Friday, May 3, 2013

NY Diary, Page Three: Dartmouth

Of all the days I spent in the States, my favourite weekend was undoubtedly the one I spent visiting Prajeet at Dartmouth. He had offered to take me hiking in the mountains around Hanover whenever I came (even though, as I later found out, he had midterms that coming week).

I was excited, he was excited, the weather gods were excited...and like the eponymous movie, they went a bit crazy, because at the end of a perfectly sunny week, it snowed! I mean, the crocuses were out, the famous Dartmouth Green was finally green, and everyone was walking around in sweatshirts instead of the eight layer gore-tex ski jackets needed to survive a New Hampshire winter. But on the weekend dedicated to my hiking trip, they turned it right back into a winter wonderland, if only for a day.

The night I got there, the sky was violet, the grounds wonderfully pulpy white mush, and my teeth were carrying out their own private conversation. Something to the lines of:  'It takes a special kind of crazy to bring us here in this weather.' 'Well, N is a special kind, what'd you expect?' 'Uhh, a wooly hat and more socks, maybe?!' By the time we got around to going to bed, it had started to snow again and I was looking out, snug, but wondering how we would ever go outside with weather like this.

But hiking was what we'd planned for, and hike we did. After a giant breakfast! Blueberry, chocolate chip and maple-syrup pancakes, cinnamon buns, scrambled eggs, four kinds of cereal, juice, hash browns, and a whole bunch of things I'm forgetting. All made to order in the kitchen by student reps who'd woken up before the ungodly hour of ten on a Saturday morning. Best one-dollar breakfast ever.

Anyway, this is what we walked into when we started:

and this is where we hiked, nay, clambered up to in the ice.

Imagine this view for 360 degrees around you.

While coming down the other side, we met some deer! It's one thing to see them (or any other animal, for that matter) from a distance, and quite another thing to have one scamper right past you. They are every bit as elegant and beautifully-boned as the poets would have you believe, and I felt like a hunter with my camera, when I pulled it out (albeit to shoot them). So I took a few blurry shots and left it at that. And then we took a pause for lunch. It was not venison, you'll be pleased to know.

Later, we went down to the Connecticut River and lolled in the sun on a deck someone had very clearly made just for lying down and admiring the open skies.

The river was clearly in as much of a painting mood as the skies.

And so was this pond:

Walking across to the woods by the river, we saw this sign on the bridge that divides New Hampshire and Vermont. I wonder what the person who came up with this was thinking.

We also saw this weather vane. This is probably my favourite photo of the day, because...well, awww.

Finally, we walked into these woods,

and to Mink Brook, which we crossed on a bridge made of a single tree trunk, and almost floated off on giant blocks off ice. I'm not kidding about that last part! What we also did, though, was stop and marvel at the world around us. You know, humans can go and build all the cities and sculptures and pretty-looking things they want, but this, everything that nature has to offer all around us exceeds anything our minds can even begin to imagine.

Our appetite for nature whetted and the one for food just about stirring, we went to Molly's in downtown Hanover for three huge plates of some of the best burgers I've seen in a while - I had a black bean and avocado one whose every bite warranted an ode.

For post-dinner entertainment, we did as the Dartmouth College kids do and went to check out an ice skating championship! A national one, I'm told. It was very, very cool. And then we sat around the Hopkins' cafe, sipping hotbeveragesofchoice and discussing bad henna tattoos and the world outside of academics till our bodies (or well, mine) pushed me towards a cushy mattress, my head buzzing with all the beauty and good food and Prajeet's absolutely sublime company. It had been a superlative day.


  1. Hey Nanya! Wonderful writing here! May I ask you what camera you employed to click all these beautiful pictures?

  2. How are so photos so clear? They are amazing! :)