Meghan McCarthy McPhaul
Writings from a full life
The latest from Meghan's Blog:

Letting Go 

She pedals confidently now, blond ponytail flapping from beneath her bike helmet, little legs pumping furiously to keep up with the bigger kids as she makes her way up the driveway, down the road, through the woods.

It wasn’t always this way, of course. As my youngest daughter learned to ride her big girl bike last year, she was a little shaky and a bit timid. While I ran up and down our long driveway alongside her and eventually watched her pedal away on her own, I pondered the obvious parallels between the evolution from trike to training wheels to two-wheeler and the process of parenting children as they grow up and figure out the world around them, gradually expanding their horizons beyond our own view.

We parents are forced to let go, a little at a time. First our children roll, then they crawl, then they walk, then they run. Before we know it they’re ditching the training wheels and popping wheelies, skiing fast down steep trails, reaching new heights in the classroom, on the field, the playground and beyond.READ MORE

Old Man Memories 

I still look up each time I drive through Franconia Notch. Old habits indeed die hard, and I’ve been looking to that particular spot on the mountain’s edge since I was a kid coming north the Friday nights of my childhood and heading south on Sunday afternoons. Whichever direction the family car was traveling, I peered out the window, craning my neck until we reached that magical place where the Old Man appeared, just for a moment, a stone face on a mountain’s edge. 

The Old Man of the Mountain has been gone, crumbled to the valley floor, for 12 years now. But I know I am not the only one who still looks for him there.  

On May 3, 2003, when storm clouds lifted to reveal a naked slab of granite where the Old Man had clung to the mountain for countless years, it was a national news story. People flocked to Franconia Notch to see for themselves. Reporters – myself among them – gathered with their microphones and cameras and notebooks, waiting for the governor to arrive, speculating over what forces of nature had finally dislodged the Old Man. Many people cried that day. Some still do when they look up to that changed place on the mountain. READ MORE

Meghan McCarthy McPhaul is an award winning author and journalist. She lives in northern New Hampshire, where she works as a freelance writer, penning magazine and newspaper articles, as well as copy for newsletters, press releases, Web sites and Blogs.

Her Close to Home column appears twice a month in the Littleton Record newspaper, and her work has also appeared in Powder, Northern Woodlands, Forest Notes, Snow East, and several local and regional publications, as well as two anthologies of place-based writing.

She has been honored by the New England Press Association for excellence in spot news coverage and feature writing and by the International Skiing History Association for her book A History of Cannon Mountain: Trails, Tales and Skiing Legends. 

Meghan is currently working on a collection of essays.

Winner of the 2011 Skade Award from the International Skiing History Association!



What people are saying about

Trails, Tales and Skiing Legends:

"The author's talent in writing the oft-neglected biographies of Cannon's pioneer skiers and d
evelopers in such delightful detail is commended and certainly the reader's good fortune."


"A nifty little book..."

"McPhaul ... gracefully and compassionately ... adds much to our understanding of Cannon Mountain and the forces and people that tried to tame it."


"...a really superb, well-done book. A History of Cannon Mountain does a remarkable job of conveying the spirit, atmosphere, and joy of ... Cannon Mountain."

This is the first comprehensive history written about Cannon Mountain, one of the oldest ski areas in the United States and a cradle of American ski history.
To learn more about the book or purchase a copy,
please visit the
Cannon Mountain page.

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