1. covered bridges
2. so many lakes and streams and rivers and ponds and creeks
3. the friendly people
4. the beautiful White Mountains
5. the history of the place
6. old houses
7. Inn and Pubs…Inns that have pubs
8. the wildlife
9. the night sky..so many stars to see
10. small towns
12. the history and traditions
13. town fairs
14. maple walnut ice cream, okay I can get that anywhere, its’ just especially good here
15. hiking trails
16. incredibly beautiful libraries, every town has its own library
….and things I have yet to discover
Franconia Notch in my humble opinion is the jewel of New Hampshire…but give me a week and I’ll find other jewels, enough to string into a necklace, of other remarkably beautiful places in this state. The first images are of from the the tram that takes one up to Cannon Mtn. There were teases that we might see bear on the trails below us, but this was not the case. In fact, in the three weeks we have been here, I have yet to see a bear or a moose. I wouldn’t be so anxious about it, except there are signs for moose everywhere warning us that they are ever present and ready to launch themselves from the woods and onto our car…not one moose sighting yet. I digress. The views were spectacular, visibility up to 100 miles. We could see Canada, Maine, Vermont, and New York. We paid for that visibility with wind and chilly air. It was so cold and I had come so unprepared that I had to buy a fleece lined jacket from the gift store, seriously. It was a bargain though and kept me warm all day. Here’s a sighting of the another tram making it’s way down. The trams move in coordination with each other, when one slows down, they both slow down. The season just opened for parks in Franconia Notch so there weren’t a lot of people on the tram the morning we went up. It was nice, I could move around and see from all sides with ease. As we reached the top, the tram got a little bumpy; we were warned, but it was still a bit of a surprise. A the top, there were trails and a cafe, bathrooms, and seating. Chris and I made it to the observation tower, but it was so windy it was unpleasant enough to cause us leave as soon we got there. One of the tram operators told us that the wind keeps the bugs off of you; this was true and I was appreciating that. In the same turn off as the tram was the Old Man of the Mountain Memorial sight. The “OMOTM” was New Hampshire’s most iconic symbol, until it fell off the side of the cliff. The image above shows what remains. After it fell apart, New Hampshirites had a contest to build a memorial. An artist won, she created a sculpture that allows one to stand in specific places according to one’s height, and have the image of the OMOTM reappear. It’s very cool. The lake below the OMOTM is worth the trip as well. It’s absolutely stunning and the NH Tourism Board planted a fly fisherman while we were there who was just as cool to watch.We headed next to the Flume Gorge. This park was amazing and I would and will come back here over and over again. The pictures included don’t seem to be any order, I apologize for that; I’m having media difficulties. But regardless, the place was spectacular. The pictures really do no justice and it was probably a good thing that my camera battery died and I just had to walk and enjoy the sights without the pressure of having to document everything. There weren’t many people on the trail the day we went, but the path gets narrow and it’s a “one person at a time path” in places which can make the trail seem crowded even when there are few actually on it. It was nice that we able to get pictures without lots of extra people in the background. On a busier day, it would be impossible. We found this little guy on the trail; he was completely unaware of the foot traffic.Once you get passed the flume part of the trail you have the option of heading back to visitor’s center or going on an extended loop. we opted for the extended loop, which was just as spectacular, but different. It was really one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to. There were more falls and pools of water, amazing boulders and geology. It was just lovely. Definitely a spot I will take visitors. The season run from May to October so visitors will have to come in the warmer months!
Chris and I have been making day trips the last couple of days. First a drive around the NH border of Maine–Bethel,Center Lovell, Fryeburg, then thru North Conway where we watched the US v Ghana soccer game. Today we drove north, skirting the Vermont border and ultimately hitting the Canadian border and back down. Both days were filled with beauty. It seems I think I’ve found the most beautiful spot on earth only to discover yet another beautiful place the next day.
Today in Lancaster I spoke with a shop keeper and we agreed that people can handle the New Hampshire winters because the summers are such a reward.
I’m feel so fortunate to be living here. My soul is at peace in the natural world and I have hit the jackpot.
I took too many pictures to count trying to capture all that I could see…then I gave up and just enjoyed the views. It was amazing. It was beautiful. I can’t explain it, you just have to go see for yourself.
Chris and I took a small drive today, antiquing, looking for furniture for our new home. We did get a dining room table, but it was hard commit to anything else. We aren’t moved in yet and we have no place put anything…it makes collecting things difficult. The store where we did buy the table is storing it for us “until.”
As we drove, we saw a sign that read “Robert Frost Museum and Home,” or something like that. We followed the road just long enough for me to believe that we might have made a mistake, when we came upon Frost’s lovely homestead. There was a small poetry trail, and a welcome center complete with a short movie of the man’s life, as well as his simple home. Frost only lived there 5 years with his family. While he loved the area, he realized it was too cold to grow a garden, so he moved someplace in Vermont that was warmer or sunnier. The home houses a poet every year, some lucky individual who gets to live and write in Frost’s sweet abode. My guess is that it is only a summer thing…the locale seems hard enough to reach in summer and the wood stove didn’t seem functioning. Nevertheless. three months in Frost’s home would be lovely.
A poem by Robert Frost
Happiness Makes Up In Height For What It lacks in Length
O stormy, stormy world,
The days you were not swirled
Around with mist and cloud,
Or wrapped as in a shroud,
And the sun’s brilliant ball
Was not in part or all
Obscured from mortal view–
Were days so very few
I can but wonder whence
I get the lasting sense
Of so much warmth and light.
If my mistrust is right
It may be altogether
From one day’s perfect weather,
When starting clear at dawn
The day swept clearly on
To finish clear at eve.
I verily believe
My fair impression may
Be all from that one day
No shadow crossed but ours
As through its blazing flowers
We went from house to wood
For change of solitude.
I took Luka to Dog Mountain today in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. We stayed for two hours; if I had packed a lunch I would’ve stayed all day. For the third day in a row, I felt I was in the most beautiful place I had ever been in and I didn’t want to be any where else.
Mirror Lake loon
Hike at Weeks Park
1. Take your favorite dog on a hike.
2. Have lunch at a place called “Grandma’s Kitchen,” that really does make you feel like you’re at your grandmas’s for dinner.
3. Find a kayak on sale at a place one hour and fifteen minutes closer than the place you were going to go to to buy kayaks.
4. Buy 2 kayaks and actually fit them into your car.
5. Take your maiden voyage in the above kayaks at the lake in your back yard.
6. Get up close to a nesting loon.
7. Get up close to the papa loon.
8. Kayak with the guy (or gal) you love most in the world.
9. Want to be no where else than where you are (THIS IS THE KEY TO HAVING THE PERFECT DAY!!)
10. Meet your lovely neighbors who invite you to “vespers”…their version.
I just had my perfect day.
Took a short ride into North Conway today. We woke up late; the extra sleep was much needed. We got a text from our real estate agent that our offer on a house in Gorham was accepted. Yes, it was quick, but the house is beautiful and so close to Chris’s job. We’re both so excited.
After getting up late, we got some business-y things done…we’ve got a lot of business-y stuff to do still. Then Chris dropped off some off some things at the school he’s going to be working at and we drove into Conway looking for kayaks. We didn’t get any kayaks, but we learned a lot and decided that if we are to get kayaks, we’re going to first need a roof rack on the station wagon to transport them. Alas..
We both weren’t feeling our best so we headed back to Whitefield. We drove through Crawford Notch and Chris declared it the most beautiful place he had ever seen. It was pretty spectacular. We stopped to take a few snapshots and hiked a very short path around the backside of the pond. The ducks in the picture were very used to be fed by visitors and immediately swam up to us as we approached the river.
Feeling very lucky to live in such a beautiful place.
Yesterday, day one of waking up in New Hampshire, found us already looking at potential homes. Chris’s job starts in a month and I would like to find a home before then. I contacted a realtor before we left Portland so that we could begin our search here immediately. Yesterday we looked at 5 different homes in Lancaster. While they were lovely, Chris and I decided Lancaster was too far away from Gorham where his job is. On a map it seemed so close, 30 minutes, not too bad. But on a two lane road, windy and narrow in spots, it just seemed longer. After two trips to Gorham from the Lancaster area we decided that the daily commute between the two towns would just be too much. Especially in winter.
Winter. Seems winter is always the first thing brought up when we mention that we have just moved to NH. We heard it from our Portland friends before we moved here and now that we are here, we are continuing to hear it. I know the winters are long. I do. Last year New England was hit repeatedly with winter storm after winter storm, It’s going to be cold.it’s going to be long. I know. And it’s okay. I love to wear sweaters and scarves and socks and layers of things…it might be even be kind of awesome!
Tomorrow we look at homes in Gorham and Berlin. I may be overly hopeful, but I think I’ll see my home tomorrow (crosses fingers). My must haves include: a studio space, two bathrooms( actually, two toilets), 3 bedrooms at least, a yard for Luka and a garden, bundled in a charming older but updated home. Big list, but I think we can find it.
A storm is coming in, lightening is expected. I’m going to go enjoy it.