Gunstock & New Hampshire’s Lakes Region

Last weekend’s trip to the Lakes Region of New Hampshire for the Timberman 70.3 Triathlon was an adventure. When the Livingston’s travel, that should be expected. We had the van full of gear, maps, food, and of course, kids. Anywhere in New Hampshire south of the White Mountains can be a stressful place. We frequently hit NH via I-91, but on the way up, we opted for the I-84, I-90, I-290, I-495, I-93 combo. That was nuts. Still, it wasn’t half as nuts as our attempt return home that way.

We never made it onto 93. We saw the traffic backed up from a bridge in Laconia, where it was already bumper to bumper. So, we bailed on the “direct route” plan and opted for the cross-state tour on route 11. We wound our way through a lot of small towns on our way to Ascutney, Vermont. Both Deb and I breathed a collective sigh of relief when we crossed the Connecticut River into the Green Mountain State. We don’t fit in New Hampshire, but we sure do like hiking there!

Lake Winnipesaukee is a busy lake. It isn’t a relaxing place with all of the boat traffic. The campground at Gunstock was overrun. It was packed and overused. It was a place to pitch a tent and park a van, but it is far from wilderness. No ski mountain qualifies as wilderness anyway. It wasn’t even wildness. The kids enjoyed the playground. There was barely any water in the showers. No matter. The purpose of the trip was to do the race. We got it and we got out.

One cool thing at Gunstock was the old ski jump. Folks say that it is still in use, but it looked too overgrown and rickety to be safe. I’ll have to ask around and get the real scoop. As for Ellacoya State Beach, I’m sure it is a beautiful place, but you could never tell with the way the race took it over. It was covered from corner to corner with Ironman stuff. Bikes, equipment, tents, chairs, giant inflatable things, people, etc. The place was a maze, but on Saturday before the race, we checked out the grounds. We found the Mavic neutral support tent. It was the perfect place to “repair” our son’s bike. He has grown a bit and it was time to raise the saddle. It was amusing to see his bike amongst all of the tricked out tri-bikes. It drew more stares then my Seven.

It would take another big race to draw us back to that part of New Hampshire. We are going to stick to 91 from now on.

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