9-18-10: Highland Games, Loon Mountain

I had the opportunity to attend the Highland Games, a Scottish tradition which is fun for all who enjoy learning about cultures of years ago.

Bagpipes were everywhere. Men in kilts were everywhere. There was lamb being served and I could barely figure out what was on the menu.

Competition was the underlying theme of the day. From bagpipe competitions, to the bagpipe march, dancing competitions as you see above were graceful and beautiful. Some competitions couldn’t be described that way. . .

The Highland games, to me, always meant the real rugged men, ripped with muscles, performing their art with big stones and large logs. Watching these men throw rocks around might not seem like a good time. . . but it shows to me how men used to butch up in the past. The ancient version of showing other men how strong you are, how manly, without having to actually harm each other.

taking a trip up the skilift at Loon is a hairraising experience for me. I’m not the most confident with heights, but morso that those seats aren’t really meant for bigger, taller people like myself. A flimsy bar isn’t doing much to help me stay on the very shallow seat. Regardless, I got a great shot of the Loon area where the physical competitions are.

after taking the skilift, I decided to head over to the gondola, which is an enclosed lift that heads to the top of the mountain. I got some great shots at the top including the one above, viewing a great overlook. In this shot, a highlander and his wife enjoy the view.

Billy Boyle was a man who was a professional at building logging roads. Loon Mountain at one time, was not so pretty. It was scarred with the clear cutting of trees like many in New Hampshire were. To get those logs down, they needed good logging roads. Billy Boyle’s cabin is a testament to his skill at digging and blowing up rocks to form his highways. He couldn’t have picked a better spot.

Neither could you, should you decide to attend this event in future years. You’ll see great culture, the area where you can trace your own Scottish history. You can enjoy some traditional Scottish food, purchase English, Scottish, and Irish goods, and even get fitted for a kilt. The best part is the non-hassle. You’d expect to attend the event, have to walk long distances and pay a great amount to park. In fact, it couldn’t have been easier. We stopped at one of the predetermined parking areas, and a school bus took us to the event. After stopping at the building out front for our will-call tickets, we were right into the event. Every vendor, attendant, and security guard asked us if we were having a good time. We sure were, and will again next year for sure.

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