Why preserving our heritage is so important and fun.

by Linda Ward of Hiking in the White Mountains (15-Oct-2008)

I am the author and one of your guides for Adventures in Print. My ancestors have lived in the White Mountains since the 1800's. When I was twelve I would bike from Bethlehem to Franconia to volunteer at what was once the Willows, a retirement center for the elderly. If you have ever heard the saying I went to school and had to walk 2 miles up hill both ways, this is where that saying comes from. I would help the staff and get to hear stories from the residents. After I was done my friends would meet me, and we would explore the mountain sides, all the while collecting stories about the history and legends of the White Mountains. It wasn't until later in life that the desire to research these stories, to see if they were true and to find the locations where they took place, became a passion of mine.

Something has happened to man over time. We have become so knowledgeable and yet in the process we have lost so much of our intelligence and understanding. We used to be close to nature depending on her for our every need. Now we live in a world that we have created separated from life in it’s natural form. In this new world we can force our way and insist on the results that we control and desire.

Yet, something is missing. How many of you felt your heart race at the thought of a journey like that of Bilbo Baggins. Have your hearts longed for that feeling you had as a child when you took your first step outside of familiar territory. We travel everywhere so fast these days that we have forgotten how peaceful it is to look back and see where we have been, taking in every rock and dip in the road as if they were a precious memory that only we understand. Out in the wilderness we find ourselves at the mercy of nature and we realize how small we are. It is in this humility that our courage and strength of spirit grow.

I now gladly share these stories and places with you. So many fairy tales talk about magical kingdoms located in the mountains. Well, this is no fairy tale but these mountains are magical. I invite you to come and see for yourself. Come away from the everyday grind, for there really are still adventures to be found here, far from the noise and pressures of your everyday life.

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Hiking in the White Mountains

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