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New Hampshire 2006

August 2006 saw Glen and Susan piled in the car, the cats at the Birchmount Kennels (again!) and a week of taking it easy ahead of us. We were bound for the Windrifter Resort in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire on a one week timeshare exchange. The resort is on Lake Winnipesaukee, a large lake that gets very busy in vacation seasons, surrounded by a number of interesting small towns.

We left Toronto on Saturday August 19 at about noon, dropped off the cats and hit the road. The first problem was crossing the border at Queenston Heights. We figured that was the shortest distance and likely the least traffic, but it still took us 2 hours in the lineup before we made it across - fortunately without any official trouble. We spent the rest of the day on the NY Turnpike and checked in to a motel just outside Albany, NY around 10 PM.

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The next day we drove into Vermont and then New Hampshire, arriving at the resort right on time - 4 PM.

 

First we stopped at the Creamery Covered Bridge in Brattleboro, Vermont.

 

And just across the NH border we came to Chesterfield Gorge and stopped for a walk-about and a picnic lunch.

 

We had a great dinner that night at a restaurant in Wolfeboro called the Wolfetrap.

On one of our first days there we went up around the lake to just outside Moultonboro where the Loon Preservation Committee operates the Loon Center. We took a hike around the Markus Sanctuary trail.

We had a great lunch that day at the Lemon Grass just on the edge of Moultonboro.

I realize now that I didn't take any pictures of the Resort, the buildings, our accommodations ... but I did take these views of the Kingswood Golf Course right outside our balcony.

The resort has a tennis court, pool and access to some lake front in town. The accommodations weren't that special -- one room, a mini kitchen, small bathroom, Murphy bed, TV and A/C. Sigh...

We drove over to Portland, ME one day. We were just getting into town when Susan shrieked and we took the next left turn - a Tim Horton's!!! We later found another one on the way out of town. How civilized.

We headed straight for downtown, the old town, the harbour front. Spent a few hours wandering around the old streets and shops, and had lunch on board the DiMillo's floating restaurant.

We left town heading south along the coastline and stopped in Old Orchard Beach (bypassing the arcades and rides) for a walk in the surf (Tim Horton's in hand).

A little further down the coast in Cape Porpoise, just outside Kennebunkport, we took a gamble and drove down a little side road, ending up near sunset at the point of the cape, and a harbour and, a lovely little restaurant with live piano music - Pier 77 and the Ramp!

After dinner we turned inland and headed back to NH.

On another day driving around the lake we ended up in the town of Meredith. We wandered around the shops, took in a brief Wine Tasting at the Grotto beneath Abondante Tuscan Trattoria.

 

We had an ice cream on the docks, watched the Mt Washington go by and then home for dinner.

The first time we tried to visit the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center in Holderness, NH we got there too late. We made a point of getting there on time the next day!

 

 

 

 

The main idea was to walk their nature trail, though it is a bit more like a zoo than a nature trail. They have a number of quite interesting animals in cages or penned areas. We were able to get quite close to:

  • a number of raptors and other birds,
  • bears,
  • otters,
  • deer,
  • mountain lions,
  • bobcats, and
  • a fisher.

 

 

 

 

After our hike we zipped down to Weir's Beach. We started with dinner at the Lobster Pound, an unpretentious place with some pretty good lobster. Then we went to "The Woman in Black", a play put on at the Winniplayhouse. It's a very small stage, but a very nicely done production that we thoroughly enjoyed.

We decided it was time to get on the water. We'd driven around the lake all week so far. This day we booked a cruise on the Mount Washington, a large old ship that had once been a ferry on Lake Champlain - but they cut it into 27 pieces and trucked it to Lake Winnipesaukee and put it back together.

 

 

It was a 2-hour cruise out of Weir's Beach, heading south through the islands and back. There were some really incredible houses and vacation properties along the shore.

 

 

Most of the day was overcast. As we made our way back to the dock we could see the clouds rolling in and the rain had started.

 

 

We went back to the Abondante in Meredith, had a dinner that couldn't be beat and headed back to the resort.

We still had not seen the White Mountains, and they were kind of on the way home, so we decided to check out of the resort a day early (Saturday morning), spend the day in the White Mountains and continue on toward Toronto at the end of the day.

 

 

After a quick shopping trip in North Conway, we started out along the Kancamagus Highway and stopped for lunch at the Lower Falls, a great spot to cool off in the summer heat.

After lunch we carried on, but quickly came to another hike that interested us - Sabbaday Falls. The path was straightforward up to the Falls and for some distance afterwards. It looked like it went on further though - so we just kept going.

 

 

 

 

It got rougher and rougher, requiring several crossings of the stream. We eventually ran into 3 women walking the other way and we asked them how long the loop was. They had been on the trail for over 6 hours! We decided we'd best turn around and head back to the Falls and the trailhead.

 

 

 

 

We eventually emerged, got loaded up and headed back on down the Hiway, over the Kancamagus pass and down towards Lincoln.

Through Lincoln we made a short run up a smaller highway to reach the Flume Gorge at Franconia Notch State Park, getting there just in time.

We started at the famous Flume Covered Bridge that appears in so many travel brochures and web photo collections - everyone has a picture of this!

Then we walked up the main path to the top of the Falls. After that, we continued along the Ridge path which takes you eventually to the Sentinel Pine Covered Bridge and the The Pool.

By the time we left the Flume Gorge, it was starting to get dark. We went quickly through Franconia Notch where the normally 2-lane Interstate narrows to one lane in each direction. From there it was a gorgeous ride over into Vermont to the capital, Montpelier. We had dinner in Montpelier at the New England Culinary Institute's teaching restaurant called the Main Street Grill.

After dinner it was another 45 minutes to Burlington, Vermont where we checked in for the night.

Our final day saw us up early to catch the 8 o'clock ferry over to Port Kent, NY. It was a one hour crossing but we couldn't see much through the weather and it was fairly rough at times. Being such an ugly day we bypassed the Adirondacks and headed straight up to the border crossing into Cornwall. Instead of the 2 hour wait at Queenston, this crossing took all of 2 minutes.

As soon as we crossed over we drove into the very first Tim Horton's - home! After that, it was only a 4 hour drive down the 401 to get home, including a stop in Brockville for lunch. As we entered Toronto we called Birchmount and Jackie waited a few minutes after 6 PM to let us bring the cats home that night.


Copyright Glen C. Bodie, 1999-2006
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