the river (the temperatures were still in the negative numbers, not including any wind chill). He came back in with photos of very small frost flowers on our own river. Cool! So I went out with my camera to snap a few photos too.
These frost flowers were probably smaller than dimes, but there were lots of them. A Valentine's Day bouquet! Happy Valentine's Day to all!