Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Taste of the Palate-Part 3

After a brief “High Holiday Hiatus”, I’m back, gearing up for a new year of sin-free postings. I have begun to repent, and am feeling cleansed enough to write again. I was feeling very lethargic, being bogged down with so much sin…

A few of you readers (too many to count), were hanging on every word regarding my gastronomical tour of the White Mountain Region of New Hampshire…and all came to me with the same question: “Critical Palate do you do anything other than eat?” Assuming the “drink coffee” wasn’t the response you were looking for, I assure you all that I am not a couch potato…more like a couch potato puff! We did a bunch of things while away, and here are some of the highlights, or lowlights.

Clark’s Trading Post

No trip is complete to the White Mountains unless you spend an afternoon at “Clark’s”. This is small town, hokey entertainment at its best, and worst. Trained bears that don’t eat their trainers, steam train ride to the highway, past an old “prospector” that makes Ernest T. Bass look like a brain surgeon, bumper boats and a family of female Russian contortionists that had every 15 year old boy wondering about things…

Flume Gorge

The “Flume Gorge” is a natural rock formation and waterfall that has formed over thousands of years, or since the NH Division of Forestry and Wildlife blasted away some of the rocks. Actually, unlike the scam that was “The Old Man in the Mountain”, this does seem to be fairly natural. It’s very scenic, popular with tourists to the White Mountain region, and apparently, very popular with Hasidic Jews.

Here’s small snippet from their web site:
“The Flume is a natural granite gorge extending 800 feet at 
the base of Mount Liberty
Towering granite walls rise to a spectacular height of 90 feet
The Flume Gorge was discovered in 1808”

It is a nice hike-we all did it. But, the state of New Hampshire has a lot of nerve charging a bucket of cash to get in for that schlep. It would be like the Egyptians charging the Jews to go into the desert!

Nonetheless, having never been in, I felt compelled to see the sights, and so we soldiered up and in. Here’s a picture for your perusal.

Attitash Alpine Slides

We took the Junior Palates to Attitash for a day of outdoor fun and frivolity. The main feature/attraction there is the “Alpine Slide”. Imagine a slightly tamer Luge ride-a sled, with a brake, on a cement slide, for a mile-long, high-speed ride down the mountain. To get there, you have ride up a high-speed chair lift, so if you’re afraid of heights, you might want to skip it!

Once you’re on the slide, and getting up a head of steam, watch out, and hold on. Not quite Olympic track speed, it’s a lot of fun, but riders are susceptible are susceptible to getting a “Wedgie” or “V-eggie”, depending on gender.

Chutters in Littleton, NH

The Guinness Book of World Record holder for longest penny candy counter. I don’t think there’s much more to say.

FunSpot/Go-Karts in Meredith, NH

The Guinness Book of World Record Holder for largest indoor arcade. Please, pass the Tylenol, or rat poison.

Across the street: go-karts. The kids finally got a chance to drive their own cars, at least for the 4 laps. This was a real hoot, as was my daughter’s airbrush tattoo. “Look Dad, my own tramp stamp!”

Alpine Adventures Zip Line in Lincoln, NH

This was the “money shot” of the vacation, literally and figuratively. I had read about this in the Boston Globe before vacation, and I figured if I can ride in a hot air balloon, I can strap myself into a climbing harness, latch myself onto a thin wire, and zip across the treetops and zoom down the backside of Loon Mountain. Though expensive, the Junior Palate and I decided that this was one of the best things ever. Also one of the scariest! Like a tightrope walker, one word of advice-don’t look down! Click here for more details…

It’s great to be back. Enjoy Ozark Mountain Daredevils…

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