Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Now is the time to go Skiing in the Darmouth Lake Sunapee Region

Area snow reports and events

Mt. Sunapee Resort, Sunapee, NH
Jingle Jam Rail Jam, Sat January 1st, 2011
The first signature event of the season kicks off in the Bob Skinner's 603 Terrain Park Saturday. The Park Crew will be unveiling the new HUBBA along with a holiday blend of rails. $500 cash prizes by Golf & Ski Warehouse plus merchandise. $20 entry fee. Register at the Park Shack. Starts at 1pm.   

More upcoming events at
ski trail at Mt. Sunapeephoto © 2007 Kelsey Ohman | more info (via: Wylio)

Pat's Peak Henniker, NH
Harpoon Apres-Ski Beer Promotion 3  PM to 7  PM in the sled pub

Check out their snow report at
More upcoming events at

Ragged Mt. Resort
Ragged has some need pictures and videos on their site at

Friday, December 17, 2010

Winter is a great time to check out the local covered bridges

Andover Covered Bridge

Bement Bridge
Bradford Center Road
Bradford, NH  03221
Location: One quarter mile north of the intersection of N.H. Routes 103 and 114
Built in 1854, this bridge carries Bradford Center Road across the west branch of the Warner River. Tradition has it that Colonel Stephen H. Long, a Hopkinton native and a member of the U.S. Army Topographical Engineers, built the bridge. While working for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, Long developed a plan for a new covered bridge truss that became nationally known as the Long truss. Long patented his design in 1830. Long truss; 60 feet long.

Blacksmith Bridge
Town House Road
Cornish, NH  03745
Location: 2 miles east of Route 12A
This bridge, built in 1881, carries a foot path over the Mill Brook in the town of Cornish. It is just a few miles south of the Cornish-Windsor Bridge, which crosses the Connecticut River between Vermont and New Hampshire. The name was derived from a nearby blacksmith shop. One-span multi-kingpost truss; 91 feet long. Parking available along Town House Road for two or three cars.

Blow Me Down Bridge
Mill Road
Cornish, NH  03745
Location: South of Route 12A, 1.5 miles southwest of Plainfield Village
The Blow Me Down Bridge, built in 1877, carries Mill Road over Blow Me Down Brook. Multi-kingpost truss; 85 feet long. Parking available in pull off before crossing the bridge.

Cilleyville / Bog Bridge
Andover, NH  03216
Location: At the junction of N.H. Route 11 and N.H. Route 4A
Built in 1887, this bridge spans Pleasant Brook. It was bypassed in 1959 and restricted to foot traffic. The bridge was the model for murals of typical New Hampshire scenes which were once located in the State House in Concord. Town lattice truss; 53 feet long.

Cornish-Windsor Bridge
Windsor, VT  05089
Location: Crosses the Connecticut River between Bridge Street, Windsor, VT, and NH Route 12A, Cornish, NH
Probably the most prominent of all of Vermont’s and New Hampshire’s covered bridges, the Cornish-Windsor Bridge, built in 1866, is the longest wooden covered bridge in the United States and the longest two-span covered bridge in the world. At 450 feet long, the bridge consists of two spans supported by Town lattice trusses. The pier stands nearly under the midpoint of the bridge: the two clear spans measure 204.6 feet and 203.7 feet. The bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Three earlier bridges at this spot, the first of them built in 1796, were destroyed by floods. The bridge, which originally cost $9,000 to build, was rebuilt in 1989 at a cost of $4,450,000 and reopened on December 8, 1989.

Dalton / Joppa Road Bridge
Joppa Road
Warner, NH  03278
Location: South of N.H. Route 103 on Joppa Road
Built in 1853, this bridge carries Joppa Road across the Warner River. This is one of the oldest standing covered bridges in use today. It is also known as the Joppa Road Bridge. The bridge was rebuilt in 1963-1964. Long truss with an auxiliary Queenpost system; 76 feet long.

Dingleton Bridge
Root Hill Road
Cornish, NH  03745
Location: 1.0 mile east of Route 12A on Root Hill Road
See Map
This bridge, built in 1882, carries Root Hill Road over Mill Brook. One-span multiple kingpost truss with a total length of 77 feet. Parking available on left side of Root Hill Road after crossing the bridge.

Edgell Bridge
River Road
Lyme, NH  03768
Location: One mile south of N.H. Route 10, two miles south of Orford Village
See Map
Built in 1885, this bridge carries River Road across Clay Brook. The bridge was assembled on the town common and moved by oxcart to the planned location. In 1936, it washed off its northern abutment. It was moved back, and tied down with cables. Town lattice truss; 132 feet long.

Keniston Bridge
Lorden Road
Andover, NH  03216
Location: South of U.S. Route 4, one mile west of Andover Village
See Map
Built in 1882, this bridge carries Lorden Road over the Blackwater River. The bridge's name came from a prominent family that lived for many years in one of the old homesteads in town. The bridge has been damaged only once, in 1972, when ice tore off several planks. The bridge was rehabilitated by the town in 1981. Town lattice truss; 64 feet long.

McDermott / Cold River Bridge
Landgon, NH  03602
Location: North of N.H. Route 123A, two miles north of Alstead Village
Built in 1869, this bridge is the fourth on this site. Previous bridges were built in 1790, 1814, and 1840. A modern bridge which was built downstream in 1964 and the covered bridge was closed to vehicular traffic and retained for historic reasons. Town lattice truss with light arches; 81 feet long.

Meriden / Mill Bridge
Colby Hill Road
Plainfield, NH  03781
Location: 1 mile northwest of Route 120 in Meriden Village
See Map
This bridge, built in 1880, carries Colby Hill Road over Blood Brook. Two-span multiple kingpost truss with a total length of 80 feet. Large parking area available on right side of Colby Hill Road before crossing the bridge.

Packard Hill Bridge
Riverside Drive
Lebanon, NH  03766
Location: On Riverside Drive in Lebanon
Between 1780 and 1790 an open timber bridge was constructed at this location for Ichabod Packard. In 1878, the open timber bridge was replaced by a Howe truss covered bridge. It was replaced in 1952 with a Bailey Bridge. The Bailey bridge was replaced in 1991 by the current bridge, which carries Riverside Drive across the Mascoma River. It was constructed in a manner which replicates the traditional style of covered bridges. Howe truss; 76 feet long.

Pier Bridge
Newport, NH  03773
Location: East of Chandler Station and west of N.H. Route 103 on the Concord and Claremont Railroad line spanning the Sugar River.
The current bridge was built in 1907 by the Boston and Maine Railroad to replace a wood lattice bridge constructed in 1871-1872 by the Sugar River Railroad. The double Town/Pratt lattice trusses with laminated arches were long favored on the branch lines of the Boston & Maine Railroad. In 1900 at least 100 of this type of truss were in use on the Boston & Maine system. Double Town-Pratt lattice truss; 216 feet long.

Prentiss / Drewsville Bridge
Old Cheshire Turnpike
Langdone, NH  03603
Location: One-half mile south of N.H. Route 12A
Built in 1791, this bridge, the smallest covered bridge in New Hampshire, carries the Old Cheshire Turnpike over Great Brook in Langdon. It is the third bridge on this site. It was bypassed in 1954 and now serves foot traffic only. Town lattice truss with light arches; 34 feet long.

Waterloo Bridge
New Market Road
Warner, NH  03278
Location: South of N.H. Route 103, two miles west of Warner Village
Built in 1840, this bridge carries New Market Road across the Warner River. The structure was completely rebuilt in 1857 and a second time in 1970, and it was rehabilitated in 1987 at a cost of $3,000. Town lattice truss; 76 feet long.

Wright’s Bridge
Newport, NH  03773
Location: Two miles south of N.H. Route 103 and one-half mile west of Chandler Station in Newport
This bridge, on the Concord and Claremont Railroad line spanning the Sugar River, was built in 1906 by the Boston and Maine Railroad. It replaced a wooden bridge built by the Sugar River Railroad in 1871 and 1872. The Concord and Claremont Railroad was well known for its use of the double Town/Pratt lattice truss. In 1915, there were 15 such bridges on the rail line.

descriptions courtesy

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Winter visitors to the Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee area, area birds

This is the season for entertaining visitors, perhaps including some who come great distances by air. The majority who fly to visit us do not drop in unannounced and unexpected. But some of our northern neighbors seem to have a habit of doing this every few years in winter. This commonly happens when food up north is scarce. These visitors sometimes arrive in huge numbers, and sometimes come singly. Look for them this winter when you are out and about. Here is a very brief guide to their appearance and characteristics.

read more and see some beautiful winter bird pictures at

Mount Sunapee Sugar on Snow Celebration

12/28/2010 at 10:00AM - 2:00PM
Sample delicious sugar on snow from Valley View Maple Farm in Springfield, NH. Other maple products are on sale on the patio at Sunapee Lodge.

An Interview with Linda and Brian MacKenzie, Inn at Pleasant Lake

Inn at Pleasant Lake
1-800-626-4907 | Pleasant St., New London, NH
Relax in our elegant ten room inn overlooking Pleasant Lake and Mt. Kearsarge. Gourmet Dining.

An Interview with Linda and Brian MacKenzie
Linda and Brian have owned the Inn of Pleasant Lake for 14 and half years. Linda lived and worked in the hospitality field in Colorado, New York State and Virginia. Charlottesville, Virginia was where she learned inn reservations and other aspects of running an inn with a fine dining restaurant. Brian after attending university he worked in hospitality in Colorado, then attended the Culinary Institute of America. His first job out of CIA was at an upscale inn in Charlottesville, VA. After a year and a half in Charlottesville they bought The Inn at Pleasant Lake.

Linda and Brian's favorite thing about owning a Country Inn is their daily routine, which goes beyond the guest rooms, guest service and breakfast. Linda says, "We also incorporate into the daily mix our fine dining dinner service. When looking at the whole daily routine, We find that our favorite one thing is basically making our guests happy. Not only just happy, they tend to leave totally relaxed by the inn and its surroundings. A stay at the inn can be mentally and physically therapeutic by removing people from the hustle and bustle of their everyday lives."

Linda says, "We were looking to open a fine dining restaurant and preferred to purchase in a country location in New England versus a large city. To make the financials work in this type of demographic we figured it would make sense to do both an inn and fine dining restaurant. Our goal was to turn our inn into Destination Dining where guests would want to come for the food and extend the experience by staying over in a guest room."

Brian and Linda comment that most challenging about running a B&B is the transient nature of staff in their industry, although they have been lucky to have many great staff stay for many years and they supplement their busy times with additional support staff. Linda says, "Still there is a steady in and out of part-time help that can be challenging to manage."

"Time off can be elusive, " Linda mentions, "But we do try to schedule time away from the inn. In these times we enjoy doing things with our children. We enjoy the lake during the summer and snow sports in the winter. Our lives are really full so a nap always sounds great, but is rarely available."

Linda handles the marketing, payroll, wine list and ordering, bills, the ordering of supplies for guest rooms and the gift case, and décor changes and assists Brian when needed in reservations, with weddings and wait staff.
Brian is the executive chef, handles all ordering for the restaurant, catering agreements, restaurant staff, is the manager on premise and is responsible for anything that comes up. He handles broken things, guest relations, cooking, and much, much more.

The inn is located on Pleasant Lake and has a sandy beach for their guests to use and swim from. The inn supplies two canoes, one double kayak and a rowboat for guest use. A short walk from the inn is the entrance to a great hiking trail system offering easy, moderate and challenging hikes. New London has a nice mix of shops and is home to The New London Barn Playhouse which does summer stock theater.

Linda comments, "Many people come for a vacation or to visit people who live locally. We get many guests attending weddings at our inn or other nearby wedding sites. We get a good amount of parents from the local colleges and boarding schools and we have some customers who come for business."

From check in to check out Linda and Brian try to meet the guest's needs. They provide an afternoon tea each day of their stay and a hearty breakfast. They also have coffee and water available at all times and Wifi and a guest computer for those interested in those amenities. Some of the rooms have whirlpool tubs. They spend a lot of time on the gardens and making their grounds beautiful and peaceful.

The inn attracts all kinds of guests. They do weddings, they accept children so they have a lot of families too. Linda says, "The baby boomers are a big segment of our market as well, but truly it is a pretty good mix of all ages which keeps us competitive in our location."

Linda says that she would say to people who have never stayed in a bed and breakfast before that she would encourage them to try it and notice that a stay in an inn is much more memorable than staying in a routine hotel room. She adds, "Many of the little extras such as WIFI and snacks are included in the rate. It has a homelike feel with sitting rooms and a home cooked breakfast."

Linda feels that their B&B is different from other B&B because they cater to customers that want to enjoy a full breakfast, afternoon tea and the availability of an amazing prix-fixe dinner. They pride themselves on consistency and cleanliness. The inn is their career and they run it very professionally gauging the guests needs for interaction or privacy.

The Inn's signature dish's are their frittata or their Baked French toast get rave reviews at breakfast.
Their prix-fixe dinner is a very special evening featuring a soup, followed by a salad, an entremezzo to cleanse the palate, a choice of entrée and then dessert. Many of their guests have them at the top of their list of favorite dinners of all the places they've traveled in the world. They love that compliment!

Featured Recipe: Dragonflies Bed and Breakfast, Quesadillas with Avocado and Tomato

Dragonflies Bed and Breakfast
603-927-4053 | 9 Kezar St. , North Sutton, NH

Convenient at pretty village center with lake frontage.

Quesadillas with Avocado and Tomato


  • 1 cup white corn kernels
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup aged grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 4 Tortillas
  • 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
  • Tabasco
  • 1 sliced avocado
  • Tablespoon of chives
  • 1 Large beefsteak tomato
  • Preheat oven to 400F.  
  • Brush baking sheet with half the olive oil.
  • Mix cream cheese with lemon juice, curry and a little salt and pepper.  
  • Stir in onion, cilantro and corn.  
  • Spread quarter of the mixture over each of the four tortillas.  
  • Cover with cheddar cheese and fold each tortilla firmly in half.  
  • Brush tortillas with remaining olive oil.
  • Bake for approximately 10-15 minutes  (until golden).  
  • Slice into wedges and serve with avocado and tomato slices.
  • Sprinkle sparingly with chives and tabasco.