Friday, September 4, 2015

Newbury Trail to Eagles Nest to Lake Sunapee Overview, New Hampshire

Mike and I were going to hike the Mt Sunapee Newbury Trail on Saturday.  However, neither of us knew where the trailhead was – and the trail map we had was not clear.  On Friday my wife and I scouted and located the trailhead in Newbury Harbor NH-103 west to the first left, then bear right on Lake Avenue to the trailhead sign on the right.  The Trailhead sign in this blog video shows directly behind the Lakeview Avenue sign and jeep picture.

We did a fairly easy two hour roundtrip hike to Eagles Nest overlook to a marvelous view of Newbury Harbor.  The Eagles Nest overlook is a ten minute side-trail hike off the Newbury Trail.
We met two trail maintainer volunteers working on the trail.  They graciously answered my questions and demonstrated the moving and placing of a large rock.  You can learn more about Cardigan Highlanders Volunteers Trail Crew at

On Saturday Mike and I repeated the side trail hike to Eagles nest, and upon returning to the Newbury Trail we turned right continuing up the southern part of Mount Sunapee.  This section of trail gets steeper and more strenuous to hike.
We reached the Newbury-Rim Trail junction and then turned left staying on the Newbury Trail.  For the next 10 plus minutes we climbed a rock-ladder laid trail.  When we reached the Lake Sunapee overlook we had a magnificent view of the nearly 8 mile long by 2.5 mile wide Lake Sunapee and its many islands and main harbors.  The sky was a bit hazy, but not enough to take away from this breathtaking sight.
"The summit of Mount Sunapee (elevation - 2,743ft.) is reached via ski trails or the Summit hiking trail (Red Blaze). The start of the Summit Trail can be found on the right of the Lower Ridge ski trail, behind Sunapee Lodge.
A number of hiking trails are accessible year-round at Mount Sunapee.  These include the Summit Hiking Trail, the Lake Solitude Hiking Trail and the Newbury Hiking Trail.
You may also hike on any of the ski trails during the summer months. Ski trails are off limits for hiking during ski area operation, however, you are allowed to cross ski trails during winter operation to access the state hiking trails. Please look uphill for downhill skiers and snowboarders before crossing the ski trails.   Mt Sunapee snowshoe trails are located across the road from Spruce Lodge if you wish to have a shorter and less demanding hike."
For your safety be sure to be prepared when hiking:
  • Allow ample time
  • Wear sturdy footwear
  • Know and heed weather forecasts
  • Bring warm clothing and rain gear
  • Bring food and water in with you
Download Mt Sunapee Maps & Info
Lake Sunapee
“The lake is approximately 8.1 miles) long (north-south) and from 0.5 to 2.5 miles wide (east-west), covering 6.5 square miles with a maximum depth of 105 feet. It contains eleven islands (Loon Island, Elizabeth Island, Twin Islands, Great Island, Minute Island, Little Island, Star Island, Emerald Island, Isle of Pines and Penny Island) and is indented by several peninsulas and lake fingers, a combination which yields a total shoreline of some 70 miles. There are seven sandy beach areas including Mount Sunapee State Park beach; some with restricted town access. There are six boat ramps to access the lake at Sunapee HarborGeorges MillsNewburyMount Sunapee State Park, Burkehaven Marina, and a private marina. The lake contains three lighthouses on the National Register of Historic Places. The driving distance around the lake is 25 miles with many miles of lake water view. The lake is 1,093 feet above sea level.
The lake's outlet is in Sunapee Harbor, the headway for the Sugar River, which flows west through Newport and Claremont to the Connecticut River and then to the Atlantic Ocean. The lake discharges about 250 cubic feet per second (on average), and the Sugar River drops approximately 800 feet on its 27-mile journey to the Connecticut River.”

"Everyone must do something.  I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"

Steve’s latest book, Outdoor Play "Fun 4 4 Seasons" is available as an e-Book at Kindle ($3.99) and hard copy at ($11.95)

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Book Review by Stephen L. Priest for “The Boys in the Boat"

“The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics”
 by Daniel James Brown.
ISBN 978-0-670-02581-7
A Number One New York Times Best Seller

I just had to read the “The Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown.  After taking three weeks of rowing lessons from the Lake Sunapee Rowing Club, then blog posting my rowing experiences - ROWING through the eyes of a Beginner and Lake Sunapee Rowing Club 2015 Flag Pole Race - and receiving 5 emails from friends strongly recommending the book, I felt I would be letting my readers down if I did not read this New York Times Number One non-fiction best seller.

The Boys in the Boat, documents in narration and story format how: nine college boys from the University of Washington - one coxswain and eight rowers; their coaches; and their shell designer; faced personal and political obstacles to stay in college, be on the non-scholarship rowing team, and get to the 1936 Berlin Olympics in Hitler’s Nazi Germany.

The book not only tells the story of each person, but shares the historical and political significance of Hitler’s Germany before World War 2.

Once into the book, I found myself relating to each character – and not being able to put the book down. Admittedly, I cried during the author’s Epilogue.

To entice you to read this MUST book here are few excerpts from the book: 
  • George Yeoman Pocock: “I believe I can speak authoritatively on what we may call the unseen values of rowing – the social, moral, and spiritual values of this oldest of chronicled sports in the world.  No didactic teaching will place these values in a young man’s soul.  He has to get them by his own observations and lessons.” (Chapter One page 7)
  • “Immediately after the race, even as he sat gasping for air in the Husky Clipper while it drifted down the Lager See beyond the finish line, an expansive sense of calm had enveloped him.  In the last desperate few hundred meters of the race, in the searing pain and bewildering noise of that final furious sprint, there had come a singular moment when Joe realized with startling clarity that there was nothing more he could do to win the race, beyond what he was already doing.  Except for one thing.  He could finally abandon all doubt, trust absolutely without reservation that he and the boy in front of him and the boys behind him would all do precisely what they needed to do at precisely the instant they needed to do it.  He had known in that instant that there could be no hesitation, no shred of indecision. Chapter Nineteen page 355
  • The mantra M.I.B.  “The initialization stood for “mind in boat.”  It was meant as a reminder that from the time an oarsman steps into a racing shell until the moment the boat crosses the finish line, he must keep his mind focused on what is happening inside the boat.  The whole world must shrink down to within the small gunwales…. Nothing outside the boat – not the boat in the next lane over, not the cheering of a crowd of spectators, not last night’s date – can enter the successful oarsman’s mind.”  Chapter six Page 90
  •  Official Book Trailer 
  • The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

I hope I have enticed you enough to read this well-written historical documentary.

Rowing Blog Posts by OutdoorSteve

"Everyone must do something.  I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"

Steve’s latest book, Outdoor Play "Fun 4 4 Seasons" is available as an e-Book at Kindle ($3.99) and hard copy at ($11.95)