As part of a writing prompt by the Outdoor Blogger Network, they are requesting that bloggers write a quick post about how their blog names originated. As many authors have said, in the fifty-plus responses to this prompt, my title Live Free and Hike New Hampshire has a pretty simple significance and there is no real great story behind. However, I thought I would type it up anyway! “Live Free or Die” is my State’s (NH) official motto. As many of you who read this blog know, I love the State of New Hampshire. I feel it is a very unique State when compared to others, including New England bordering states. Many will tell you that the mountains and wilderness here are different than anywhere else in the country.
The motto, “Live Free or Die”, came from a toast written by General John Stark in 1809, which was read at the anniversary reunion party for the Battle of Bennington, which was actually held in the State of Vermont. The complete toast read, “Live Free or Die: Death is not the Worst of Evils”. I love this toast. Each time I think of it, it reminds me of how precious liberty and freedom really is. At the time of the Revolutionary War, people felt so strongly about their liberty, that laying down their lives for freedom was an easy and necessary decision. Even today, the heroic men and women of the armed forces are doing this for us. I think the State of New Hampshire reminds us of this everyday with this motto. If we don’t think of the motto every day, we’re certainly reminded of it once we look down at our license plates!
Okay, enough with the history lesson and back to how I named my blog. In September of 2009, while vacationing in Jackson, NH, we visited a small gift shop, Flossie’s General Store, which is located right over the covered bridge in the Jackson Village. Along with other small trinkets and gifts, we bought a rustic, old looking, wooden sign that displays this motto, “Live Free or Die”, and hung it over our kitchen sink, where it still resides. This has significance, which I will explain shortly.
I decided to start this blog early in 2010, with a lot of encouragement from Jill. Jill, being the public relations professional that she is, emphasized how important a blog name is. For a couple days, we went back and forth with different ideas, but nothing sounded like it fit a blog by “me”. Finally, Jill said, “I have the perfect name…Live Free and Hike!” She knew that I would love it because it incorporated my favorite motto with my favorite pastime. I can’t help but think that the sign over the sink, from a small gift store in Jackson, helped prompt her idea.
I feel this title is appropriate for so many reasons. When I’m up in the mountains, relaxing on a summit ledge and absorbing the sun and beauty, I truly feel free. Not just free from a rights or liberty perspective, but free from stress and turmoil. Free from the rat race. Free to enjoy what the wilderness of New Hampshire has to offer!
For more on the history of New Hampshire’s motto, click here.