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.
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 for 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.
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.