New England Waterfalls


Kingswood grad Watson co-authors book

By Cheryl McCarriston, Granite News Correspondent

Thursday, 7/10/2003

Granite, New Hampshire - A 2000 Kingswood High School graduate who said she "hated English and was terrible at grammar," has co-authored a book on New England waterfalls.

Kate Watson, who just finished her junior year at Babson College in Wellesley, Mass., has written "New England Waterfalls, A Guide to More than 200 Cascades and Waterfalls," with fellow classmate Greg Parsons of Danvers, Mass.

The two friends share a love of hiking and are both majoring in accounting at Babson College.

The book, published by Countryman Press, is evidence of their marketing skills, as they realized there was a market for such a book, and there was no apparent competition.

Watson said the two started hiking together and would look for directions to their destinations on-line. Often, the directions were confusing or misleading. So they decided to take a stab at writing a book about waterfalls.

Watson said the two put together a 30-page proposal and the publisher "loved the idea" and gave them a contract.

"We hiked every single weekend during school," said Watson, and five days a week during the summer. "We did write-ups in notebooks," said Watson, as the two hiked on average 10-15 miles each day, driving an average of 320 miles each trip.

"We had so much. It was a great experience," she reminisces.

The two of them visited every single waterfall listed in the book, and they pride themselves on the directions they give their readers.

Watson said she and Parsons "have waterfalls in our blood." She used to visit the Lower Falls on the Kancamagus, sliding over the rocks. Her friend also enjoyed hikes that included vistas of waterfalls.

She said the descriptions in the book are "very honest," and reflect the "overall experience" they had at each waterfall site. Not only do the two authors provide the characteristics of each waterfall, such as the height and altitude gain, they also classify each one according to the six types of waterfalls.

The information given in the book also includes a description of the trail and how to get there.

The book, liberally illustrated with pictures of the waterfalls, is primarily a family guide, and considers the accessibility of the waterfalls for even young hikers.

Watson's favorite waterfall is Arethusa Falls, located in the White Mountain National Forest. It is about 160 feet high, and is located off Route 302, near Glen.

In comparison, Parsons' favorite waterfall is Bash Bish Falls, located in southwestern Massachusetts.

The book represents two years of research and writing. Most notably, the two were turning 20, as they finished the book, which hit book stands July 1.

Watson said the book is a collaboration of each of the two's very different writing techniques. "We both brought a lot to the book," said Watson.

They are considering writing another book, but don't want to go public with the topic just yet. After all, they are business majors, and don't want to be "scooped."

Just three years after graduating from Kingswood, Watson was quick to name a couple of teachers there who made a difference in her life.

She said English teacher Robert Coolidge "was awesome. I hated English and was terrible at grammar. he made it a lot of fun." Watson said Coolidge also helped her publish a poem while she was in high school.

Coolidge retired this year and was chosen by the graduates to be their keynote speaker.

Watson also said mathematics teacher Peter Fagan "was a blast." She had him for three classes: Pre-Calculus, Calculus and AP Calculus. In all, the accounting major took seven math classes while at Kingswood.

Watson had a full schedule while enjoying her high school years. She served as class treasurer her freshman year, was on the math team and was a member of the National Honor Society.

She plans to donate a copy of her new book to both the Wolfeboro Public Library and to Kingswood High School.

Watson said she loves New Hampshire, but also enjoys Massachusetts, which offers a multitude of experiences.

"I'm never moving out of New England," said Watson, citing the beauty and diversity of the area.

Watson is currently a summer intern at Liberty Mutual in Dover, working in customer account services. She plans to get her CPA certification in New Hampshire.

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