The Mountain Wanderer Bookstore is a bookstore in Lincoln, NH that carries excellent maps and a unique selection of books that focus on the natural areas in New England, including the Catskills, Adirondacks, Vermont, and the White Mountains.
For example, they have a bunch of books privately published by the Randolph Mountain Club (RMC.) This is the trail maintenance organization that maintains all of the Northern Presidentials including Mt Jefferson, Mt Adams and Mt Madison. The RMC has a lot of historical information that they’re beginning to publish, including one book which I was leafing through, that has the history and location of every trail (present, closed, and lost) in the White Mountains since 1840. Pure gold if you want to add a little history to your hiking trips or do some historically motivated bushwacking.
I ended up talking with the owner Steve, for quite a while. He’s been hiking all over New England for decades and is very knowledgeable about the history and people of the region. If fact, he’s the co-editor of The White Mountain Guide, which is the bible for hikers in the region. He didn’t tell me this, I just happen to know it about him. He also has a great blog which I enjoy reading appropriately called Mountain Wandering.
Steve and I talked about a bunch of stuff, starting with the weather of course, and ended up talking about bushwacking in the Catskills and our mutual love for those under-appreciated mountains. We’re both about halfway through the peak list of the Catskill 3500 club, with just the peaks that require bushwacking ascents to go.
There aren’t a lot of bushwackers (off trail hiking) in the White Mountains. But it turns out that Steve knows the bushwacker named JR, that I met up with on Mt Osceola last weekend, quite well. He told me about some of JR’s incredible climbs in the Great Gulf and all throughout the Whites. It’s funny how everyone and everything is connected.
Steve and I also jawed about search and rescue up in the Whites because I bought a T-shirt sponsoring the local SAR team. It turns out that he’s Treasurer of the Pemmigewasset Search and Rescue Team, which is interesting because I’m seriously thinking about volunteering myself for SAR down in Massachusetts. He told me that most of the rescues that his team does in the Whites are in Franconia Notch on the Old Bridle Path leading up to Mt Lafayette and are simply due to the lack of preparation: people climb up the trail, which is quite rough, leaving the trail head at 3 pm in late fall without headlamps. Anyway, you get the idea.
So if you’re in the Lincoln, NH area, you should stop by and pay Steve a visit at the Mountain Wanderer Bookstore. The store shares a storefront with a hairdresser and is located right on the Kancamagus Highway (Route 112), just off Interstate 93 at Exit 32.