From a trail, you may feel like you're deep in the woods. But the Whites are crisscrossed by highways. Airplanes fly overhead. And the cog railway chugs up and down Mt. Washington. Photo by James Napoli for NHPR

From a trail, you may feel like you’re deep in the woods. But the Whites are crisscrossed by highways. Airplanes fly overhead. And the cog railway chugs up and down Mt. Washington. Photo by James Napoli for NHPR

Dennis Follensbee took a hike in the White Mountains about a month ago. He wanted to get away, to find some peace and quiet. Or, as he puts it, “nature sounds and not people sounds.”

As he climbed out of the valley, the trickling of water from the brook below slowly faded away. The leaves rustled in the trees. But then, all of a sudden, he hit a ridge and everything changed.

“You feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere, pushing through the forest,” he said. “And then you hear the brrrrrruhhhh coming through, all the way from Lincoln, and you’re like, man!”

It turned out it was motorcycle week.  The noise was echoing across his path.

Follensbee has been walking these mountains for years — not just on trails, but also bushwhacking. He’s been surprised, he said, at how far the hum of motorcycles and cars can carry.

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