By Deb Brzozwski, SCA Interpretive Ranger at Franconia Notch State Park“A man practices the art of adventure when he breaks the chain of routine and renews his life through reading new books, traveling to new places, making new friends, taking up new hobbies and adopting new viewpoints.” — Wilfred Peterson
Over the past six months, I have been practicing the art of adventure. I recently became one of the Interpretive Rangers at Franconia Notch State Park. Before coming to Franconia Notch, I lived with 35 other young adults in Bear Brook State Park, and had the opportunity to develop friendships, teach 4th graders, learn new skills and explore my surroundings. Now, in Franconia, with limited cellphone service and no Internet connection, I have been able read a lot of books as well as pick up a new hobby of hiking!
As part of the move-in process, and to gain familiarity with the area, I hiked the Franconia Ridge Loop, which includes Mt. Lafayette at 5,260 ft., and Mt. Lincoln at 5,089 ft. In the past, I was not an avid hiker, even needing to be bribed with whoopee pies as a child. But while living in the White Mountains, hiking a few of the peaks was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. In order to better explore the beautiful sights around me, I chose to pursue hiking, and the challenge that comes with it. My experience on the Franconia Ridge loop was so much fun (even though I got rained on), I now have plans to climb 31 of the 48 AMC 4,000 foot mountains in NH before the summer is over.
In climbing these summits, I have gained new confidence in my abilities, a passion for exploring, and an appreciation for my surroundings. Most recently, I climbed Mt. Moosilauke, by way of Beaver Brook trail. The trail was very arduous, but also followed cascades for nearly a mile and a half. The way also included steep rock faces, wooden staircases, and rock steps.
I chose this route, because I wanted to push my boundaries. I had the whole trail to myself for most of the morning, and when I reached the summit, there were only 5 people present. I felt so successful, and my new 360-degree viewpoint was totally worth the effort.
Since graduating college, I have wanted a job that enabled me to truly experience the areas I tell visitors about, and I am happy to say being an interpretive ranger has provided that opportunity. I love that every time I step outside, I can learn something new, talk to people from various places and backgrounds or explore an interesting spot.
Franconia Notch State Park, and the White Mountains have inspired many artists, visitors and interpreters over the years. It is my hope you will come visit me this summer, enjoy hiking, sightseeing or an interpretive program and practice your art of adventure.
Discover the Power of Parks is presented by New Hampshire State Parks in collaboration with the Student Conservation Association and made possible by generous financial support from Eversource. The program offers a look into the natural world through hands-on programming.
Interpretive programs focus on connecting participants with nature and building appreciation for New Hampshire's unmatched natural heritage. Programs include guided hikes, interpretive tours, and imaginative environmental workshops for children and families. Programs are offered free to guests with paid park admission fee. No pre-registration is required.