All Things Maine
All Things Maine

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Deep in the 'White Mountains of Bethel'

Bethel gets a nice write-up in Friday's New York Times.
What visitors find in Bethel are an endearing informality and a cheery lack of pretension. At a restaurant serving $25 entrees, your waitress might wear sweatpants. The proprietor’s terrier may chew its toys at your feet. You may even overhear an argument raging in the kitchen — with no one making an effort to hide it.

All of these things happened to me and a friend when we were in Bethel a few weeks ago. We also found a perfunctory exchange of hellos with a friendly older woman as we walked on Paradise Road growing into an impromptu primer for us on the ancestry of the Austrian Haflinger horse. [Link]
As someone who grew up just down the road, I would emphasize that, though the writer dwells on the "hub town of Bethel," many of the attractions he describes are actually located in neighboring towns—including three ski areas (Sunday River in Newry, Mount Abram in Greenwood, Black Mountain in Rumford) and the White Mountain National Forest (which encompasses large swaths of Stoneham, Gilead, Batchelders Grant, and Albany and Mason Townships). And I can vouch for the fact that residents of these communities are just as endearingly informal and cheerily lacking in pretension as those of Bethel.

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