Madison Boulder State Wayside – Madison, New Hampshire

The Madison Boulder is one of the largest known glacial erratics in North America and among the largest in the world; it is preserved in the 17-acre (6.9 ha) Madison Boulder Natural Area in Madison, New Hampshire. The boulder is a huge granite rock measuring 83 feet (25 m) in length, 23 feet (7.0 m) in height above the ground, and 37 feet (11 m) in width. It weighs upwards of 5,000 short tons (4,500,000 kg). A part of the block is buried, probably to a depth of 10 to 12 feet (3.0 to 3.7 m).  It was acquired by the state from the Kennett family In 1946. In 1970, Madison Boulder was designated as a National Natural Landmark by the National Park Service.

A short dirt road leads to the boulder from the small parking area.

You can get the full sense of the power of glaciers when you see how it can transport this massive rock for miles from its initial location.

Achadas da Cruz – Madeira, Portugal

Achadas da Cruz on Madeira island is the ancestral home of my mother’s family. I grew up hearing stories of the tiny little parish town and the steep cliffs my grandparents had to hike up to bring produce back and forth from the even smaller village of Fajã da Quebrada Nova. It was like a pilgrimage for Alex and I to walk in the footsteps of my ancestors. When we came to the parish cemetery and I saw so many gravestones with my mother’s maiden name emblazoned across them it really hit home.

Local Parish Church – Nossa Senhora Livramento

Caldeira – My mothers family name

Local businesses include a post office and general store

At the top of the cable car terminal is the Calhau Snack Bar

The steepest cable car in Europe

Tiny village of Fajã da Quebrada Nova at the bottom of the cable car ride

Nearby are hikes along the levadas