September 29 thru October 1, 2018 Took my time to get containers to truck, add water to drinking cooler, and stack goodies in the ice-chest. So glad I shopped at Shaw’s in advance; looked forward to trying Jim’s jar of stuffed cherry peppers. Grace invited me to stay, to experience a New England winter with them. Although greatly appreciated, I wasn’t ready for cabin-fever weather. LOTS OF HUGS!
My next stop would be the White Mountain National Forest, the Kancamangus Scenic Byway and Passaconaway, as suggested by Becky and Jim.
Headed out early afternoon to Route 202, with first stop in Hillsboro at the Circle K where I picked up a NE seasonal brew mix of Sam Adams, large bag of ice for both coolers, and a small Hurricane Florence donation (least I could do).
Less than an hour up the road, with a hop to 93N in-between, stopped at the Canterbury Rest Area. The building looked like a small house with two big flagpoles in front. It was clean and the location was tree-surrounded, with a grassy area and several picnic tables. Very pretty!
The farther north I drove, into the White Mountains, the more fall colors became richer. I stopped in Lincoln to look around and grab a coke; lots of hikers and families on vacation.
It was odd and exciting to see signs across NH that only required seatbelt use by 18 and younger and helmet use by 16 and younger. Imagine that! Adults being treated by the state to make decisions about their personal safety. In my humble opinion, a common sense matter should be addressed through education, not by laws. Whether or not an adult elects to wear the seatbelt/helmet is a choice that effects that person’s safety, unlike cell phone use while driving, which effects the safety of others as well.
To say I thoroughly enjoyed the breathtaking Kancamangus Highway (112) is not adequate. I F*ING LOVED IT! First stop was at the Hancock Trailhead, to stretch my body for a few miles in beauty. It was after 5 pm, crowds had thinned and the air cooled … perfect. Left all in the truck, except water bottle and key. FABULOUS!
About 7 pm, I landed a spot at Passaconaway, just before Jigger Johnson. It was pretty damn cold, so got the fire started, then set up camp using headlamp. Enjoyed a cold beer while I made dinner with onion, cherry peppers, pepperoni, tortilla strips and mozzarella. May not sound like it, but delicious!
Tried new setup, with down blanket on tent floor, foam pad wrapped in wool blanket and my new sleeping bag on top with soft, wool material over pillow. Cleaned up pan, washed face and brushed teeth with cold-ass water, popped down the road to the vault potty, then snuggled in for the night.
Loved my new sleeping bag that kept me toasty through the cold night and had just enough room to turn over comfortably. Added couple extra layers of clothes, while I made coffee and slowly packed, but my toes would not warm up. Met Ken and Fran, senior campers who were traveling and stopped to say hello. I appreciated the chat and they were totally enjoying their 1/2 off camping fees at national parks. They were blown-away that I was camping across states by myself.
Prepped backpack for a stealthy hike and took off to a fantastic, magical place, physically and mentally. Crossed the cold Swift River several times. Cheers to extra socks!
Back in the truck, I snacked on hot peanuts, listened to Aretha and Cat, and admired the breathtaking views. Swung over to 302.
Passed the Attitash Ski Resort. Although I’ve never snow-skied, still want to learn how to snowboard.
Spent time at this cute place in Glen. I didn’t go inside the B&B, but thoroughly enjoyed the old bridge, with Saco River view, and the gift shop where I bought an awesome moose spoon-rest for my future home.
Gassed-up ($2.83/gal) at Patch’s Market, then jumped on NH-16N. Came across a small village of brightly painted, quirky houses and had to stop. It was Story Land and OMG, I definitely want to check it out one day, maybe even take some kiddos. Ha!
Farther up, I saw a sign for Glen Ellis Falls and took the turn. There were a bunch of vehicles; felt fortunate to locate a parking space fairly quickly. Completed the parking form and paid a few dollars toward park maintenance, then changed into hikers.
Down the stone steps, through a short tunnel directly under Rt 16 and out, into an incredible wonderland.
The walkways, stone and earth paths, were easy enough to navigate, for all ages. Incredible beauty that I admired for not nearly long enough.
Headed toward Cornish, Maine to visit Rick, friend of Stefani. Considering where I was, it might take a while. Ha! Saw a pullover spot, just a few minutes after leaving the Falls, parked, climbed down the little hill to a gorgeous area; sat on a rock gazing at the trees, the water as it made it’s way between, under and over to cascade, the sky. I was so f*ing grateful to be there – not just physically.
Again (haha), about 5 minutes up the road in Gorham, a quick stop and walk around at Wildcat Mountain Ski Resort. The location was gorgeous, with beautiful grounds and cool ski-benches by the inside restrooms.
Got to Cornish and it made me laugh; Cornish hens immediately came to mind.
Drove down the beautiful, tree-lined River Road along the Saco River. Phoned Rick to touch-base and, of course, stopped for a few photos, all while my bladder was about to burst!
Super excited when I pulled into Rick’s circular drive about 5:30p. His furry welcome wagon duo greeted me immediately, with lots of tail whacks and sniffs. Made a great escape to the potty, then hugged Rick and spent lots of time petting the lovable duo.
Rick showed me around the house and explained the incredible, beasty cooling system. Over the next couple of days, we talked, laughed, snacked and smoked. Pups snuggled and so did we. We spent almost one entire day being completely lazy, watching movies with the pups, while it rained and rained. Those labs kept me laughing. Check out the one foot on the floor!
Rick was a delight, funny, smart and down-to-earth, with great stories and even better hugs. Felt good to have arms wrapped around me!
His property, where wild things flourished, made me think of a fabulous, old English farm cottage; loved it!
Delicious berries and other earthly goodies flourished in that wild, incredible yard. Awesome to see those poopers roam freely!