Arts & Entertainment

Kirstan Knowlton: Goodbyes are not forever

There are many ways to say it, but none of them are ever easy. Friday, Sept. 22, will mark my last day at the Berlin Sun.
Over the past three and half years, I’ve enjoyed my work immensely. Promoting the local area, its people and what it has to offer has always given me great pride.
Most of you know that my focus has specifically been on promoting the arts, and I hope that the Sun will continue to have a strong Weekender section even after I am gone. After all, I am still going to need to get my local news from somewhere, right?!
Now before any of you start to worry too much, our family is still staying in the area, and we don’t plan on moving anytime soon. I will, however, be starting my new position as an options counselor over at ServiceLink.
I’ll never forget how I got my start here at the Sun. I was trying to pick up some extra money and working as a freelance writer for a different paper. I kept running into Sun office manager Rita Dube at local events, and eventually she said I should just come by the office and see if I could work for them.
From there, I filled in for her while she was taking one of her many vacations, and from that point on I just never left. I kept coming back day after day until they decided to keep me.
Once I found my place as a writer, I decided to go for it, and asked if I could write a weekly column. Although I had no idea what I was getting myself into, it became something I looked forward to each week.
Many of you have stopped me at the store and while I was out and about to tell me how much they enjoyed reading my articles. I can’t begin to tell you how much that meant to me, and I am overjoyed to know that people were able to connect with my writing.
Thank you to everyone for all the love, support and kind words each one of you has given me over the years. You’ve been a light in my life, and I am fortunate to have connected with you.
For those of you who would like to keep in touch, I am always on Facebook and can also be emailed at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
I hope that everyone has a safe and wonderful weekend. This weekend our area will be celebrating with Camp RZR. Check out our special pages in today’s paper for a list of events and highlights for the weekend.
Kirstan Knowlton writes a weekly column for The Berlin Sun. Her inspiration comes from events and people in the community who continue to work hard to make the North Country one of the best places to live.

Registration open for Bike for Books fundraiser

CONWAY — Join the North Conway Public Library on Sept. 30 for a day of mountain biking fun at “Bike for Books: Mountain Bike Adventure Rides.”
Bike for Books offers mountain bikers of all levels a great opportunity to explore the trails in North Conway. It is a fundraiser for the North Conway Library — a free community library for all Mount Washington Valley residents.
All routes are self-guided rides on trails clearly marked by Eastside Bike Guides especially for the event, with almost no pavement riding. Signed loops showcase some of the best mountain biking trails in Northern New England for riders of all ages and abilities: two easy loops in Whitaker Woods for kids, families, and novice riders, one long intermediate loop, and several expert loops on technically challenging trails.
Have fun learning new trails at your own pace — on your own or with a group of your friends. You can bike for an hour or all day; easy or technically difficult routes — it’s your choice.
Riders should be on mountain bikes with knobby tires and children should have some off-road cycling experience. During the ride we have a snack stop with food and drink mid-course, and a mechanical support tent. After the ride, join other riders for the included pizza lunch, hot soup, fresh coffee and desserts.
For the second time in its 15-year history, Bike for Books will focus on North Conway's east side for the intermediate and expert rides, while children and beginner riders will enjoy the easy forest trails in Whitaker Woods. The intermediate loop will follow Sticks & Stones, Beaver Fever, the Knot, Swamp, Muffler, Pillar to Pond, and more. The expert loops include Red Tail Trail, Rattlesnake, Outer Limits, Twilight Zone among others. Almost all riding is off-road, only a short connector is on pavement (approximately half a mile). North Conway’s east side was written up in NEMBA’s “SingleTracks” magazine as one of the great places in New England to mountain bike.
Day-of registration will be held from 8 to 11 a.m. at the Whitaker Woods Homesite in North Conway. There will be free event water bottles for first 120 riders. If you want to raise extra money for the North Conway Library’s children’s room, this is an appreciated option, and top fundraisers will get prizes.
Registration forms and pledge forms may be downloaded on the library’s website. Online registration is available at For more information, go to, or contact the library at (603) 356-2961 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

BfB 2006 9B

Kirstan Knowlton: Touch A Truck event for kids

Everyday is an adventure when you have children. From funny antics to sweet moments, you never know what they will do or say next.

One moment in particular will probably go down with our family as a long running joke.

Not too long ago, Jamie and my son were playing in the living room when he suddenly stopped what he was doing and said to Jamie, “You’re so French.”

It took us a good half hour to stop laughing. I have no clue where he heard that phrase, but whoever taught it to him, thank you.

I’m sure if you ask any parent they’d be able to tell you a similar story, because it doesn’t take long for little ones to develop their personalities.

From a young age, my son showed a big interest in anything with wheels. Construction trucks, trains, matchbox cars and even Legos; if it has wheels, he wanted it.

In the five short years that he’s been collecting cars, he accumulated quite the stash. I couldn’t even begin to take a guess at how many, but I can tell you that between the two homes it’s several large bins.

To fuel his love of all things motorized, we try to take him to different events that focus on vehicles. One of his favorite events is Touch A Truck.

At Touch A Truck, kids can climb, honk, play, and pretend they’re driving the big rigs. This annual favorite takes place this year from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16, at Service Credit Union Heritage Park in Berlin.

Presented by MOMS of Lancaster, the event will feature all kinds of fire trucks, police and EMS vehicles, a school bus, bucket loader and N.H. Marine Patrol boat, the Berlin Police Department’s BearCat and a demonstration by the N.H. State Police K-9 unit.

MOMs will have an ATV display and offer kids’ demo rides for children under age 6. A bounce house, food concessions, a Child ID kit station and children’s activities round out the day.

Admission is $6 per adult and $3 for children ages 2-12, and is free for kids under 2, with all proceeds to benefit the Child Advocacy Center of Coos County.

For more information go to Questions about child abuse and prevention may be obtained by contacting the Child Advocacy Center office in Groveton, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (603) 636-1999.

I hope that everyone has a safe and wonderful weekend. With less than a month left until our wedding, Jamie and I are working on finalizing plans for the big day. On Saturday we will head down to Assemble to make our wedding rings together with metal smith Laura Jamision. I can’t wait!

Kirstan Knowlton writes a weekly column for The Berlin Sun. Her inspiration comes from events and people in the community who continue to work hard to make the North Country one of the best places to live. You can contact Kirstan by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Cutline: Universally accessible trail is open for use at the Valentine Farm Conservation Center

Trail5Mahoosuc Land Trust announced that the 1.2 mile universally accessible trail is open for use. According to MLT, the wide and level trail at Valentine Farm, located 162 North Road in Bethel, Maine, is ideal for strollers, wheelchairs, walkers, and anyone looking for a non-strenuous meander or bike ride through a mixed forest and along open fields. The trail consists of an east and west loop. Entrance to either loop is available from the parking lot. There is a wheelchair accessible picnic table on the east loop that overlooks the Androscoggin River. For more information go to (COURTESY PHOTO)

Cohos Trail Association holding work day on Sept. 16

PITTSBURG — If you’ve ever wanted to help build a backcountry composting latrine, now is your chance. The Cohos Trail Association will be holding a work day beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16, at the southern end of the Connecticut Lakes State Park in northern Pittsburg.

The all-volunteer trail group will be hauling in prefabricated materials by pickup truck for a handicapped accessible composting privy. Volunteers will hand carry along the Round Pond Brook Trail a relatively small amount of material into the site of the new Neil Tillotson Hut lean-to. Once on site, posts will be set into the ground and braced. Then the prefabricated materials can be screwed together and the structure completed and opened to the public.

The composting latrine will be the first ADA compliant privy built on the Cohos Trail. It will be about half again as large as other composting latrines on the 170-mile trail system. It will be fully accessible by wheelchair.
When the latrine is finished, the shelter site will be fully operable and user friendly. The lean-to makes it possible to hikers on the 170-mile Cohos Trail to camp legally half way between Lake Francis State Campground and Deer Mountain State Campground, both within the town of Pittsburg. The composting latrine ensures that the site is not fouled by human waste.

If you would like to help members of the Cohos Trail Association assemble the privy, drive north to the village of Pittsburg on Route 3 or Route 145. Continue north on Route 3 and pass Happy Corner, 5 miles up the line. Continue several miles and pass Camp Otter Road on the right. Once beyond Camp Otter Road, the highway begins to climb uphill. Half way up the hill a large state sign spelling out Connecticut Lakes State Park comes into view. Pass the sign and continue to the very top of the hill. There is a large parking pullout on the right. Park your vehicle there. Now walk about 150 feet back down Route 3 from whence you came to a very small grassy clearing on the right (northwest) side of the road, or simply follow the Round Pond Brook Trail (just across the highway from pullout) over to the small clearing. That is the rendezvous point.

Bring along plenty of water and a snack or a lunch. It would be best to have a pair of gloves with you, as well. If you have a battery powered drill, you might wish to bring that along. Other tools are optional, such as a branch lopper, rake, pruning saw, hammer and the like.

Later in the fall, the Cohos Trail Association will be building another shelter and assembling another prefabricated latrine within the 1,919-acre Kauffmann Forest in the town of Stark, a property managed by the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests near the southern margin of the Nash Stream Forest. The association will publish information about that event in October.

Funding for the composting latrine project was made possible by the generosity of an anonymous donor and by supporters of the Cohos Trail. Volunteers of all stripes and ages are welcome to help. The association often enjoys a good turnout during building projects.