D Acres of New Hampshire: A Refreshing Weekend Getaway
One March Saturday afternoon I sat in front of my computer searching for an escape weekend where I could temporarily forget my usual responsibilities. I placed a search in Google for “hostel” and “New England.”
I came across D Acres of New Hampshire, located in Dorchester, New Hampshire, population approximately 300, no stoplight, no convenience stores.
Not an Ordinary Hostel
Hostels usually consist of dorm rooms separating male and females, a basic kitchen, and a social area. D Acres has an assortment of rooms. Only one is a dorm room, which sleeps three, allowing for a little more privacy than typical dorms that sleep six to twelve.
A loft separates the guests' area from the public space below. As an avid reader I could not help but choose the library.
The hostel also acts as an educational facility, teaching visitors about sustainable living and organic farming. Visitors may come for a day taking a class on building tree houses, growing mushrooms, restoring furniture, gardening and many other topics offered over the course of the year.
For longer visits guests may experience firsthand how to live sustainably and organically by actively using the staff’s bountiful knowledge. Periodically D Acres offers screenings of documentary movies and discussion groups.
Leaving Stress Behind
My fixation was broken by laughter on the second floor. Quietly I drifted upstairs to be met by a group of boisterous residents of D Acres. Louis greeted me and without filling in the usual paper work upon check-in, he showed me directly to my room.
Before even dropping my bag I became absorbed in the titles within the library. With each shelf I added to my mental list of books to read, forgetting I was only staying for two nights.
Sleepiness moved me towards the bathroom to prepare for bed. This is one aspect of the hostel I had been excitedly anticipating. All the toilets in the building were composting. Curiously I peered into the bathroom testing for any offensive smells, ready to plug my nose. The room smelt woodsy. The composting toilet looked and smelled just like a normal flushable toilet, maybe better.
The procedures for composting toilets go as follows: open the lid, do the deed, place one full cup of sawdust located next to the toilet down a very dark, abysmal wide pipe, and close the lid.
A Delicious Breakfast
After a comfortable night's sleep I walked into the kitchen to help prepare eggs so fresh from the coop they were still warm, mixed with dried rosemary from last summer, potatoes on the side, homemade bread and sausage.
After taking my last bite of my delicious breakfast, I put on my shoes and took a tour of the farm animals. The farm has two enormous oxen, August and Henri, who are used to plough the fields, haul heavy loads, and clear trails on the 180 acres of mostly forested property. There is an abundance of pigs and piglets as well as several varieties of chickens.
Situated just south of the White Mountains, near the legendary climbing hot spot in Rumney, New Hampshire, the hostel is a doorstep to many different outdoor activities. Climbing, hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing are only some of the activities a guest has offered to them a short distance from the farm.
Two days of eating hearty food, hiking the back woods, and exploring surrounding New England towns, gave me a perfect, refreshing weekend getaway. I returned home with new recipe ideas for cooking and ready to take life on in full force once again.
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