Jackson Town Column: Whitney Community Center to host escape game presentation July 21

There will be an escape game presentation at the Whitney Community Center in Jackson on Friday, July 21, at 7 p.m. Escape games (also know as escape rooms) are becoming more popular every day. What are escape games? Basically, a fun outing where families and friends find clues, solve puzzles, and explore their inner genius. Keith Force, owner of Hourglass Adventures, will guide an interactive presentation about escape games and the escape room industry. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Then, on Saturday, July 22 at the Whitney Center will be presenting "Escape Games — Tohua Island." "Tohua Island" is Hourglass Adventure's first portable escape game and will be available to play at the Whitney Community Center. There are three time slots to choose from: 1, 4, and 7 p.m. Each game takes about an hour and is designed for both novices and intermediate players. Recommended group size is four to six players (larger groups could be split up and smaller groups could be combined with others). Register online at HourglassAdventures.com or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more details. The cost is $15 per person ($20 at the door) and reservations are highly recommended as there are a limited number of spaces.

As part of the Jackson Public Library's summer reading program, don't miss its mid-season extravaganza with Squam Lakes Natural Science Center as they present "Animal Architects" on Wednesday, July 19, at 5:30 p.m. at the Jackson Library. This one-hour program features three live wild animal architects and is led by an expert naturalist. While designed with elementary-school aged children in mind, this family-friendly presentation is ideal for audiences of all ages. The program is also free and open to the public.

Christmas Farm Inn and Lux Wines will be presenting "A Night of Italian Wines" onWednesday, July 26, at 5 p.m. The Lux Wines team of experts brings American wine enthusiasts some of the world's most intriguing, sought after and iconic wines. A four-course meal of dishes paired with a selection of four Lux Wines begins at 6pm in our historic Barn. The bar opens at 5 p.m. The $75 cost is inclusive of tax and gratuity. View the full menu at www.christmasfarminn.com/wine-dinner. For reservations call: (603) 383-4313 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Come join hundreds of cyclists at Tin Mountain Conservation Center's 16th annual Mount Washington Century Ride on Saturday, July 29, and for the 46th Mount Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb, the biggest annual fundraiser for the Tin Mountain, on Saturday,Aug. 19, (weather date is Aug. 20).

The Mount Washington Century is known as the most challenging, and best supported Century in New England; and, the Mount Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb is known as the toughest hillclimb in the world, bragging inclines of 21 percent grades.

Hundreds of cyclists are already preregistered for each event, yet there is still an event bib waiting for both charity bike events. The Hillclimb tops at 625 riders, and the Century remains open for registration including the morning of the event. Tin Mountain Conservation Center has been presenting the Mount Washington Century for the past 16 years with the average number of riders hovering at 250.

Each year, more than 25-30 volunteer members of Tin Mountain staff five aid stations, ride support vehicles, prepare and serve meals, and check-in riders. The 109-mile route traverses four notches, fragrant spruce-fir and majestic northern hardwood forests, across pastoral farm fields, and beside sparkling streams.

The Century Plus route leaves the Albany/Conway area on the Kancamagus Highway, climbs over Bear Notch Road to Bartlett, follows Route 302 through Crawford Notch to Rt 115 in Twin Mountain, along Route 115 to Route 2 past Jefferson Notch and into Gorham before heading south on Rt 16 past the Mt. Washington Auto Road and over Pinkham Notch. From Pinkham Notch the route drops into Glen and back to the Conway area via Route 16 and the scenic West Side Road. The abbreviated, 44- and 88-mile routes also provide scenic rides.

All Century riders are benefitted by aid stations, ham operators, and a bike repair vehicle. Five manned, aid stations are provided for the 109 mile course, three for the 88-mile, and two for the 44-mile. Ham radio operators patrol all routes, as well as a bike repair support vehicle.

The first 325 registered cyclists receive an event T-shirt. A fabulous meal awaits all returning riders at the Tin Mountain Nature Learning Center, where riders can relax and stroll on the 138-acre sanctuary, or tour the beautiful "green" solar, photovoltaic facility. A therapeutic sport massage will be on site.

In the hillclimb, up to 635 elite professional and amateur cyclists will have the chance to cycle their personal best. For those that can break an overall record $5,000 will be the grand prize; and thanks to Cadence Wealth Management, the fastest female and male rider to the 1 mile mark will receive $750. Over 100 volunteers including Ham radio operators and EMTs help make this event possible.

For the privilege of pedaling up the unrelenting grades, cyclists in both the Century Ride and the Hillclimb pay an entry fee and have the opportunity to raise pledges, which in turn supports Tin Mountain's great work promoting an appreciation for the natural world while instilling the bedrock principles of sound stewardship and sustainable lifestyles.

If riders are daring enough to sign up for the Mountain Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb and the Century+, there will be a 50 percent discount coupon that can be applied towards the registration of the Mount Washington Century+.

For more information, and to register, The Tin Mountain homepage provides detailed information about routes, registration, pledge sheets, and other useful information: visit www.tinmountain.org and click under events: Mount Washington Century or Mount Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb. If you are interested in volunteering for both or either events call (603) 447-6991.

Cathi Belcher can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Fryeburg Town Column: Ceili Rain to return to valley for eighth time for Arts Jubilee concert

Summer has been racing along and so far I have been enjoying every minute of it, even the rainy days. My cupboards are packed with homemade jams and jellies; my freezer with fiddleheads, mushrooms and strawberries; and my garden with tomato plants, herbs and weeds. My son Josh and his family have taken me and his brothers and their families on several daylong cruises on Moose Pond in their pontoon boat, where we've enjoyed the loons, swimming, jumping from Whale Rock (named by Iver), dreaming of owning one of the beautiful homes along the shore and simply relaxing and enjoying family time. I hope you are all savoring the hot, lazy days of summer as much as I am.

Ceili Rain is returning to the valley for its eighth appearance at Arts Jubilee this Thursday, July 20, at Cranmore Mountain, located at 239 Skimobile Road in North Conway, at 7 p.m.

Ceili Rain performs an original, innovative blend of pop-rock music with a dash of Celtic/Irish flavor and a subtle, but sincere, uplifting and joyful message. As Billboard Magazine put it, "These guys deserve to be heard by the entire world. Their potential is limitless because they have an appeal that knows no boundaries. Ceili Rain music makes your feet want to dance and your soul soar!" So kick off your shoes, dance a jig, and join Ceili Rain as they carry on in their pursuit of heavenly partiness.

Library Connection: Books as a guide for personal growth


I often experience summer as a perfect time for self-reflection, goal setting and thinking about making positive changes in my life. The Conway Public Library provides an endless collection of books to spark inspiration, self-awareness, knowledge and tools for personal growth. I would like to highlight some relatable titles that almost jumped off the shelves and into my hands.

Lovell Town Column: Old Home Days parade from the first car

I have to admit, I had the time of my life last weekend with the Old Home Days parade, in which I was the grand marshal. As a watcher in the past, I found that many people come to watch the parade. There is an entirely different view from the lead car, and I had a great time. Thanks to the great folks who put the parade together. I heard it was one of the best. I know how much works goes into Old Home Days, so I'd like to thank Mary Anne Vitelia, Anna Romer, Jay Hunter, Carole Craig, Meg Dyer and Stan Tupaj for the honor and a great parade. I'd also like to thank Rosie for a smooth ride and a lot of fun.

The athletic field was busy with so much going on, with members of the Greater Lovell Land Trust, the Kezar Lake Association and the sign up for the Dave Mason Tennis Tournament.  Sign up slots for the tournament are almost full.
The classic boats drew a lot of attention as did the antique cars. The kids had games to keep them busy and my great-great-great niece had her face painted and my great-granddaughter bought five books for a buck. The Lions Club's hot dogs and hamburger always taste better on Old Home Days. The music was lively and kept toes tapping. I must admit that after breakfast with the Masons, riding in the parade and walking around to see everything, by the time I got home a was ready for a nap. Got a quick one before Janice showed up to beat me in cribbage. All-in-all, it was a memorable day. Thanks to all.

Lovell Historical Society summer fair
The cars were lined up on Route 5 and the parking was filled by the time I got to the historical society fair. The auctions was going and folks were wandering through seeing the display of artifacts in the house. Outside there were other displays, plenty to see. Frank Eastman was at his best with the auction. He got a amazing price for an old carpet sweeper. The food was going fast. Poor Stan couldn't keep up with the hamburgers. There was a new addition to the menu: pizza. From the looks of it, it was pretty good. The books of tickets for the raffle were going pretty good, too. The winners of the raffle are Tom and Jessica King (Rosie's gift certificate), Bill and Anne Marie McCormick (Lovell Hardware (gift certificate)  and Jack and Susan Rossate (Two Black Dogs gift certificate).

I'd personally like to thank Cathy Stone for the loan of the 2000 Lovell Centennial T-shirt I borrowed to wear in the parade. It had a lot meaning for me as that was the last year I served on the Old Home Days Committee. When we went looking for it on the top floor of the building, I was amazed at how all the T-shirts were carefully packed away in a special box with tissue paper separating each shirt. They all looked brand new. Many treasures donated to the historical society are preserved in these special containers. Cathy, you do a great job to preserve the history of Lovell.

Library monthly speaker Lisa Hillman
The guest speaker at the Charlotte Hobbs Memorial Library is Lisa Hillman, author of "Secret No More." A health-care administrator, she didn't realize she would need all her training in dealing with the problem of her teenage son's addiction. The number of deaths in Maine are rising and there are many families dealing with the problems that this author dealt with. Her frank dealing with the subject will certainly help those grieving families. The program is on Thursday, July 20, at 7 p.m.

Greater Lovell Land Trust walks and talks
July 19 is the date for the talk at the library which will discuss "Native American Medicinal Plants." July 20 is the walk to search for the Native American medicinal plants starting at 9:30 a.m. to noon. Meet at the at Trailhead Gallie parking lot Heald and Bradley Pond.

Brick Church concert
The Next Brick Church concert will be July 27, featuring Dan Moore starting at 7:30 p.m. More next week about Moore and his music.

Lovell United Church of Christ summer fair
The Lovell United Church of Christ summer fair will take place on Thursday, Aug. 3, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. This is the fair where you find those balsam fir pillows along with other items, such as gifts, baked goods and flowers. There will be a raffle and lunch. The Treasure Table at the church fair is looking for just such items that are looking for a new owner. If you have any just bring them to the church by Sunday, July 30, and put Jacky Stearns name on it

The Thrift Shop will feature baked goods on Wednesday from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact Peg for more information at (207) 935-7528.

Dave Mason Tennis Tournament
The Dave Mason Greater Kezar Lake Tennis Tournament will be held on Friday to Sunday, Aug. 4 to 6. The slots are filling up but players are encouraged to contact Tournament Director Gary Heroux at (207) 925-1001 and  Jim Carty for the Junior Tournament at (207) 647-8478. You never know when there will be a cancellation and a slot will needed to be filled.


Ethel Gilmore Hurst can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..