May 27, 2013 - In 4 days' time (May 31 - June 2) one of the best rugby weekends of the year - The Old Man of the Mountain Tournament - will be upon us. For the benefit of several new players in the squad this year, we would like to fill you in on what we know will be a memorable time, and sincerely hope all players can join us in this festive event. This is traditionally a "boys only" weekend for the Senators, but if you really want to invite your significant other(s) (wife, girlfriend, or both!) and/or kids, then feel free! This is one of the few weekends (other than the Lake Saranac/Lake Placid CAN-AM tournament) where anything goes!.
For almost 30 years, The Old Man of The Mountain Tournament (about 5-6 hours drive from Ottawa) has become an annual pilgrimage for aging rugby warriors, with the beautiful White Mountains of New Hampshire set as the backdrop. Clubs come from all over New England and New Hampshire...and Canada (us!). There are no trophies, rather this a friendly (somewhat) one day tournament, each team playing 2 matches in the true spirit of what Old Boys rugby should be - "Staying in the Game".
The matches are played directly across from the Franconia Inn on a glider airstrip closed for this one day to host the event, and the schedule is generally as follows:
Friday - May 31st
Most players arrive late afternoon, early evening, and the Senators usually have an informal get-together outside the cottages and around the pool-side at the Gale River Motel to kick things off. After that, we usually continue the party inside or head to a local bar/restaurant just down the road for a "quiet night" (rugby tomorrow!). Some choose to attend the Captains' meeting, which aside from being an excuse to drink, is where the tournament schedule is determined. Each respective team schedule will be announced then, not prior, so you may be playing early on Saturday. Plan accordingly!
Saturday - June 1st
Saturday is rugby day! We usually have a good breakfast at Polly's Pancake Parlor (http://pollyspancakeparlor.com/).Those who are staying at the Gale River Motel then have a short drive to the airfield to play. Games are played throughout the day, and last year the competition was pretty intensive (won one, lost one).
After the matches, the Senators tend to stick around and socialize for a while, before heading back to the Gale River Motel for a swim, hot-tub, BBQ, drinks, fun and games (including shot-sticks and shots roulette!). If the weather is right, it’s a postcard setting.
On Saturday night most head over to the bar in town to enjoy the local hospitality, drink copious amounts of cheap American beer, listen to live music and sing raucous rugby songs until hoarse!
Sunday - June 2nd
Hangovers in tow, we head home late morning, usually stopping at the Diner in Littleton for a greasy fry-up to calm the stomach before the 5 hour drive home!
Please follow the links below to view some lodging options. Most stay at the Gale River Motel, but there are plenty of other options. We recommend staying at the places in Franconia. Two good options are: The Franconia Inn and the Best Western White Mountain Resort, or for the budget conscious: The Hillwinds Lodge, or the Cannon Mountain View Motel. All of these places are a short distance to the pitches. For those wanting to rough it, check out the Lafayette Campground - it’s only about 10 minutes from the pitches and town, cost is $25, and they have bathrooms and showers, Reservations recommended:
Clear your schedules, be pro-active on your “honey-do” lists, bribe whoever you have to, but please make every effort to be there. It’s the epitome of what Old Boys rugby is about, and should not be missed! You’ll look forward to going back year after year! We look forward to seeing everyone there!
p.s. DON’T FORGET YOUR PASSPORTS!
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