It became America’s ninth state on June 21, 1788. Alan Shepard was born here, the first American in space, as was Christa McAuliffe, the first private citizen selected to go in to space, who tragically lost her life in the Challenger disaster. It was also the birthplace of Sarah Hale, the writer of ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’. It is the only state that does not require adults to wear seatbelts by law. It was the first state to install a green LED traffic light. And it was where the first potato was planted in America, at Londonderry Common Field in 1719. Today, we’re in the Granite State, New Hampshire.
New Hampshire is a state in the northeast of America, bordered by Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, Quebec and the Atlantic Ocean. It is the fifth smallest state with an area of just over 9,000 square miles, and is the ninth least populated state with a population over just over one million people. The state was named by John Mason who was born in the county of Norfolk in England, but lived in Portsmouth, in the county of Hampshire. In 2001, the state flag was voted the tenth worst flag in America and Canada. I don’t want to be mean by agreeing with that sentiment, but – you know. The state motto is the rather ominous ‘Live Free or Die’. Oh, what’s that? Only in America? Yes, quite right.
New Hampshrities love their nature and maple syrup, and are a friendly and environmentally conscious folk. They love to hike over the many mountains of the state, and ski on them in the winter months when copious amounts of snow envelop this free and equal state. A state that is home to many county fairs and breweries. And is famous for its wide variety of autumnal colours that enrich the vast scenic land. Before New Hampshire’s infamous winters set it. So much snow…
There are wonders to see, such as the many wonderful covered bridges. The outstanding beautiful coruscating blue waters of Lake Winnipesaukee. The magical and otherworldly Flume Gorge, a landscape almost enraptured by a fairytale embrace. Manchester, the state’s largest city, decorated with charming brick buildings of different height and colour, giving it a quaint and somewhat old time American feel. And you can’t forget Portsmouth, a beautiful and popular city by the sea, a gallimaufry of delightful architecture, incicurable and breathtaking as it basks in etherealness by the water’s edge. And I haven’t forgotten the Old Man of the Mountain. But you can hardly call it a great sight of the state. It’s not there anymore. Calling it ‘great’ is no different to tearing down the Pyramids of Giza and claiming the land they stood on is pretty neat. The Old Man was darn impressive, but it’s sadly gone.
I think the greatest sight of the state is Cathedral Ledge in North Conway. A vast rock cliff surrounded by a sea of trees that, in the autumn, paint a versicolour canvas of artistic merit. The durous grey rock is perched almost delicately in the landscape like a glinting piece of flint, yet is seamlessly beginningless in a mêlée of grace and splendour. It is simply a great way to see a great landscape.
New Hampshire. The state of granite, space and maple syrup.
Images: 1) The flag of New Hampshire (credit: wikimedia.org), 2) Cathedral Ledge (credit: boltz-online.com), 3) Cathedral Ledge (credit: rockandice.com)
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