Tag Archives: maine

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.

 

 

Step Falls Part 2… forest unmentionables.

 

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We kept climbing higher,  getting closer to the falls.

 

 

But did you see it? In the bottom right hand corner…

I didn’t when I was filming, but then I took a picture.

 

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Yeah.

 

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While I usually pick up litter we find along the way while hiking? This I left alone.

I don’t even want to know….

 

 

Up a thoughtfully constructed rock staircase.

 

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Deeper into the woods.

 

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I kept thinking, geesh. Are we ever going to reach the top?

 

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One required sun drenched selfie later…

 

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Past the well marked trail tree…

 

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We finally saw the top.

 

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The view was going to be killer… I knew it.

Anxiously preparing for the money shot, I found this –

 

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Huh…?

 

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You mean I hauled my  (considerable)  butt up this  hill/ gorge/ mini mountain for bupkus?

WTF!

 

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They even had the flags running across the falls themselves.

 

 

Damned right it is! Why would you open a waterfall up to the public, create a trail, install a bench, mark that trail very carefully so people could find the top….and then not let them access the top? It’s criminal, I tell you.

Criminal.

And it made me wonder if the discarded unmentionables I saw down below were in way of protest.

I felt the same outrage! But not quite enough outrage to leave my own behind. There are limits… even for me.

Making our way back down to the parking lot I was so ticked off I didn’t take any pictures, until I saw this…

 

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And thought…

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

This and that.

 

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Sunset from our front porch…

 

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It never gets old.

 

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If you haven’t read the sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale….

 

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It does answer a lot of questions, though I can’t say I was in love with the ending.

 

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If anyone can explain this exhaust system?

Please do… because I’m a bit baffled.

 

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Yay for fall and all it’s ( don’t push winter it will be here soon enough) vodka flavors.

I see Mules in my future.

 

 

No, not that kind.

Although mine will probably have a kick as well.

 

 

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.

 

White Mountains trip Day 2….. Evans Notch.

 

Heading back to the resort after a full day of exploring, we decided to drive through.. and over… Evans Notch.

 

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It’s basically a straight up ride that cuts through a mountain to the other side.

 

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We had it all to ourselves and saw some of the most vibrant color of our trip.

 

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Pictures don’t do it justice, so ride along with us.

Just watch out for chipmunks.

 

 

 

I wish we’d been there a week earlier when the reds and oranges had been popping…

 

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But it was still quite a show.

 

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When we reached the top…

 

 

 

It thinned out a little.

 

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Bare granite on the right…

 

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Full foliage behind the sign.

 

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And a mix on the left…. with the sun setting in the distance.

 

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Heading back down was just as pretty…

 

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And it was nice to see I’m not the only one who  ❤’s  the mountains.

 

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