Press Release: February 10, 2013

Snowpocalypse Not: Upper Valley Dodges Brunt of Monster Winter Storm

Randy Hill, of Hanover, smooths a part of his snow sculpture, which represents Rapunzel’s tower, on Occom Pond in Hanover yesterday. Hill has been creating sculptures at locations around Hanover during Winter Carnival since 1987. (Valley News - James M. Patterson)

Randy Hill, of Hanover, smooths a part of his snow sculpture, which represents Rapunzel’s tower, on Occom Pond in Hanover yesterday. Hill has been creating sculptures at locations around Hanover during Winter Carnival since 1987. (Valley News – James M. Patterson)

By Jon Wolper Valley News Staff Writer

Sunday, February 10, 2013
(Published in print: Sunday, February 10, 2013)

Hanover — The winter storm that walloped much of the northeastern United States largely spared the Upper Valley, whose residents saw the snowfall as business as usual.

“It’s not 3 feet of snow,” said Nichole Hastings, who was sculpting a pair of hiking boots out of packed snow. “It’s not even a foot of snow. I’m just happy that it looks like the proper season.”

At any rate, it was enough powder for construction. Hastings, of Norwich, was one of several builders yesterday at Occom Pond, sawing and chiseling at large mounds of snow. It was also enough powder to get several trucks driving up and down the pond, plows affixed, clearing the snow from the iced-over body of water.

Snowfall in Lebanon reached 16 inches, according to National Weather Service meteorologists. Orford, by contrast, received only 6 inches. On the Vermont side of the Upper Valley, snowfall ranged from 8 inches in Wilder to 15 inches in Thetford Center.

And in Hanover, there was plenty of snow to play with. The sculpting and plowing yesterday was in preparation of the annual Occom Pond Party, which will take place at the pond today, from noon to 3 p.m. The theme of this year’s party, like the Dartmouth Winter Carnival — the two events are spiritually connected, if not directly so — is “A Grimm Carnival,” based on the famous fairy tales.

So Hastings’ boots were symbolic of both The Boots of Buffalo-Leather, one of the tales, and the group she was representing: the Hanover Area Friends of the Appalachian Trail.

Read more here.

Two feet of snow!

Two feet of snow!

This image was not included in the Valley News article but was taken by another Pond Party volunteer.  It’s of the Hanover Area Friends of the Appalachian Trail sculpture and Nichole Hastings at the 16th Annual Occom Pond Party.

Press: “Irene: George Mallet Reports From Hanover”

George Mallet reports from Hanover, N.H.  Several areas in Southern Vt., and N.H. have been hit hard by Tropical Storm Irene.  Many Residents Evacuated To Emergency Shelters.


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Photo Memory: “Unexpected Morning Symmetry on 02/11/2011” photographed by Nichole Hastings

“It was February 11, 2011.  I was crossing the Ledyard Bridge towards Hanover and there to my left was a treat.  An unexpected image of morning symmetry.  At first I fumbled with my phone after taking the first picture and trying for a second one.  A window of time was closing.  And I thought the first picture had hidden the basket behind the bridge.  I couldn’t get the camera readied quickly enough.  The window closed.  Upon closer inspection later that evening I came to the conclusion that I was satisfied with my one and only shot.”

Journal Entry: July 2, 2010

Yesterday, my friend Maidie and I went to the Co-op in Hanover, New Hampshire to grocery shop.  After we were done, we drove the car to behind the gas station next door to eat the lunches that we had purchased.  There’s a short grassed road running along-side a field, we pull into it and park at the head.  We get out, planning to lunch on the corner of the grassy field.  I see in the distance, at the end of the grass road, a trail sign.  Maidie has walked over and sat down on the field and I head towards her.

There is a small sign planted on the edge and it warns of pesticides.  The field has been treated in the last 48 hours it describes.  We quickly remove ourselves and head over to the picnic table across the parking lot, on the backside of the gas station.  A pleasant couple says, ‘hello’ as they get up from the table to throw their lunch trash away.  We sit down.

Lunch is sushi and a banana.  This is my last time eating fish or seafood.  I have decided to go back to being a vegetarian so I savor each bite.  Maidie and I chat about this and that.  I’m feeling melancholy as she will be moving away soon.  This will be one of our last meals together.

We finish eating and she offers to throw all the lunch trash away.  My curiosity has finally gotten the best of me and I run down the dirt road to read the sign.  Indeed, it is a trail sign.  I see the familiar Appalachian Trail marking and the white blazes on the trees.  I can hardly contain my excitement and I quickly break out pen and paper.  I jot down a brief note saying, “Lakeshore friends, please go to the Dartmouth Outing Club on campus and read the Register.  Girl with Dog.”

Journal Entry: June 30, 2010

I sit here after crossing the Connecticut River from New Hampshire to Vermont, Hanover to Norwich and yet I find no escape. Even while gazing across the wind-chopped water, sitting quietly alone there is no sweet release. It is only away in Nature, hiking through woods and on mountain top do I feel completely free. Free from the prying eyes and tireless voices abuzz with concerns that are so trivial to me.
I sleep little each night, restlessly, since leaving the 100 Mile Wilderness and the comfort of the Appalachian Trail. My neck stiff with tension of being noticed, seen, even called out at as I pass by strangers. My head spinning with the whirring sound of machinery and Man. There is no recognition that I do not want recognition. It pursues me relentlessly, tiring me, seeking me out in mere mundane tasks.
I feel another perfect fork before me only this time it travels North or South. To head North to Monson means struggle, disappointment in unanswered questions and anonymity. To continue South will result in that very thing I wish to escape. That fame, that glory, that living of life I want others to pursue. It falls in my unhappy lap as a cat that persistently pursues that hapless person who does not seek its attention.
Is there no middle ground? Must it be a perpetual wave of extreme ups and downs? I shy away from the recognition, the fame, the glory because all too quickly such things can turn on you and thus subside. The positive and negative energies waxing and waning with the cyclical moon. Round and round and round to what reason? What end? I fear there is none and know that to be the truth. I feel too one with the Earth in this sense. For without rhyme or reason, a chaotic symphony of events occurs finding sometimes a sweetly harmonized or violent clashing of existence.
I curse in vain this knowledge, this thing we call free will, this fate-less existence. I admire, the trees, the water, the sky, the earthy soil. It does not rail and ask why or wonder. They simply are.