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Old 10-12-2008, 02:55 PM
71 posts, read 151,709 times
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I've been researching different states for the possibility of gaining a teacher licensure while employed. NH has such a program, but it is focused on the northern half of the state. I am from the Cincinnati area, and while we have winter and snow, it is not all that severe. I'm looking for information about the culture and climate of northern NH. What it's REALLY like to live there and how bad the winters REALLY are before I get too far into the process. Can you help?
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Old 10-12-2008, 05:26 PM
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I'm from northern NH for my first 18 years of life and recently moved back and i can say those amounts of snow are very unusual. In fact, last year southern NH had more snow than Northern NH. we have had winters where we had hardly enough snow to take snow machines out which my brother has 4 and a couple years never even bothered to register them and other years we have a lot of snow and it's great for the ski resorts and snowmachine clubs. It does get cold. Yes you will see the negative digits now and then but it's not usually for a very long extended time. You might have a week here and there but for the most part teen, 20's and 30's are the norm. Usually our first good snow comes mid December and goes until late February, early March. I do remember once on April fools day we had a little snow and that is considered pretty late in the year and doesn't happen often. We do need teachers up in this area. It is a rural area and if you don't have a good job in place, other than working at the hospital, there isn't much to do for work.
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Old 10-13-2008, 07:27 AM
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So I lived in southern NH for grad school at Durham some years back, but have only been a visitor to northern NH, but can make a few comments that might be useful. The northern half of the state is certainly a lot quieter than the southern half, as you are getting away from MA, the ocean, the state capital (Concord) and it's biggest city (Manchester). This more rural character might be why there is more demand for teachers up there.

Ethnically, it's pretty white, with mostly old "Yankee" families of early immigrants from northern Europe residing in the northern half of the state.

While it is quite rural, it's not like it's a God-foresaken place or anything. It is very pretty, mostly forested (largely hardwoods) but with some old farms up there (stubborn New England farmers ;-)). It's fairly rugged land, with a lot of granite ledges.

The region roughly from Conway south to Farmington, and west to Lebanon has a great many beautiful lakes. This latititude also has some small cities - Hanover (where Dartmouth College is), Lebanon, and Laconia.

Just to the north of this lakes region is the White Mountain National Forest. For some reason, the White Mtn Forest is not marked on Google Maps, but most of the activity is between Franconia Notch and Conway. The White Mtns are just about the tallest in the Appalachian range - with a fair number of peaks above 4000 feet, and the tallest topping 6000 feet.

A pretty significant amount of people from adjacent areas to the south (especially MA) have vacation homes in areas like Lake Winnepesauke, Squam Lake and the White Mountains. These areas are very busy on big holiday weekends and fall leaf season, and the Whites also have ski season tourists.

Once you get north of the White Mountains, it REALLY gets quiet, say north of Route 2, at the northern edge of the White Mountains. This portion is further out from population centers, and also doesn't get much tourist attention, mainly because the White Mountains just to the south are pretty spectacular. Berlin is the biggest town in this part of NH, but it's been so long since I've been there, I can't recall too much about it.

You're actually not too far from Montreal and Quebec cities in Canada, and so weekend trips up there to sightsee are certainly an attraction. Burlington, VT, which is the biggest city in VT, is very pretty on Lake Champlain and is the biggest city in that region of ME, NH, VT.

If you like classic New England towns, and you love the outdoors - hiking, camping, fishing, cross country skiing, downhill skiing, fall leaves, maple syrup, etc., then I think you would very much enjoy spending some time in this region. North of Rte 2, as I said is still quite pretty, but quite rural, and might feel a little too isolated for some.

Last edited by MassYankee; 10-13-2008 at 07:56 AM..
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Old 10-15-2008, 07:51 AM
71 posts, read 151,709 times
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Default thanks, everyone, keep it comin'

Everyone has provided great information. This is the kind of info I've been looking for and haven't really been able to get. Many of the smaller communities don't have their own websites, so it's great to get a first hand impression. I can't get over some of that snowfall data. Here in Cincinnati, if we get over 6 inches at a time we've had a major snow event. I think it would be cool to live in a place where you're pretty much guaranteed to have a white Christmas. We hardly ever have one. I've never had the chance to participate in any of the winter sports, so it would be cool to learn some of that. It sounds like a beautiful area.

Can anyone share how the weather impacts daily life? Do you need snow tires? I just have a Chevy Aveo, a very small car . Would I be able to get around? What kind of emergency kits/planning do you do during winter? How hot are the summers? Does it get warm enough to go swimming in the lakes?

Sorry for all the questions. I'm really curious about the lifestyle differences I might encounter if I made the decision to pursue teaching licensure in northern NH.

I love all the info that everyone's already provided. Anything else you can share would be great
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Old 10-15-2008, 08:04 AM
71 posts, read 151,709 times
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Default My idealistic image

Hi, everyone, I just thought of something else. Does anyone know that Diane Keeton movie "Baby Boom" where she adopts a baby, quits her bigshot NYC job and moves to Vermont? The New England town in that movie is how I imagine northern NH to be: the reticence of the townspeople, the blizzards, the beautiful scenery, the lack of chain stores, the rural lifestyle. I also sometimes think of that Chevy Chase movie "Funny Farm". I hope nobody takes offense at this. Of course the movies are stereotypes, but they both portray small, rural New England towns that I imagine may be similar to the ones in northern NH, only more idealistic.

That is how I imagine New England, having never been there. How far off base am I?
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Old 10-15-2008, 08:39 AM
Location: White Mountains, NH
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I haven't seen that movie, but in my experience at least the weather doesn't tend to shut down my town. Last year we got a record amount of snowfall - but the town didn't shut down. NH does a great job at clearing most roads quickly. I'd recommend snow tires though. We have a small car and seem to get by just fine with them on.

Summers can get to be warm and humid, in the 90s or even 100s for short stretches. Lakes get warm enough to swim in.

There's lots to do outdoors during the Winter and Summer. There might be less to do in town then you're use to though. Most small towns close down pretty early.
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Old 10-15-2008, 09:33 AM
Location: Mountains of NH!
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My son has a Chevy Aveo, and we have a Nissan Maxima, Dodge Caravan and Toyota Rav 4. We put snow tires on every one of our cars except the Rav. GOOD snow tires, not the cheapie ones. It makes a huge difference. Of course, if you live in-town/city and can just park your car when there's a bad snowstorm, then it's not as important. But, for those of us that live in more rural or mountainous areas, it's a necessity.

There are some locations in northern NH that get much colder than the norm. For instance, Whitefield seems to be featured as one of the lowest temperatures in the state on any given winter day.

The great thing about winter is that you just bundle yourself up and head out on your merry way. Unlike hot & humid summer days where you can't strip enough clothes off to cool yourself down if you're outdoors!

Interested in reading more about winter preparedness? Search my screen name on here and you'll find several posts I wrote a while back about this very subject.
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Old 10-15-2008, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Curlygurl View Post
Can anyone share how the weather impacts daily life? Do you need snow tires? I just have a Chevy Aveo, a very small car . Would I be able to get around? What kind of emergency kits/planning do you do during winter? How hot are the summers? Does it get warm enough to go swimming in the lakes?
Yes the lakes are warm enough to swim in summer - by 4th of July you can enjoy swimming lakes in southern Canada just fine.

Real winter tires do help significantly, and they cost a little more, but to me are cheap insurance - much cheaper than fixing a smashed car (or medical/rehab/PT bills).
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Old 10-15-2008, 12:49 PM
Location: Londonderry, NH
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It gets cold enough in Northern New Hampshire that all brass monkey statues are female.
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Old 10-15-2008, 03:30 PM
Location: IN
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Northern NH gets as cold as Northern ME!
The low lying areas like the Connecticut River Valley, Mount Washington Valley, and Androscroggin Valley are extremely frigid in winter. The colder air drains from higher to lower elevations at night when high pressure is nearby. The coldest air sinks to the low spots, and winds tend to be calm. With snow on the ground it is not uncommon to see lows colder than -20F or even -30F with the colder airmasses. The coldest reporting stations in NH are the Berlin Airport and the Mount Washington Regional Airport at Whitefield. The coldest absolute location is obvisouly on the top of Mount Washington.
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