Tag Archives: autumn

Deer me.

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He surely is a handsome devil.

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Strutting out of the woods with his son.

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Always wary of the neighbor’s dogs.

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And the crazy lady with the camera.

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The time of year I worry about him is almost upon us.

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And as much as autumn is my favorite season….

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It brings with it rifles and bullets and trophy hunters.

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And I’ll fear for our beautiful visitors.

Resort hopping Part 3… The Eagle Mountain House.

 

Last on our list of resorts that day was an old and well known establishment.

 

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New England is full of quirky places like this.

 

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With a nice big porch…

 

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And a nice big view…

 

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It was a pleasant spot to end the day.

 

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Charming…

 

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Cozy…

 

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And full of antiques….

 

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It was instantly welcoming.

 

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I can’t say it any better than that.

 

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The bar.

 

 

Oh, stuff it Dorothy.

You know us better by now.

 

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But amusing sign aside…

 

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The mushroom risotto cake appetizer left a lot to be desired, as did the cranberry gin fizz.

A definite meh.

 

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We only stayed for one round and then headed into the gift shop… where I saw a wine tag that made me laugh.

 

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As well as…

Are you ready for this?

A bucket of ducks!

 

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Christ on a cracker….enough with the rubber ducks.

This was getting creepy.

 

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Bidding farewell to the hotel, and the ducks….

 

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It took all I could do to convince the husband he could not go rummage in the establishment’s old slate roofed barn.

 

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The mere thought of not being able to gather up all the unloved tools and rusted treasures that must be stored in there? Practically ruined his night…

 

 

Diana’s Baths Part 5… rocks, foliage and zombie toes.

 

Okay… I lied. When we discovered the cairn garden I thought we were at the top, but it turns out we weren’t.

 

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Yes ladies and gentlemen….

 

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There will be more rocks.

 

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And trees.

 

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And trees that hug rocks.

 

 

 

But I promise you…

 

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This time we had found the top.

 

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But standing there, it really does make you wonder where all the water comes from.

 

 

 

The pools are shallow and yet the water keeps flowing… and flowing… and flowing.

Flowing so much in fact..

 

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You knew that was coming, right?

Add another christened outhouse to the list.

Done with the Baths, we back headed down.

 

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Through some lovely paths…

 

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Where sometimes you just have to look up.

 

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And soak in the splendor of autumn.

Naturally, when you look up…. you’re apt to trip over something you would have seen if you were looking down.

Like I did.

 

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Please tell me I’m not the only one who sees a half buried zombie toe here.

 

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And here.

Overgrown toenails et al.

It’s enough to make a girl shiver…

And crave a fortifying alcoholic beverage.

 

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Which I found here.

 

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At the Black Cap Grille, one of our favorite spots in North Conway.

 

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Happily fortified with cocktails and a yummy grilled Caesar salad (If you’ve never eaten it this way? Start now)

And some succulent crab cakes…

 

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We called it a day.

 

 

 

White Mountains trip Day 5… Diana’s Baths

 

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Doing our good deed and making a donation, we entered .

 

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Took a leisurely stroll…

 

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Down into the woods…

 

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Past some type of fairy installation….

 

 

And a tree who clearly loves his rock….

 

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Across a bridge…

 

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Alongside a stream…

 

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And found the bottom of the Baths.

 

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Not usually the best part of a bath but…

 

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These are a different type of bath entirely.

 

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Not much is left of the old sawmill.

 

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But if you look carefully…

 

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You can find it.

 

 

 

We happily spent the whole afternoon exploring this place.

 

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Hiking the trails and climbing the rocks …

 

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And there were plenty of rocks to climb.

 

 

 

The water levels in the autumn are quite low…

 

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And it gently cascades down a section here…

 

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And there.

 

 

 

But in the spring it’s dangerously high from the snow melt.

 

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(Required selfie)

 

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In the summer the pools fill, and it’s a favorite spot to beat the heat.

Cathedral Ledge Part 2.

 

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Mountain views.

 

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Valley views.

 

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Vibrant autumn color.

 

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And love locks… Cathedral ledge has it all.

 

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Even lovers with a sense of humor.

 

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It was glorious… and that was only the front half.

 

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Walking along the sides, we made friends.

 

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Took 100 more pictures….

 

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And simply marveled at the beauty of nature.

 

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Even the husband was quiet.

 

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Honestly, there’s only so many times you can say wow.

 

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It really was a special spot.

 

 

This way?

 

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Beautiful.

 

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That way?

Fabulous.

 

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Gaze in wonder.

Take picture.

Repeat.

 

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There were rocks!

 

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And trees!

 

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And they made me realize how blessed I am to live in a truly wonderful part of the world.

 

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We made one final lap along the fence line…

 

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And strolled a few final steps across those marvelous rocks…

 

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I tried again…. unsuccessfully… to get a double selfie where the husband actually looks at the camera.

 

 

But no matter.

 

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We took one last look and bid goodbye to a place I’d revisit in a heartbeat next time we’re in the area.

 

 

White Mountains trip Day 5. Cathedral Ledge.

 

Are you ready for a deluge of photos?

 

 

Good, then you’re in the right place…

Because this was probably the most scenic spot we found on our trip.

 

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Pulling into the park, the ledge loomed ahead.

 

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We drove up a long, winding, foliage bracketed road…

And a short walk from the parking lot at the top?

 

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Wow.

 

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I’m going to run out of words to describe the view pretty quickly.

 

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Breath taking. Splendid. Dazzling. Jaw dropping. Stunning…

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See?

Speechless..

 

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And look at the rocks!

 

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And the trees!

 

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And the even bigger rocks…

 

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With people climbing up them.

 

 

I was one happy camper.

Even when I saw I couldn’t use the mountaineers as target practice.

 

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It was glorious.

 

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Every where you turned…

 

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Magnificent views.

 

 

 

Made me feel like I was on top of the world.

 

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More to come.

White Mountains trip, Day 4. Mother Walker Falls

 

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Never let it be said I’m not up for a good waterfall.

Sadly, this Mother wasn’t.

 

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It sounded promising, so we headed down.

 

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And while it was a pretty spot, I didn’t see a whole lot falling.

 

 

 

Oh, there were stacked rocks.

 

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And precariously balanced rocks…

 

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But even when we followed the sound of running water, there wasn’t much falling.

 

 

I’m sure it’s much more impressive in the spring.

 

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But we still enjoyed the walk, the day, and…

 

 

The rocks.

 

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A scenic drive…

 

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Some foliage…

 

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Some mountains…

 

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And a lovely old bed and breakfast later….

 

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We followed someone’s advice and stopped for a meal at the Sudbury Inn in Bethel.

 

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Tucked away out back, down some dark steps… we found what I can only describe as the local dive bar.

 

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Local workmen at the bar (shooting us disgusted looks) and slumming prep school students from Gould Academy made up the clientele. Uncomfortable chairs, spotty silverware and a disinterested (borderline surly) bartender/waiter… who made us wait longer than he had to… made us question why we were there.

 

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But despite the business card decorated ceiling and questionable decor…

 

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There was surprisingly good food and at least 2 dozen beers on tap.

Mr. Personality even accommodated the husband’s preference for grilled chicken with his chicken parm.

 

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Which just goes to show you can’t judge a bar if you’re from out of town…. or something like that.

Our 4th day ended at our resort with us walking past the strange carved bear out front.

 

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If I didn’t know better, I’d swear he was praying for new carpet.

 

 

White Mountain Trip Day 4… Step Falls

 

Trees and rocks… rocks and trees ahead.

You’ve been warned.

 

 

Oh, come on.

Early morning day 4, we woke with the sun and headed out for a hike to Step Falls.

 

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I wish I could convey the sense of peace that envelops me when I walk into a forest. The fresh air of natural places, the gentle breeze swaying the leaves. The sweet songs of the birds, the whisper of the trees. It’s pure magic.

I don’t know who’s responsible for finding these wild and beautiful places and opening them to the public… but I’ll be forever grateful.

 

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Step Falls in Bethel, Maine. In October when we visited… gently cascading streams. In spring during snow melt season? Torrents of angry water rushing down the mountain not caring what lies in it’s path.

 

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Many of the places we visit are free to the public, but are maintained by local volunteers who ask that you donate to help with costs. Most people never do, so we make a point of it each and every time.

 

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And with this Cycloptic donation box…. how could you not?

 

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The paths were wide and friendly…

 

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Although I couldn’t help but feel I was being watched.

 

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Into the woods…

 

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Up the hill, where we first heard the falls.

 

 

 

Up some stone steps.

 

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Up some fortuitously placed tree roots.

 

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We see a bit more water.

 

 

No.

Not even close…

 

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Ever onward…

 

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And upward…

 

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Past some weird trees growing right around the rocks.

 

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More of the falls.

 

 

 

And a not very comfortable but necessary granite bench to stop and let the husband take a breath.

 

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White Mountain trip Day 3… Random scenery.

 

No, the vacation series isn’t over yet, I just thought I’d give you a few days break.

 

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Leaving the Sculptured Rocks geological site, we drove through the Cockermouth Forest.

Yes. I swear….

We did.

 

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I’m reasoning that Cocker Spaniels are bird retrieval dogs, and therefor have tender mouths.

Yes.

That’s my explanation… and I’m sticking to it.

 

 

We headed back to our resort through Franconia Notch which was starkly devoid of leaves.

 

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And went through the town of Carroll, where moose are clearly being held prisoner.

 

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The Mount Washington valley still had snow..

 

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And loomed majestic.

 

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Back in the Bethel/Newry area, we regained the foliage.

 

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And headed for beer.

 

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Sunday River brewery is a large restaurant and pub that seemed to be packed with locals and tourists alike every night. We did a flight, and weren’t overly impressed with the quality…. so I switched to an Apple Smash, which was a wonderful concoction whose list of ingredients I don’t recall. But there were copious amounts of apple Crown Royal…

And isn’t that really all you need to know?

 

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Seeing that I love soft bar pretzels and the husband doesn’t, I ordered some for my appetizer.

 

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Holy Mother of God! Served with warm blue cheese beer sauce, they were absolutely the best I’ve ever had. I instantly forgave them their lousy beer and planned on filling a dump truck with these and riding off into the sunset.

 

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Husband had a tasty salad..

 

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And we both had the baked haddock, which sadly was dry and uninteresting.

Back at our resort for the night, we opted for the stairs instead of the elevator and were bombarded by yet another section of hideous carpet.

 

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Christ, if that doesn’t give you nightmares…

Nothing will.

 

White Mountains trip Day 3… frost, foliage, skulls and old men.

 

We woke up on the morning of our third day to a bit of chilly weather.

 

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And a whole lotta windshield frost.

 

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You can tell by the husband’s face he was not pleased with the little girlie scraper I keep in my car. But heck, he shouldn’t grumble. It beat his credit card.

 

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There were more trees, and more fall foliage.

 

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And of course, skulls.

 

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And skeletal ATV passengers.

 

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Which we saw at a local gas station.

Off roading is a huge industry in the mountains and these things are everywhere. Some towns even allow them to run the main roads. Rental places are abundant, with guides plotting out trips and trails for novices.

We even drove past an ATV Halloween parade. Bizarre doesn’t begin to describe it…. but no matter how loudly I squealed for the husband to stop so I could photograph it…. he flew right past.

 

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Day 3 had us cruising down Route 2 through Gilead, Maine.

 

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Blink and you’ll miss the town.

 

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But it’s always one of my favorite scenic rides in the area.

 

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A little farther down the road the mountains held on to some fog.

 

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And it can be a surreal sight.

 

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Hanging there, still and quiet….

 

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Ethereal.

 

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We were heading to the Polar caves in Rumney, New Hampshire and drove past numerous ski areas….

 

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As well as Franconia Notch where there wasn’t much foliage at all.

 

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The Old Man in the Mountain used to live here…

 

 

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But sadly, he collapsed on May 3, 2003.

 

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And if you lived in this part of the country?

Trust me…

You wept.