Hi everyone -
Greetings from Rumney, NH. After living here full-time for the past month, I have a few quick thoughts by way of an update:
This town punches well above its weight. It’s possible Rumney has more interesting people per capita than anywhere else I’ve lived. Maybe that’s a reflection of my low opinion of whether D.C. people are interesting, or it could be that only 1,544 people live here, according to recent census data. But still: nearly everyone I come across has had or currently has an interesting career, or is living a storied life of some kind, or is currently engaged in creative or constructive projects and endeavors. I anticipate that census data number will grow as more young people seek a better, more meaningful quality of life than our big cities are providing.
News travels fast in a small town. Just to take one example, last month I published a story in the Concord Monitor about moving from D.C. to Rumney. Within weeks it seemed almost everyone had read it. Now, wherever I go, it’s “This is Russell - he’s the one that wrote that story - “ “Oh! Yea! Hi, Russell.” The NH state representative who lives down the street has read it. Members of the climbing association board have read it, and Google is reportedly serving it to people on their way to Rumney. News travels fast.
I am living the climber’s dream. Last night, I told one of my friends here - he only comes to Rumney on the weekends from Boston - what my days during the week are like. In the morning, I work on my writing or on the garage renovation. I have lunch. And in the afternoon, if it’s nice out, my partner and I go down to the cliffs and climb. If we leave the house at 2pm, we are literally standing at the base of a crag, harnesses on, ready to go, by 2:15pm. “Living the dream,” my friend said. And I sort of am. I have world-class climbing, a lifetime of it, practically at my doorstep. And the weather has been glorious indeed.
That’s all for this week. I took the picture above a few days ago from the base of Orange Crush, one of the Rumney climbing crags. It was a gorgeous day, 68 degrees and sunny at the end of October, with all the leaves of the Baker River Valley turned.