Mark Okrant

A Polar Caves Adventure

A Polar Caves Adventure

Driving into the parking lot and spying the momma polar bear and her cub on the sign at the Polar Caves, I flashed back to my first visit as a pre-teen, during the mid-1950s. My parents, older brother, and I made the trip from Connecticut to Plymouth, New Hampshire in my father’s green Henry J automobile. Mom and Pop convinced us to suppress our boundless energy by promising we would do something special when the car stopped. The Polar Caves did not disappoint.

Canterbury Shaker Village: a very special place

Canterbury Shaker Village: a very special place

By Mark Okrant

Those of us who are passionate about heritage settings couldn’t be much more fortunate. New Hampshire offers many opportunities to view relics of our past, from traditional museum collections to historic buildings, landscapes, and communities. Among the best examples of the latter is Canterbury Shaker Village, located on Shaker Road in Canterbury, New Hampshire. Founded in 1969 to preserve the 200-year-old legacy of the Canterbury Shakers, the Village is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its incorporation. 

Storm Chasing: A Twisted Pleasure

Storm Chasing: A Twisted Pleasure

By Mark Okrant

There are a number of people who get their kicks by driving all over the landscape in search of violent storms. Many do this in the name of scientific investigation, while others are adventure seekers or simply curious. These adrenaline junkies are known as storm chasers. Most are searching for tornadoes; however, others prefer to track lightning and thunderstorms, cumulonimbus clouds, tropical cyclones, or hail storms. 

Make Tracks to The North East Motor Sports Museum

Make Tracks to The North East Motor Sports Museum

Story & Photo by Mark Okrant

Much like a treasure chest, New Hampshire is home to a number of jewels in the form of historic museums. One of the gems awaiting the auto racing enthusiast, or any traveler seeking something different, is the North East Motor Sports Museum (NEMSM), situated at 922 Route 106, in Loudon. As you approach the New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) grounds from the south, you will see a big blue-and-white sign on the east side of the road. You owe it to yourself to visit this facility.

A Visit to the Wright Museum’s Exhibit “Righting a Wrong” is a Valuable Lesson

A Visit to the Wright Museum’s Exhibit “Righting a Wrong” is a Valuable Lesson

By Mark Okrant

Photos courtesy Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service

Preparation for this story took me to one of my favorite museum venues in New Hampshire, Wolfeboro’s Wright Museum of World War II. This time, my purpose was not to examine the museum’s ongoing, outstanding display of the battlefield and the home front during that war. My assignment was to visit the newly opened Smithsonian traveling exhibition, “Righting a Wrong: Japanese Americans and World War II.” The Smithsonian describes the exhibit, which will be housed at the museum from May 1 to July 7, as “an examination of the complicated history and impact of Executive Order 9066 that led to the incarceration of Japanese-Americans following the attack on Pearl Harbor.”   

Fishing Guides: a line on a most favorable experience

Fishing Guides: a line on a most favorable experience

By Mark Okrant

One of the best aspects of writing for The Laker is that the assignments take me out of my comfort zone. Things were no different this time, when my editor asked me to do a piece on fishing guides. As many readers are aware, a fishing guide is a person who shows, helps, and/or teaches people how to fish.

Vintage Snowmobiles Bring By-Gone Age to Milton

Vintage Snowmobiles Bring By-Gone Age to Milton

Story & Photos by Mark Foynes

Paul LeBlanc stands proudly by his 1918 Model-T Ford, which has been outfitted with a West Ossipee snowmobile converter kit. He was among the enthusiasts who converged at the Milton Town Beach recently to meet with fellow enthusiasts and provide rides for the general public at no charge.

Area Museums: Much More Than Glass Display Cases

Area Museums: Much More Than Glass Display Cases

By Mark Okrant

At the beginning of this decade, there were people in the U.S. tourism industry who felt the term “museum” was passé, an obstacle rather than an enticement to visitation. One thing is certain, culture and heritage-related activities are immensely popular in this country right now, as more than three-quarters of all travelers participate in them. For their part, American museums host nearly 850 million person-visits each year, a total that would make the most successful major league sports franchise envious.

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