It is said that when visiting New England, it feels as though you’ve finally come home. The scenic landscapes, lush wilderness and prominent peaks of the region create a spectacle unmatched by any place else on Earth. It’s no wonder that every time I visit New England, I too feel as though I’m finally where I’m supposed to be.
After infiltrating Boston, conquering the Precipice Trail at Acadia National Park in Maine, getting wasted on lobster rolls in Portland, and climbing Bear Mountain in Connecticut, we decided to make New Hampshire the next stop on our New England campaign.
Ignoring the numerous winter storm warnings and phone calls from me mom begging me to go home, we made our way up to North Conway, New Hampshire with plans of taking on the White Mountains. Once arrived, I saw that North Conway is a very, very small town with an even smaller nightlife scene – and even smaller still because of the blizzard. So, naturally, we opted to put out lives in danger and drive through the storm into Maine and back in search of debauchery.
The next morning kindly greeted us with clear skies and crisp air so, after breakfast at Peaches, we headed out for a scenic drive around White Mountain National Forest, checking out the snow-capped summits and frosted treetops that dressed the terrain.
The brisk air and icy-crowned mountaintops invigorated our spirits and breathed new life into our lungs, and suddenly we yearend for some danger. We found that danger in the form of powdery slopes at the Cranmore Mountain Resort. It had been about 3 years since I strapped on a snowboard for the first time and I hadn’t been on one since – so, obviously, I totally sucked!
After a pathetic and fruitless attempt to learn how to actually snowboard, I relinquished all of my fucks and just made my way down anyway I could – mostly slipping and falling and cracking my limbs on the ground.
Beaten and battered by the mountain, we were in desperate need of nourishment and so we stopped at Delaney’s Hole in the Wall for the requisite intake of beef and beer. This place has an awesome vibe and even better food; also, cute waitresses.
Our bellies still ached with glory the next morning so we opted to skip breakfast – possibly my smartest decision ever – and head straight for the next adventure with Northern Extremes Snowmobiling. We booked spots on a guided tour about 2 weeks before the trip (a move I strongly recommend) and almost didn’t make it because of the tremendous effort it took to get out of bed. Nonetheless, we made it right on time, signed our death waivers, strapped on our helmets, and hit the trails!
Snowmobiling had long been one of my biggest bucket-list goals. I love being outside in the winter and snowmobiling was definitely the best way to experience the mountaintops without having to hike through the powder.
Riding a snowmobile around the White Mountains was definitely an experience for the books! It was fast, frigid and fucking awesome! Once you get the hand of turning and maneuvering the snowmobile as it slides across the groves left by other riders, it’s such an effortless and fun thing to do. The four-hour tour took us all over the forest, to the top of the mountains, and then right into a pit of fresh, untouched powder. I feel so lucky that I was able to do this in such a beautiful setting.
After we were forced to turn in the keys to our snowmobiles, it was finally time for our last meal in New Hampshire. It’s CavemanUnbound tradition to end each adventure with an epic feast and so we drove all around the White Mountain region looking for a spot to tear up.
On literally the other side of White Mountain National Forest we found Gordi’s Fish and Steak House in Lincoln, NH. Gordis welcomed us in from the cold with a nice brew and some absolutely delicious, warm, fresh-baked bread right on the table. We killed the entire loaf almost instantly and ordered more so we could dip pieces into a cup of what may be the best New England clam chowder I’ve ever experienced in my life! We threw in a mandatory plate of buffalo wings and made this one the best meals of the entire trip.
With our stomachs full and our spirits flying high, we left New Hampshire in a rush to make it back to NJ before the next snowstorm hit. All the time on the trip home, I was lost in thought about how stunning the Northeast is and how I would love to live here someday. Watching the white peaks pass by as we cruised down the highway made me wonder, what do I have to do to live here? How can I move from my hectic, stressful life in the city to a more relaxed, peaceful life in the mountains?
I guess for now it’s just a fantasy, but one day I do hope to adorn my car with those beautiful white and green plaques and create a life that echoes that triumphant motto, LIVE FREE OR DIE!”