From 3 Bucks at a Rocky Gorge (and other boulders) to a Pizza Barn

Madison Boulder in NH

Madison Boulder in NH


Vacation can be full of sensory overload. Tuesday was that day. The Kancamagus Highway (Route 112) is called one of the nation’s most scenic highways. The road stretches through the White Mountains for 34 miles from Route 16 to Route 93. Except for a few National Forest-approved inns and businesses along the first few miles on either side, there are no services; no gas, no snack bars, no souvenir shops, no flush toilets (seriously). While we have traversed the road in a motor-home some years back, our visits have mostly been to a place called Rocky Gorge. We go to what is called the lower falls. Rocky Gorge is about 7-8 miles from the east side of the Kancamagus. Walt Disney or Six Flags have nothing on this water park made by Mother Nature. The Swift River winds along the mountain range and New Hampshire, being the Granite State and all is blessed with boulders the size of Winnebagos. The rocks have been part of the mountains, streams and rivers for eons. In this patch of the Swift River, families from the local area as well as visitors who just happen upon the site, are amazed at the rushing current on one stretch and the babbling brook feel of the cool water. Here is a place where you can climb the rocks find some rapids you can handle and plunge into the river with the current taking you maybe 20-feet into a deeper pool; you quickly swim to one side or the other, or face a waterfall that isn’t so high as it is rough when you hit the rocks below. The veterans at the sport of Rocky Gorge are observed by the novices. The vets tread on the smooth and slippery rocks knowing just where their feet will get a grip. Small children stick to the babbling brook areas with moms, dads and grandparents close by. From age 8 and up, it’s a playground like no other. On a Tuesday morning, there were no crowds, just those of us with some time off, wanting to enjoy what Mother Nature offers for the price of  National Park day pass..$3. Seriously.
Adam, Andrew and Doug negotiate Rocky Gorge

Adam, Andrew and Doug negotiate Rocky Gorge

Earlier, we visited Madison Boulder. A zillion years ago when glaciers were moving the earth, this boulder ended up in the forest. It’s the size of a four bedroom house in the suburbs. Unless you take a left off Route 153 when you see the brown attraction sign that says “Madison Boulder,” you’d never know it existed. Our host at a bed and breakfast we loved to visit told us about Madison Boulder. Now Adam and his friend, Andrew have enjoyed this spectacle of nature. Admission price: Free.

Along Route 16 in Ossipee is a place owned by the Meader family; it’s been around for decades. My husband went there when he was a camper at Camp Robin Hood. Pizza Barn burned down at least once, but it’s been in its current form for many years. It’s..a barn and they serve OK, there’s pasta, salads and the like. Pizza Barn became the site this vacation for our family dinner.

Part of the Breskin-Friedman family at Pizza Barn, Ossippee, NH

We gathered, all 17 of us, for pitchers of cold Tuckerman’s beer and soda; several pizzas, plates of pasta and some caeser salads. Most of all, it was a chance to hang out for a couple of hours. Our family picture will be posted when cousin Sean catches up when he gets back from vacation. Family time is priceless.

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