, Newburyport, MA


September 30, 2013

Road trippin'


After a hearty breakfast at the infamous Polly’s Pancake Parlor, mom and I headed for the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway. As we ascended, we viewed dozens of mountain tops rippling over endless miles of landscape. Once on top, we took a narrow trail bound for the observation deck. The path stones were wet, so I held mom’s hand as we climbed. The view was stunning — well worth the sometimes challenging conditions — but as I watched mom struggle, I questioned whether our upcoming hike at The Flume would be too much.

From the tram we passed by the decrepit remains of the Old Man’s face and headed to The Basin to see the powerful funneling collection of water, a perfect photo op. Finally, we arrived at our last stop — The Flume. We rested numerous times along the trails and wooden walkways to catch our breath. We snapped photos of the thundering waters, read multiple plant identification tags, and breathed in the glorious scent of fresh hemlock greens. At every break, I worried just a little that my mother’s pacemaker might be compromised, but she continued on like a trooper.

“This has to be the last incline,” I promised as we neared the end. At one break I snapped a photo of mom for my sisters — back arched, hands braced on thighs, but still a triumphant smile for the camera. “The text read, “My daughter’s trying to kill me at The Flume; we laughed — isn’t texting great!

After a quick visit to the gift store and a stretch of the hamstrings we ventured down the road to dine at a Greek restaurant in Lincoln where we sat outside and bonded over marinated chicken sandwiches. From there we headed for home with one last stop in mind — The Tanger Outlets in Tilton, N.H.

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