WHY NH MOUNTAINS DIFFER FROM THE ROCKIES
By Nancy Lennea
Geography was not my favorite subject in school. Not until my family moved from the east coast to Seattle, Washington. My dad received a temporary six-month transfer to the Boeing plant, so we became vagabonds. We took nine days to drive cross-country and three weeks to return home, delaying the start of our school year. Sweet!
We traveled through the mountains of South Dakota and observed the incredible manmade faces atop Mount Rushmore. The badlands were awesome. I had never seen treeless mountains before! And the Grand Canyon? Lots and lots of nothing but clay, dirt, and birds.
What struck me as the most glorious part of our trip was crossing the plains and viewing the Rocky Mountains in the distance. What color! When you first see them they actually appear purple—as in ‘Purple mountains majesty’ from America the Beautiful.
When I set out to write my romantic suspense, DESTINY’S MOUNTAIN, memories of that trip melded with my four years at a college nestled among the White Mountains of New Hampshire. I chose these mountains of New England over the Rockies simply because I know them best. I would love to include the Rockies in a future book because they are magnificent to behold. They stretch more than 3,000 miles (4,830 km) from the northernmost part of British Columbia, Canada to the southern United States, ending in New Mexico. They are extremely high jagged peaks often dusted with snow. When I grew up and attended college in New Hampshire, and hiked the White Mountains, I got curious when I realized not all mountains were created equal. It wasn’t until I signed up for Earth Science in college that I learned exactly how different the Colorado Rockies were from the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
The White Mountains cover about a quarter of the state of New Hampshire…a very small state…plus a small portion of Maine. Scientists consider these peaks of lower elevation as part of the Appalachian Mountains, the most rugged mountains in New England. Through them runs the world famous Appalachian Trail. Unlike the Rockies, Cascade Mountains, and Pacific peaks, the White Mountains are heavily visited due to their close proximity to Boston, Massachusetts and New York City.
Another big difference is their height above sea level. The White Mountains’ most famous peak is Mount Washington, which at 6,288 feet (1,917 m) holds the title of the highest mountain in the Northeastern U.S. Mount Washington is one of a line of summits called the Presidential Range. The Rockies, however, hold the record for even greater heights. Colorado’s Mount Elbert is a whopping 14,440 feet (4,401 m)! Another tidbit I recently saw on a geographic show about the formation of Great Britain and Scotland is that Scotland used to be part of New England! Scientists have discovered identical striations in the rock. This is another reason so many Scots emigrated to Canada and New England. The mountains, valleys, and lakes seemed familiar to Scots displaced by war and famine.
I am a writer, so why am I talking about mountains. Writer’s often use memories to bring stories to life. When I worked on writing DESTINY’S MOUNTAIN, I used recollections from my four years at a northern New Hampshire college. I reminisced about my years as a volunteer EMT and firefighter in a small, rural town surrounded by New Hampshire’s White Mountains. In DESTINY’S MOUNTAIN, I created two secondary characters that are paramedic-firefighters. They are important in my story because mountain rescues are part of my plot.
Mountains are for hiking, so I start my opening chapter with a hike. I had the good fortune to hike both Rattlesnake Mountain and Stinson Mountain in Rumney, New Hampshire as well as many trails in the larger White Mountains, so writing about this activity was easy. While working as an EMT, I hiked up steep trails to the base of the famous Rumney Climbing Cliffs to rescue fallen climbers. Is it any wonder I set Destiny Blake and Jacob Oliver’s first meeting on a mountain trail? What happens next becomes an integral part of DESTINY’S MOUNTAIN.
In a quirky college town surrounded by the mountains of New Hampshire new art history professor, Jacob Oliver, hikes a trail on a crisp September morning. He contemplates his life. Divorced and forced out of his job with the Boston Police due to a horrific accident, he spots a naked woman beneath a majestic waterfall. Escaping, he falls and reinjures his knee.
Destiny Blake hears a noise; someone is on her mountain. She finds a handsome man sitting in the mud. Love blooms and lust consumes them after she helps him to the safety of her cabin. Soon, assumptions pull them apart, leaving her vulnerable to the unwanted attentions of other men.
When Jacob decides he cannot live without her, he must save her from a madman who chases her up her mountain through the cold, snowy darkness of a November night. Ghostly voices push Jacob onward, and urge Destiny to fight back. Pain, hypothermia, and death threaten before the sun rises. Can Destiny and Jacob make it off Destiny's mountain...alive?
A footpath led off to his left. Picking his way through the smaller overgrown trail, which looked more like a deer path, he followed the sounds. Both the sweet melody and the roar of falling water grew louder.
Abruptly, the beautiful singing turned to playful splashing.
Peering through a blueberry bush, conscious of the possibility of berry-eating bears, he focused on the magnificent waterfall. From his vantage point, he couldn’t see the top of the falls, but at its base, a round pool of silvery foam churned under the weight of the falling water. He didn’t see the singer.
Did I dream all this? In the middle of the day? He leaned closer. Prickly branches weighed down by fat, juicy blueberries clawed his shirt. A sudden splash of foamy water pulled his attention toward a woman as she burst up out of the pool, her glorious back to him. A long gold braid fell between her tan shoulder blades, reaching the top of her well-rounded bottom. Froth dripped down her slickened body.
“Beautiful!” he shouted. Uh-oh. He clapped his hand over his mouth Too late.
She turned his way, as if searching the thick vegetation for a voyeur…, which was him. Water dripped over her milky skin, and pert nipples that pointed his way testified to the temperature of the water.
“Who’s there?” she demanded, then grabbed a towel. She didn’t seem too concerned he’d discovered her bathing naked. He watched in silence as she wrapped her mouth-watering curves in a fluffy towel the same yellow as a crumpled shirt lying on the edge of the pool next to abandoned hiking boots. The sight of a bit of lace hardened a part of his anatomy, instantly.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nancy grew up on New York’s Long Island then attended school in the beautiful mountains of New Hampshire. She worked during college in the dining hall while earning a degree in art education. She met her husband at college and they raised a family in nearby Rumney. She volunteered as an EMT/firefighter then worked for the State of New Hampshire as a 9-1-1 Emergency Medical Dispatcher. Nancy now writes full time, lives in North Carolina, and is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Fantasy Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers, Celtic Heart Romance Writers, and Sisters-in-Crime. She also writes paranormal romance, such as DRAGON’S CURSE, as Nancy Lee Badger. Find out more at www.nancyleebadger.com.
DESTINY’S MOUNTAIN is available now from
Red Rose Publishing at www.RedRosePublishing.com
The buy link is: http://bit.ly/a4NOHE
Visit my website at: www.nancylennea.com
Visit my blog at: www.nancylennea-inlove.blogspot.com