Make your own record on the Mt. Washington Auto Road on May 26

MT. WASHINGTON - The Mt. Washington Auto Road will be hosting the 2nd Annual Alton Weagle Unusual Ascent Day on Saturday, May 26, as part of the kick-off celebration for the road's 151st operating season. The event will commemorate the many unusual ascents made on the "Carriage Road" since it opened to the public in 1861.
This spirit of fun and adventure was perhaps best captured by day's namesake, the late Alton Weagle of Walpole. Weagle was a great advocate for safe and sustainable enjoyment of the White Mountains, who became known for awhile as "Mr. Mt. Washington", thanks to his entertaining exploits during the 1950s. At various times he has run up the Auto Road barefoot, backwards and blindfolded (up and down) and he has pushed up a wheelbarrow with a 100 pound sack of sugar without setting it down; Weagle climbed up and down Tuckerman Ravine, along the Cog Railway and the Auto Road (30 miles) in 14 hours 28 minutes and even got married on the Cog Railway in 1955.
All of this follows in a great tradition of remarkable Auto Road ascents throughout history, which will be further shared and celebrated on May 26. "Mt. Washington has always drawn a unique assortment of characters in search of personal distinction-some have been more serious minded than others, of course," said Howie Wemyss, Auto Road general manager.
As part of last year's festivities, several unusual "first ascents" were accomplished, including one person who made the climb on a unicycle, two on roller skis, one on rollerblades, a trio who Irish stepped danced their way to the top and one man who backed his vehicle from base to summit along the winding eight-mile road to the northeast's highest peak. Several unique ascents are planned for 2012, including: two people riding tricycles; one Star Wars scout trooper; one man pogo sticking; a fireman in full fire fighter gear including SCBA and hand tool and a buckskin character going up in a go-kart, among others.
Those members of the public who purchase passes and drive up the road on Alton Weagle Day are invited to participate by wearing funny hats and sending in a photo of themselves going up the mountain, which will be posted online and be eligible to win prize passes for a later visit.
A special ceremony recognizing records set that day will take place at 1pm at the Glen House base building. Anyone else interested in participating with an unusual ascent of their own is required to contact the Auto Road at 466-3988 for schedules and more information.

Budget committee looks to fill opening(s)

GORHAM — The Gorham Budget Committee is accepting letters of interest to fill one, or three, open seats. The newly configured group met for the first time since the March elections, and discussed filling the vacancies left by the resignations of Jay Holmes and Robert Balon.
Six of the eight sitting committee members were present at the May 8, meeting, and discussed bringing the group to an odd number so that tie votes could be avoided. Newly elected committee member, Glen Eastman, raised the issue citing that last year, with a committee of 10, the group ran into tie votes on a few occasions.
Statute allows the town to set the membership number anywhere from three to 12, and those in attendance on Tuesday were reluctant to decide if they wanted nine members or 11 to reach their goal of an odd numbered board. In the end, the opted to advertise for interested parties to see what kind of response they received prior to deciding how many seats will be filled.
Anyone interested in filling an open seat on the budget committee can submit a letter of interest at the town hall.
In other business, Jeff Schall was elected the chairman of the budget committee and Mike Waddell was elected as vice chair. In addition to Schall and Waddell, the committee consists of Eastman, David Graham, Rueben Rajala, Terry Rhoderick, Lisa Kardell, and Bob Demers.

Lacasse bags turkey

lacasse-pic-Fourteen year old Jesse Lacasse bagged this 18 pound Tom Turkey while hunting with his Uncle Mike Lacasse of Berlin. Uncle Mike's turkey weighed in at 25 pounds. Jesse is from Kennebunk, Maine and the son of Mark Lacasse and grandson of Wanda and Ted Lacasse of Berlin.

Eric Pinder debuts rollicking children's book

GORHAM -- This Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m., the White Mountain Cafe and Bookstore at 212 Main Street in Gorham will present one of the North Country's most prolific authors, Eric Pinder. Pinder recently released a major new children's book, "If All the Animals Came Inside", from the national children's book publisher, Little, Brown and Company.
At 2:30 p.m., kids of all ages are welcome at the cafe, as Pinder will read aloud from "If All the Animals Came Inside". Everyone is welcome to join in the fun, as bears march down the stairs, kangaroos bounce on the couch, and an octopus splashes in the bath! Boisterous and bold collage illustrations from the critically-acclaimed and beloved New York Times bestselling illustrator Marc Brown brings this rhyming adventure to life in a giggle inducing read-aloud.
Eric is known to many in the North Country and is a nationally-acclaimed writer. He first arrived as an employee of the Mount Washington Observatory. His time on the "Rock Pile," led to the popular book, "Life at the Top". From there, Eric went on to write "Cat in the Clouds", "Among the Cloud"s, and "Tying Down the Wind". Noted climber and producer David Breashears called Eric's book "North to Katahdin", "A descriptive, insightful book that makes us think about our place in nature."
Eric's full collection of works, much enjoyed by readers of the years, will be available for purchased and can be signed by the author. They make fabulous gifts for any reader interested in the hiking, weather and the outdoors.
The White Mountain Cafe and Bookstore is delighted to welcome Eric, and we look forward to readers of all ages joining us for this event. For more information, call the cafe and bookstore at 466-2511, or visit online at

Berlin Senior Center becoming a spa

BERLIN -- On Wednesday, May 16, the community is invited to the 1st Spa Night Fundraiser at the Senior Center from 4 to 7 p.m. to benefit North Country Meals-On-Wheels. This Spa Night will pamper and please its attendees with a host of special offerings from spa professionals who are volunteering their time.
Upon your arrival you will be greeted with a glass of non- alcohol bubbly. You will begin to unwind with a soothing scalp massage followed by a relaxing chair massage and a luxurious hand and foot massage performed by local spa therapists. There will also be toenail clipping and filing, paraffin dipping to hydrate your hands and jewelry cleaning for those who wish to participate. Clothing should be comfortable, as you will remain clothed during all services and have the ability to skip any service you wish. After you will feel entirely stress free and rejuvenated!
Spa Night is accompanied with a delicious light meal consisting of fresh soup, sandwiches and a dessert buffet of homemade sweets and a chocolate fondue from the culinary crafting of the Senior Meals staff. The night will end with a door prize drawing and everyone leaving with a surprise gift.
This is a rejuvenating offering that I hope the community will take advantage of" said licensed esthetician," Sonya Raymond. "We are glad to put together this spa experience for a very good cause."
Meals-on-Wheels delivered 119,000 hot meals into the homes of the frail elderly in Coos County last year providing nutrition and daily safety checks for home bound seniors. The program is part of Tri-County Community Action and works with many volunteers to provide Senior Meals.
The donation for Spa Night is $35 and is open to all ages. The tickets are limited and must be purchased in advanced. To reserve your spot at Spa Night call the Berlin Senior Center at 752-2545 or stop by and purchase a ticket at 610 Sullivan Street where the Senior Center is located in the AG Community Center on Berlin's east side.