Connor Cover

Exploring the Notch


Despite living here for a little over a month and a half, I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t done any actual hiking up until this point. That changed when two of my Massachusetts came up to Franconia Notch over the weekend and asked me to go hiking with them. We took the aerial tram up the side of Cannon Mountain, I had driven past the tram over a dozen times, but never had a reason to take it up. We got our tickets and got into the tram, it felt like a subway car; standing shoulder to shoulder with a bunch of strangers, except instead of being underground we were suspended several hundred feet in the air.Cannon Mt PIC

The view at the top looked like it belonged in a post card; New England truly is one of the most scenic places during the fall. There was a tour helicopter flying through the valley below us; it feels sort of strange having your feet on the ground while simultaneously being above an aircraft in flight. We took to hiking on one of the less traveled paths along a rocky ledge overlooking an incredibly long drop, no railing, no warning signs, just one long drop. All was well until I placed my foot on uneven ground a fell flat on my back. Any other occasion, a little slip like that wouldn’t be such a big deal, except I had slipped fairly close to the ledge, and for a split second I thought I was going to tumble over the side and hit the rock below.

After a slip nearly sent me over the edge, we called it a day, we crammed back into the tram and descended back down the side of the mountain. One thing’s for sure, I need to hike more.

One Month Assessment 


It’s been a little over a month since I moved up to rural New England from an equally rural Pennsylvania. In that time I’ve made a few observations. One of the most notable differences I’ve witnessed is there’s a particular sense of community in this part of the state. People are generally friendlier here; it’s subtle, but definitely present. It comes in the form of letting a complete stranger in front of you in the line at the grocery store, stopping to allow a car out in an intersection even though you had the right of way, or saying hello or good morning to a passerby on the sidewalk without know who they were. It’s little things, random acts of kindness that go a little further than plain common courtesy.  For instance, whenever I was stuck at an intersection back in Pennsylvania I’d sometimes have to wait ten minutes for an opening in order to get back into traffic. Up here, I’ve come to expect a good Samaritan to slow down and wave me through. Or when I’m paying at a grocery store and only have one item, people ahead of me almost always let me go first, back home the rule is “first come, first served.” To put things plainly, people up here generally go out of their way to give a random act of kindness more often than anywhere else I’ve been.

Honest Hearts 


The first time I went to summer camp, I honestly didn’t want to go. I was a boy scout, around 9 or 10 at the time, and camp meant I was missing out on an entire week of summer; the most important time of year for a kid, except for Christmas and my birthday of course. But after the week ended, I didn’t want to leave. I didn’t want to leave the friends I had made, the sense of adventure, and most of all it was the first time and place where I was the best at something.

That “something”  was the shooting range. My dad had already taught me about gun safety, taught me how to shoot, but this was the first time my skills would be put to the test. After the mandatory lecture about safety, we all sat down at the shooting bench, put on our eye and ear protection and loaded the bolt-action .22 rifles. As soon as the instructor gave the signal, there was a perpetual crackling of gunshots. I peered down the sights, clicked off the safety and squeezed the trigger. At the end, I had shot one of the tightest groups, and received bragging rights among the other scouts.

In my opinion, summer camp is one of the most significant parts of being a kid; it’s a place to make new friends, experience the outdoors and maybe even find an activity you’re good at. For me, it was the rifle range, that was just my experience, but camp is more than just showing off at the range. It’s time out of the house, away from mom and dad and a time without technology. Unfortunately, there are many kids who don’t get to experience this, simply because their family can’t afford it.

What makes Copper Cannon Camp truly special is it provides the summer camp experience to those who normally wouldn’t be able to afford it. That’s because Copper Cannon is free to those children.

Zipping Through the Trees


When you’re leaning off a platform that’s 60 feet high in the air, every cell in your body is telling you NOT to jump. At the same time, your zip line instructor, your counselor, and all your cabin mates are standing right behind you and are encouraging to let go and take the plunge. For the teens of Copper Cannon’s National Guard Leadership Retreat, this was a very real dilemma. At the Bretton Woods Canopy tour, the teens of Copper Cannon learned to overcome their fears of heights and experienced the unforgettable rush of soaring through the trees on a zip line, rappelling down from daunting elevations, and experiencing firsthand the natural beauty of the New Hampshire Mountains.CCC ZIP LINING

According to the zip lining instructors, there’s almost always someone with a fear of heights who opts out. This was not the case for the Campers of Copper Cannon. In an incredible display of courage, each and every one of them fearlessly flew down the cables. Sure there might have been a little hesitation at first, but that’s only natural when you’re being asked to jump off a perfectly good tree. I honestly think that I, a grown man, had more trepidation about it than any of the kids.

Personally speaking, I’ve never really had a fear of heights, but the last time I went zip-lining I was about 6 or 7, long story short I didn’t let go and flew off, I still don’t know how I managed to walk away with only a bump on my head.  When I stepped up onto the zip lining platform and heard the “click-clack” of my zip lining rig being attached to the cables, a little voice in my head started saying “Dude. What are you doing? Remember the last time you tried zip lining? Why did you agree to do this?” Then my instructor signaled for me to go, and suddenly that little voice wasn’t so little anymore. “DUDE. YOU ARE AT LEAST 60 FEET IN THE AIR. WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS?” I counted to three and inhaled, then counted to three and exhaled. I silenced the little mental voice and suppressed the memory stepped off the platform. It’s not like a roller coaster with that free-fall feeling in the pit of your stomach. It’s more like riding in a convertible; the wind going over your skin and through your hair, seeing the trees fly by in a blur. The only difference is you’re really high above the ground, there’s the constant “whirr” of the wheels on the cable and the view you get is to die for. “To die for” might not be the best choice of words, considering how high up you are, but I digress.




Camp Address

Mailing: P.O. Box 124 Franconia, NH 03580 Physical: 231 Gale River Rd Bethlehem, NH 03574
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Tuesday 10/17 10%
Partly Cloudy
Partly cloudy. Lows overnight in the mid 30s.

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