The White Mountain National Forest
It is no wonder that Elliott Hansen chose the White Mountains of New Hampshire to restore health and hope to his friends and family. The White Mountains have long been revered as a deeply spiritual place by the Abenaki, Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Micman, Maliseet, and other Native American tribes in the region. With its breathtaking scope and beauty, the White Mountain National Forest (WMNF) boasts several ranges including Mt. Washington, which features the tallest peak in the northeast.
Though the White Mountain region was once sold off to large logging companies, the Weeks Act of 1911 allowed for the purchase of private lands by the federal government to establish National Forests. Under the protection and acquisitions of this Act, the WMNF has grown to just under 800,000 acres in both New Hampshire and Maine.
Areas surrounding the Forest bear evidence of Anglo settlements from the 1600's; archeological testing indicates prehistoric and Paleo-Indian populations dating back 10,000 years. Historical sites and bits of artifacts from the settlements abound in the Forest - farmsteads, logging camps and railroads reveal traces of the pioneers' history throughout the wilderness.
With more than 7 million visitors annually, the WMNF provides endless enjoyment for outdoor enthusiasts. A destination for both adventurers (including rock climbers and hikers) and those with more leisurely tastes, these picturesque mountains and alpine valleys have provided centuries of contemplation, adventure, and inspiration.
Mount Washington Resort is the inspiration for Chenoweth's fictional Presidential. She, together with family and friends, stayed in the hotel for a week to say goodbye to her mother but, as she explains in this interview, Hello, Goodbye, is not a biographical novel.
This article was originally published in May 2009, and has been updated for the
June 2011 paperback release.
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