Welcome to the 2013 Summer Guide
The Valley News Summer Guide, for those staff members charged with putting it together, is both a wonderful tradition and a little bit annoying.
A wonderful tradition because it reminds us of how fortunate we are to live in such a beautiful part of the country: verdant green hills criss-crossed with endless hiking trails, pristine fresh water lakes for swimming, kayaking, and sailing, quiet and meandering back roads for long bicycle rides, numerous farms to pick-your-own fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Forgive us for our partiality, but we really wouldn’t want to be anywhere in the summer (or the fall, winter, and spring for that matter).
But the Summer Guide is also a bit annoying because it requires asking our overworked staff to work a little more. When an editor approaches reporters to ask them about contributing a story to the Guide, there is the inevitable roll of the eyes and that do I really have to? look comes over their faces.
It was with that expected reaction in mind that we set out to do something different this year. Yes, we have the usual lists of where to pick-your-own strawberries and blueberries and where to hike and camp. But the aim this year was to ask reporters to try something they always wanted to do, or had done rarely, that could capture an Upper Valley experience. And then come back and write about it in the first person. The idea was to provide an opportunity for reporters to write about something they wanted to, on the theory that would also make it fun for them to write and, most importantly, fun and interesting for you, the reader, to read.
So in the following pages you will find our reporters undertaking and relating some of their Upper Valley summer experiences. Zack Peterson went up for a glider ride at the Post Mills Airport in Thetford. Maggie Cassidy got her first horseback riding lesson at Silver Maple Icelandic Horse Farm in Tunbridge. Ben Conarck went cliff climbing at Rumney Rocks in Rumney, N.H. Katie Mettler experienced a day on a Norwich farm. Sarah Brubeck survived an afternoon of roller skating at a rink in Enfield. And Jon Wolper, for those who like to find adventure without ever venturing outdoors, satisfied a long-time curiosity: He learned how to the play the ukulele with a club that meets in Hanover.
The result, we hope, is that you will find these adventures in the reporters’ own words as enjoyable as we found them. What it also illustrates is the wide variety of summer activities available to those in the Upper Valley, and reminds us (as if we needed it), of the very special place we get to spend our summer.
— The Valley News