Tag Archives: New Hampshire

Garbanzo! Now that’s a great name for a dog.

As we drove across from North Conway to Stowe up the Kancamagus Highway the colours of the foliage were spectacular.  Although the sharp drop in temperatures over the previous couple of days had obviously kick-started the ‘fall’ there were still enough leaves on the trees to put on a good show for our journey west out of New Hampshire and into Vermont.

Mount Washington
Looking back from Vermont into New Hampshire, with Mt Washington in the distance

Stopping for our sandwich lunch gave us a great view back towards a snow covered Mount Washington which at 6,288 ft. is the highest peak between the Rockies and the sea.  Scenery aside there isn’t a great deal of interest to see as you drive around this part of the world.  Some of the smaller towns are quite pretty and there’s a fair number of well preserved older homes that merit the label ‘historical’ – though inevitably the majority are rather like the woodsman’s axe, having been rebuilt or repaired many times over the years.

Our stopover in Stowe was a little bit of a disappointment.  Although our B&B (our only stop not booked through AirBnB) had plenty of ambiance, at 10ft square, and with barely enough room for two commendably slim adults with their modest suitcases, I thought that our bedroom was just a touch on the small side.  No matter, it was only for the one night and the roaring fire and the great views from the lounge made up for much.

By the following morning the temperature had once again risen to a respectable level so we stopped briefly to take a few snaps of the Von Trappe family home just outside Stowe before we sang a rousing chorus of ‘…so long, farewell, we’re leaving you, goodbye …….’ and drove south to Brattleboro through the Green Mountains – well, more like the Green Hills really but very pretty nevertheless.

Our hosts for our next overnight stop were touring in Europe but had left their Brattleboro home in the capable hands of a very pleasant lady named Claudia and the family dog called Garbanzo, a very sociable ‘golden doodle’.   Perhaps the best thing about AirBnB is that with some stays you get a chance to ‘meet the folks’ and learn a little more about the people and the place you’re visiting.   Sitting on the western bank of the Connecticut River in the heart of the Pioneer Valley the old mill town of Brattleboro is pleasant but probably just a little too big to be quaint and a touch too small to be prosperous.  The town’s main claim to fame is that Rudyard Kipling lived nearby for several years in the 1890s whilst writing, amongst other works, the Jungle Book – which should really be a cue for another song  – Disney really has a lot to answer for!

Looking South down the Connecticut River from the Brattleboro Bridge
Looking south down the Connecticut River from the Brattleboro bridge

Winter’s Coming!

As we drove west across Maine on Highway 2 we could see the outside temperatures start to drop.  Apart for an occasional light rain shower as we left the coast the weather remained fine, with bright sunshine showing off the forest colours to great effect.  Some of the leaves had started to drop in the stiff autumn breeze and as we approached New Hampshire  we spotted trucks with snow ploughs fitted every few miles along the road, obviously ready for an abrupt change in the weather.

Echo Lake
Echo Lake – a stones throw from our B&B

Our stopover in North Conway is interesting.  For some unknown reason it’s developed as New England’s favourite ‘outlet centre’ with loads of out of town shopping providing what the Rough Guide describes as a ‘depressing’ introduction as you approach what would otherwise be quite a pretty town. As well as being a popular place Autumn Coloursfor summer vacations this part of the Washington Valley and White Mountain National Park also has the advantage of being a well known ski centre which attracts large numbers of Bostonians  during the season; in fact many of the residential properties are obviously weekend homes for those who drive up for their weekends in the mountains.

Yesterday we drove the 15 or so miles up towards Crawford’s Notch intending to put in a longish hike into the mountains  but a flurry of sleet and temperatures approaching freezing persuaded us to set our sights a little lower, so instead we walked the short but steep trail up to Arethusa Falls – which at 43m has the distinction of being the second highest waterfall in New Hampshire.

Cathedral Ledge
Cathedral Ledge

The final challenge of the day took the form of our evening meal – the largest pizza that I have ever seen and with enough garlic to stop an entire family of vampires in their tracks (handy for Halloween).  Looks like it will be pizza for lunch for the next few days.