Living in a small town always has its quirks.
Living in Lincoln, New Hampshire is no exception. In fact, Lincoln is a super quirky little town. Per request of Kathy, I've compiled a list of things I have found amusing over the past few months.
Here We Go:
The Chinese Acrobat Troupe
---Only in Lincoln, New Hampshire can you drive down the road to rehearsal and pass Asian teenagers flipping tables on their feet in the front yard. This is the only other group of "young people" we've encountered since we've been here. They're contracted to perform at Clark's Trading post. They keep to themselves, but they're very talented.
The Price Chopper
---I still haven't figured out why the grocery store is open 24 hours a day, but all of the restaurants and the ice cream shop are closed by 10pm. For a small town grocery store, it's not cheap either. If we want food after a show, the Price Chopper is basically our only option.
The nearest Starbucks is 45 minutes away.
---Pumpkin Spice Latte! I need you in my life!
Dancing Bears and a Wolfman at Clark's Trading Post.
--- Yup. Dancing Bears. Those are a thing. To get them to dance, the owners of Clark's feed them ice cream. Those are the happiest bears I have ever seen in my life. Also at Clark's trading post, you can ride a train into the Wolfman's territory and get chased by a gun-weilding mountain man, take a tour through the topsy-turvy Tuttle house, and have your motion-sickness tested at Merlin's Magical Mansion. Kitschy? Yes. Amazing? Yes.
3 pizza restaurants, 3 coffee shops, 2 ice cream parlors, and no Wal-Mart.
--- We're all set with food here in Lincoln (at least, before 10). 24 hours of grocery shopping, and all the pizza and ice cream you could want are easily accessible in this little mountain town. BUT, if you want toiletries, clothes, or other life essentials for a decent price, get out of town.
--- There are a lot of them. There are many different kinds. They bite. We even have some sort of hybrid spider/hermit crab outside our front door.
--- Want to see a moose? For $30 this van will take you up into the mountains to all of the illusive moose hiding spots. With a 98% sighting rate, one has to wonder why it's so difficult to find them on your own. They must have a secret...
The Penguin Ski Club
---"The Penguin" was once a high school. Then it was an Opera House. It is now used in the winter time by a group of avid skiers like a timeshare. In the summer, is the residence of the Papermill Theater Company. We use the bunk beds for sleeping, the common rooms for socializing, and the gym for rehearsal and evening recreation. It's like being at summer camp... No, seriously. When was the last time you played dodgeball or shirts/skins basketball? Summer camp.
---Hikers making their way along the Appalachian Trail trek through town on a daily basis. Those going through Lincoln are generally on their fifth month of travel... and they smell like it. On the rare occasion that we interact with the hikers, they are generally out of touch with the clean-shaven world, so we do our best to have conversations about something other than the trails. We even helped a set of trail buddies get to know one another by simply asking their real names and what they do when they're not walking across the country... Standard conversation starters for us seem to be foreign and intimate questions for this special group.
Live Free or Die
--- This is the motto of New Hampshire. You don't have to wear your seatbelt. There's no sales tax. You can shoot fireworks off whenever you want, and they can be as big as you want. The lack of restraint on fireworks attracts quite the crowd to small towns in New Hampshire on summer holidays. It's actually pretty impressive.
The only "Five Star Library in New Hampshire" - Whatever that means...
---I don't know what makes a library "5 Star" worthy, but I do know the librarian at this particular establishment is AWESOME! We've become pretty good buddies. She asks how the shows are going and gives reading suggestions when I come in every other Wednesday to switch out my books. She even noticed my scraped up arm from a failed lake adventure and reminded me that The Baroness in The Sound of Music would NOT have a bandaid on her elbow.
Nature and Adventurous things
---Lincoln is a ski town in the winter and a natural playground in the summer months. Locals and tourists enjoy hiking, kayaking, swimming, and all sorts of other outdoor adventures. When you're a broke artist who wants to participate but can't afford it, you agree to do a photo shoot in exchange for a morning of zip lining and obstacle courses. Both the theater and Loon Mountain Resorts got publicity photos from the morning the company dressed up in ridiculous costumes and got strapped into harnesses for the zip line adventure course. We had a blast, so it was a win/win situation for all. Now I've got to figure out what it will take for a kayak trip!
--- The best part of Lincoln is the people. The locals have really embraced us this summer. The waitress at the Burger place knows we have to be in and out in under an hour, the owner of The Gypsy cafe gives us leftovers after big events, and the theater patrons have gone above and beyond by inviting us over for dinners and relaxation. The audiences at our shows are lively and appreciative, and the company is wonderful.
As quirky as Lincoln is, it's a pretty neat place to spend the summer, especially if you get to do what you love the whole time. I'll be here for approximately six weeks more, and I'm sure there will be plenty of stories to tell as the season continues.
Grace Be With You,