Memorial Weekend: Hiking, Grilling, & Canobie Lake

Associated parks:

After a gray, depressing week and three rainy weekends in a row. The sun finally came out in New Hampshire on Saturday. The plan was hiking on Saturday, fire up the grill with friends on Sunday, and hit Canobie Lake on Monday (hopefully missing the crowds).

Bright and early on Sat., the boys (C, 9 & J, 6) & I headed for our perennial favorite hike, Mt. Major on the south end of Lake Winnipesaukee. This is one on the best hikes to do with kids, and one of the best views for moderate effort. 1.8 mi. up in 70 min, was a speed record for J, and with minimal assistance. Scrambling up open ledges at the top goes well with the thrill seeking gene that we all know and love. It was extremely windy at the summit, but we were still able to enjoy the marvelous view of the lake, stretching for 20 mi. into the distance, with a backdrop of the White mountains. Then back down, the requisite lunch of lobster roll, onion rings, and a chocolate frappe. Day 1 perfect.

Sunday looked just as promising. Tempted to make this the Coaster day, but sunday's are usually busy at CLP. Had some tentative plans for firing up the grill, so got out burgers, steak tips, and a spicy texas rib rub and made some calls. I have some advice for those of you yet to buy your first gas grill. Like I did you'll be tempted to go cheap (charbroil or sunbeam from Sears or Wal-Mart). Don't. I have one word for you Weber. The extra $100 will be the best you ever spent (except maybe for a CF season pass). Finished the day with a family game of wiffle ball that mysteriously ended in a tie... Day 2 perfect.

Monday was another beautiful day. The only problem was waiting until noon for the park to open. This was going to be a big day for J, as he finally hit the 48" mark (48 & 1/8 to be exact), and could ride all the coasters and all the flats. Had lunch at home, and arrived at the Canobie Lake park at 12:15. Parking lot was empty, very good sign. Cashier said J looked close to 48", so he could pay the kids price.

Went straight to the Rocking Rider. J rode with me, and C sat in front. The best part of this ride is the first helix. J looked a little "concerned" after the second drop, but as soon as we got off he said, "Let's do it again". C was a little bored (who can blame him after MF and TTD), but we rode again and J enjoyed it even more. Next we headed toward to Mine of Lost souls, an enjoyable, campy dark ride. There was no line for the Timber Splash, a water slide you ride on a sled. This always has an insane line, but it was empty. We got to the top and has a choice: Wet or Wetter. Wet was first, some good speed, tight turns, and we got a little wet. Of course, we had to see the effect of Wetter, so back up (this time sans shirts). True to form, a tight S-curve at the end soaked us. After a ride on the pirate ship and the flume, off to the Canobie Corkscrew for J's first inversion.

He was again a little hesitant, but we stood under the corkscrew, and he quickly got his courage up. He looked so small in the OTSR, but he let out a hearty high pierced scream. We rode a couple of times, and the front was smoother than the back, which tended to box both C & J around. The guide wheels were also making a very annoying shriek going through the corkscrew that I've never heard before. Still, it was a quick, fun ride.

We headed to one of C's favorites, the Turkish Twist. J needed a little proding, since you can't see the ride. But as soon as the floor dropped, he was hooked. We rode this 4 more times during the day. J wanted to take one more spin on the Kiddie dragon coaster, but seemed underwhelmed after his graduation to the prime-time coasters. Next to the Yankee Canonball. This was the only ride all day with a line, but only about ten minutes. Still a great run with it's constant bits of airtime. C calls YC the "Wood Magnum", because at his size, airtime beats him up a bit and he prefers fast and smooth, and J got off YC saying, "After that first hill my bottom came all the way off my seat!".

Next on to the Paratrooper, Davinci's dream, and Over the rainbow (self spinning ride). Back to turkish twist, the tilt-a-whirl, a couple more runs on the Rockin Rider, and then to the Boston Tea Party to get soaked. We had the whole car to ourselves, and I thought this might make a difference, but nope. Total and absolute drenching. And to finish it off, we stood in the splash zone at the exit. The only ride that was closed was Ocean Trip (no great loss). We circled back and did the Rowdy roosters (cool ride with a movable fin to change the orientation of you rooster), Dogem, round-up (always a classic), the matterhorn, one Star-Blast for C & I, and one last ride on Yankee Canonball. We hit the Crazy Cups on the way out, but were dissapointed that you can no longer spin yourself! One last run of dogem (brother chasing brother), and we called it a day just shy of 6 p.m. We hit all the flats except for the Sky Wheel (still the slowest line of all-time), the carousel, and the psycho-drome (10 minute wait when we were there). Great day! and add one more to the coaster enthusiast list.

My only beefs about CLP is the lack of a season pass option and the noon opening. But neither will stop me from enjoying the park. Going to Canobie is like seeing your favorite B-movie on T.V. and even though you've seen it 100 times, you can't change the channel. Day 3 perfect.

Next up, Dad and C head to CP in late June...

"We are not so far...Our chairs almost touch..." - Chance the Gardener, "Being There"

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