by GSAs Jimmy & Karen Jordan
Photos by: GSA Doug Moorhead & GSA Connie Loken
Well, I haven’t ever written a blog, but I have written many Jordan family Christmas letters! So here goes.
Jimmy and I were chosen to be a part of this year’s White Mountain Fam Tour as it is called! We weren’t sure we’d make it to the “final four”, but our luck held out and we were on our way to Polar Caves Park to meet the bus on Monday, June 19, 2017. A hearty group of GSAs, AAA advisors from around New England, Chamber of Commerce folks, state DRED people, and people from industry showed up for four days of learning opportunities (as well as fun).
We’ve toured other caves before, but these were glacial caves (not limestone or salt). Some you had to crawl or squeeze through, others twisted through the earth and cooled us off. A great way to start our adventure! Family-friendly and a great day trip. (Make sure to bring your bug spray!)
Then it was off to Alpine Adventures in Lincoln. No, didn’t try anything here; although some rode down the tube slide and flew through the air. A few of us tried the climbing ropes and free fall, but this body said no thanks to that. Great fun for those who like a dare. They are open year-round and even have snow shoeing.
Off to the Flume Gorge. There were choices of a long hike, short hike, or just enjoying the area around the museum/shop. We went on the long hike up to the top of the Gorge. It’s uphill, so a challenge for some. Absolutely beautiful!! This was one of my favorites as I like science and history.
We next rode the Tramway to the top of Cannon Mountain. Great view, new improvements at Cannon. How about a bike ride to the Flume next time? Then you can shuttle back to Cannon. Of course, you can plan on skiing in the winter, too.
Our next stop was the Omni Mount Washington Resort. I had passed by this hotel once before, but this was our own private tour of the hotel (with all its deep dark secrets), dinner and a room. The hotel is a classic turn of the century structure. I think I needed to be wearing a hat and gloves to fit in. Dinner was four courses in a luxurious dining room.
And that was just day 1!! Day 2 (after a breakfast buffet to die for) we headed to Santa’s Village in Jefferson. This was one of our favorite places. It is family run and very much family friendly. Even though we were caught in a downpour (it never rains in New Hampshire J), we were able to go around the whole park and soak it all in.
Then to the Mt. Washington Auto Road. Terrifying to drive up, so we were glad that there was a professional behind the wheel. (This was Ron’s least favorite part of the trip!) We recommend taking the tour. Dawson was a wealth of information as well as keeping us on the road. Froze at the summit. Then down the other side of the mountain on the Cog Railway. We have taken the Cog before and recommend it to all train enthusiasts.
Then it was off to Attitash Mountain Resort. Unfortunately the weather was threatening, so we were unable to partake of any of the activities. They were in the midst of some renovations, but were given a great overview. We checked into the Attitash Grand Summit Hotel and had a great dinner there and a buffet breakfast.
Day 3 we start with a relaxing trip on the Conway Scenic Railroad to North Conway. Breath taking scenery along the way. A good time to unwind. Then it was off to Cranmore Mountain Resort. We were able to get on the coasters and even ventured on a zip line. This is a seated zip line, perfect for young and the old J.
The bus took us to StoryLand in Glen. They have activities for preschoolers through preteens. And a new roller coaster that several of us hopped on. We enjoyed a musical show and box lunch on the bus.
Wildcat Mountain was the next stop. Their claim to fame is their elevation. They are able to have the longest ski season (by 50+ days). Skiing is the name of the game at Wildcat.
After Wildcat we traveled the awe inspiring Kancamagus Highway (a must for all NH guests) to Whale’s Tale in Lincoln. This water park has it all!! From kiddie pools to wave pools to water slides to a lazy river and the new simulated surfing/body boarding venue. A true state of the art.
The day ended with our stay at Woodward’s Resort in Lincoln. The resort is New England family-friendly, full of charm. Reception and dinner…full service breakfast. (Great pancakes!)
Last day…day 4 we started at Lost River Gorge…Wow! You must do the whole hike to get the full effect. The guides were courteous and knowledgeable. They were the highlight of this adventure. Knowledge is king. (They even have lantern tours. How cool is that?)
Next we traveled to Clark’s Trading Post. We had a personal guided tour by a member of the Clark family. Third generation NH business is a must for all NH guests. We watched an acrobatic show as well as the classic bear acts. They are braver than we are. (And the Russian girl must be made of rubber to turn her shoulders inside out!)
A lazy, quiet ride on the Hobo Railroad came next. Scenic views of the Saco River and even yummy desserts were provided.
Our last stop was Loom Mountain. This resort has it all. Skiing, adventure activities, hiking trails, bikes, and even a place for a wedding at the summit. (We counted places for about 180 guests.)
After Loon Mountain, we were back on the bus for our return to Polar Caves Park and our cars for our trip home.
To all who made this unforgettable trip possible, thank you.
Karen and Jimmy Jordan