My family has spent a lot of time in Evans Notch – on the Maine side of the White Mountains National Forest – this spring and summer. Actually we have spent a lot of time in this area over the years. It’s about 20 miles north of Fryeburg and has some amazing mountain views.
But in addition to finding some wonderful summits, we’ve also found a gem of a place to stop to get snacks before we set out on the trail – Quinn’s Jockey Cap Country Store (at 116 Bridgton Road on Route 302 in Fryeburg). On first glance it looks like a typical locally-owned convenience store set in any small town in Maine. But this place has bakery-quality desserts and lots of homemade goodness. We’ve had delicious cakes, cookies, cheesecake and other treats from this place. They also have all sorts of sandwiches and pizza (for breakfast and lunch) and plenty of the typical hiking fare of granola bars, nuts, chips and water. It’s a well-stocked place. One thing about it though, it’s not particularly cheap. But as far as bakery treats and lunch sandwiches go, it’s a tasty stop.
The girls and I are not big potato chip eaters but when we pick up a bag, it’s typically a salt and vinegar type flavor. At the Jockey Cap Country Store recently we saw several different types of Utz chips and decided it would be fun to buy a variety for a taste test at the summit of Blueberry Mountain (our hike du jour). We also decided to pick up a couple of danishes – raspberry and apple – to round out the sweet versus salty snack experience on the mountain top.
Blueberry Mountain is not the toughest climb we’ve ever done but in the summer heat it is a sweaty workout. It wasn’t so hard on this recent trek because we knew we had some fun taste-testing planned once we got to the summit.
The Kettle Classic “Salt and Malt Vinegar” Utz chips won hands-down (or thumbs up if you roll that way) in our book for the tang of the malt vinegar. It was a tie between the apple and raspberry danish. A favorite could not be determined and nary a crumb saved from either of them.
We also found some natural goodness to snack on near the summit as well.
Hiking up a mountain can be a serious workout challenge but when you pack the right kind of motivational snacks and approach the day with fun and silliness, everyone in the family has a good time.
In case you’re interested in hiking the trail to the Blueberry Mountain summit, here’s a terrain map we made of the trip.