Tag Archives: New Hampshire

Polar Caves Part 4….The fork in the road. More caves, more rocks.

 

As so often happens in life, we came to a fork in the road.

 

586

 

Mind you, by this time we’d climbed 6,492,745 steps…. so the fact that the sign to the left said difficult route? Did not fill me with joy.

 

589

 

But ever the supportive wife, I let the husband decide which path we’d take. Thankfully his aching back and residual sciatica made him veer right, although the name Devil’s Turnpike didn’t inspire a lot of confidence as to it’s ease of use.

 

592

 

Husband explored more caves.

 

594

 

I photographed more trees and rocks.

 

 

 

597

 

And climbed more steps.

 

599

 

And then even more steps.

 

598

 

And then thought about all the steps I’d have to climb down when we were through.

 

620

 

Did I mention there were a lot of steps?

 

621

 

There were a lot of steps.

Okay, back to the rocks.

 

 

 

Why is there never a pogo stick around when you need one?

 

595

 

We walked past rocks, over rocks, through rocks….

 

600

 

And occasionally under rocks.

 

603

 

While praying silently for the ground to be earthquake free.

 

604

 

Yeah, thanks for that helpful factoid.

 

609

 

As the husband climbed the Devil’s Turnpike…..

 

612

 

And entered the next cave…

I took the path that had my name written all over it.

 

607

 

All day long baby…

 

 

 

I do give him credit though.

 

623

 

 

He’s still pretty limber for his age…

 

 

One final cave to go… and it was called the Lemon Squeeze.

 

627

 

Yours truly?

 

633

 

Yup. Every party has a pooper… and that day, it was me.

Oddly enough the Squeeze was the husband’s downfall. He couldn’t do it. Too small, too tight.

And you know if he got stuck? He was staying there…. because I wasn’t going in after him.

 

Polar Caves Part 3. The caves… and more rocks.

 

The caves.

 

562

 

I’d like to tell you I explored them all.

 

561

 

But I’d be lying.

 

563

 

They were tiny, cramped, straight down and seriously dark.

 

images091MQVNO

 

So yours truly let the husband crawl through them while I took the bypasses above ground.

 

IMG_2505

 

I know, a post about caves from above the caves doesn’t sound very satisfying….

 

IMG_2509

 

But does that look at all comfortable?

 

 

I still got to walk through rocks…

 

IMG_2510

 

And without all the bumps, bruises and scrapes the husband amassed that day.

 

IMG_2511

 

Although there were some dead ends.

 

567

 

I’m not sure who named the caves…

 

568

 

But there certainly were a lot of them.

 

571

 

And some of the exits were awesome.

 

570

 

Damn!

 

573

 

That’s a lot of rock.

 

574

 

Husband was happy as a clam. He used to go caving as a kid and it probably brought back some good memories. You know, like terror… and claustrophobia.

He kept trying to talk me into going down there with him, but when I peered down into the blackness?

I looked something like this….

 

588

 

Just….

No.

 

575

 

I think he was a little nervous after reading the name of this one …

 

577

 

But he shimmied through quite well.

 

580

 

Then turned around and asked for my extra camera. (Pardon his language. Sh*t is a favorite word lately)

 

 

 

I left him happily exploring and snapping pictures in the dark… (which I won’t share with you because he can’t take a photo to save his life. They’re either blurry… or solid black) …and made my way around another bypass.

 

584

 

My appreciation for the people who built these boardwalks growing with each step.

 

585

 

Clearly no rock was harmed during the construction process.

Well done boardwalk designer.

Well done.

Polar Caves Part 2… rocks, trees and more rocks.

 

Walking along a lovely path past a duck pond….

 

515

 

We found the covered bridge.

 

IMG_2473

 

And kissed.

 

519

 

Continuing along the walkways…

 

IMG_2474

 

We read the park’s history.

 

IMG_2476

 

And decided what to do first.

 

IMG_2475

 

Remember when I said this series would have a lot of rocks?

 

 

The rocks start now.

 

IMG_2489

 

Matter of fact, this section was called the Rock Garden.

 

IMG_2495

 

So clearly I’m not the only enthusiast.

 

IMG_2486

 

I loved it.

 

IMG_2479

 

It was like a moss covered fairy village with fabulously crafted wooden boardwalks.

 

IMG_2493

 

Meticulously cut around the rocks.

 

533

 

I could have happily wandered there all day.

 

556

 

Rocks!

 

535

 

Some seriously big rocks.

 

549

 

Did I mention this was a rock garden….

 

543

 

And it was full of rocks?

 

548

 

I was loving it.

 

546

 

Though I admit getting a little tired from all the steps.

 

IMG_2496

 

But the rocks….

 

IMG_2501

 

They rocked.

 

IMG_2498

 

As did the funky lichen, ferns and moss.

 

IMG_2499

 

The steps?

 

IMG_2502

 

My thighs said, not so much.

 

522

 

But we kept walking.

 

IMG_2492

 

Through some seriously old rocks…

 

IMG_2484

 

A veritable maze of old rocks.

 

564

 

Fern covered rocks!

 

565

 

And then we discovered the caves we’d come to see…

 

558

 

Were way up there.

 

White Mountains trip Day 3…. Polar Caves.

 

The Polar Caves in Rumney, NH was one of the few tourist destinations on my list. While we usually prefer natural wild places, I’d read good reviews on this multi generational family run spot and figured we should check it out.

Happily we showed up on the last day of the year that they’re open and didn’t have to fight the crowds.

 

492

 

I knew I was going to like it when we saw a large oak tree in the parking lot with this sign underneath…

 

494

 

You have to appreciate that kind of thoughtfulness, if not their spelling.

 

666

 

I had my doubts after buying tickets in the ticky tacky gift shop and walking outside to find the usual giant Adirondak chair.

And when we saw the creepy anorexic polar bears?

 

664

 

I figured I’d made a mistake.

 

663

 

62-Christmas-is-coming-funny-polar-bear-meme

 

But the small petting zoo charmed me…

 

497

 

With it’s precious European fallow deer…

 

495

 

That we had to feed…

 

499

 

And pet.

 

502

 

I mean really…. could you resist that face?

 

507

 

They make the funniest noise when they vocalize, almost a squeak.

 

510

 

And after having his say, this guy almost fell asleep.

 

 

 

Look how small they are. I told the husband I could easily fit a couple in the barn, but he wasn’t amused.

There were also some gorgeous Chinese pheasants.

 

IMG_2456

 

Although they were hard to photograph due to the cages and a moat around the outside that keeps pesky children’s fingers away.

 

IMG_2458

 

The tails on the males were pretty impressive.

 

IMG_2465

 

As were their colors.

 

IMG_2468

 

But this little guy stole my heart.

 

IMG_2471

 

Look at him…

 

IMG_2470

 

He’s a Dr. Seuss bird come to life!

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.

 

456

 

And a whole lotta windshield frost.

 

457

 

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.

 

043

 

There were more trees, and more fall foliage.

 

123

 

And of course, skulls.

 

122

 

And skeletal ATV passengers.

 

121

 

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.

 

461

 

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

 

464

 

Blink and you’ll miss the town.

 

465

 

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

 

462

 

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

 

468

 

And it can be a surreal sight.

 

475

 

Hanging there, still and quiet….

 

476

 

Ethereal.

 

486

 

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

 

487

 

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

 

489

 

The Old Man in the Mountain used to live here…

 

 

old man

 

But sadly, he collapsed on May 3, 2003.

 

f844073376cbcf370b121b4962312efe

 

And if you lived in this part of the country?

Trust me…

You wept.

 

White Mountains trip Day 2…. Upper Jackson Falls

 

Yes… we’re still on the second day of our trip.

And yes, we’re still at the Falls.

 

 

Hey, just be glad I’m weeding through the 1704 photos and only giving you the highlights.

 

351

 

Working our way up the falls took some time.

 

354

 

But it really was lovely.

 

362

 

Nothing like hanging out with Mother Nature to lower your blood pressure.

 

 

The closer we got to the top, the more people just plunked themselves down on the rocks and made themselves comfortable…

 

366

 

And why not?

It’s a great place to read, unwind…and enjoy the day.

 

 

At the top you cross a wonderful iron bridge…

 

374

 

Look both ways…

 

372

 

And say thank you Jackson Falls…

 

 

I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with you.

 

377

 

And your rocks.

(Or maybe that was just me.)

Done with the Falls, we headed into town for some sustenance.

 

384

 

And found the cutest pumpkin display ever…

 

388

 

Next to our destination.

 

390

 

It looked promising.

 

391

 

Warm and inviting.

 

395

 

A vintage inn and tavern whose bar was packed to the rafters that late Saturday afternoon.

 

393

 

I wanted to love it.

 

394

 

I mean come on, they had ski lift seating….

 

396

 

And a sign for the Woodchuck Trail. Who doesn’t love that?

But the service was terrible, the beer was warm and the food? When it finally came, over an hour after we ordered, was barely edible.

Sorry Martin, I didn’t even bother with pictures. Dry meatless ribs and a soggy Rachel sandwich do not warrant photographs.

 

400

 

But martian pumpkins and gourds?

Definitely do.

White Mountains trip Day 2…. Lower Jackson Falls

 

317

 

When I say Falls, I’m not talking Niagara…

 

323

 

In October, these are dotted with bright foliage…..

 

330

 

And cascade gently down the hill.

 

327

 

No barrel required.

 

Woman-Wearing-Only-A-Barrel

 

Which is good, because it’s a hard look to pull off.

 

345

 

Selfies you shoot into the sun so you can see your hands holding your phone reflected in your glasses are so much easier.

 

333

 

Did I mention there were rocks?

 

 

 

And tranquil pools…

 

340

 

As well as some pretty nice views?

 

336

 

Well there were.