White Mountain Majesties

Trip Start Jul 22, 2012
Trip End Oct 13, 2012

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Flag of United States  , New York
Sunday, August 26, 2012

 The morning was damp and cool, as the trees keep the campground well shaded. We slept in after our late night entry into Jigger Johnson Campground. After getting coffee and breakfast out of the way, we took a short hike around the camp and down to the river side. The Swift River was at a low level and while it was very scenic, it didn’t look navigable by kayak or tube. Walking around the campground, we noted all of the bear ornaments and bric a brac at many of the campsites. Apparently the black bears do like to frequent this area, further proof was provided by the "bear resistant" trash dumpsters.  Exiting the state park (without seeing any bears) we headed east on scenic highway 112 which transit’s New Hampshire's White Mountains.

The morning was clear, giving us great views from the scenic overlooks of the surrounding mountains. It was apropos that the first scenic overlook gave an in depth explanation of the multi use aspect of National Forests and this one in particular. The display explained management of the logging resource and reaffirmed what the local constable had told us during his “bum’s rush” of the night before, “You can’t camp here, this is leased to a logging company.”  70% of the land in the National Forest is preserved with no roads, so if you have a backpack and are interested in hiking, you can really get away from it all.

Continuing east, we crossed into Vermont and traveled up to Montpelier, the smallest state capital in the country. It had a quaint little down town area and as it was getting close to lunch time, we started looking for a local style café. We lucked out when we found the “NECI on Main”.  NECI stands for New England Culinary Institute, which runs several restaurants in Montpelier.  This one offered a great Sunday Brunch. Barb and I went back to the buffet table far too many times and then followed up with a couple of trips to the dessert table. Everything was exquisite! No dinner for us that night. We followed up the gastronomic orgy with a long walk around downtown. It was very interesting to see the old apartment and business buildings built right on the riverside with balconies suspended over the river, that type of construction would never happen today.

After Montpelier we took scenic route 100 south along the Green Mountains. Pastoral beauty abounds with tidy farms, rustic barns and covered bridges. Every now and then we would come across a swimming hole with dozens of locals out splashing in the shallows of the rivers or basking in the sun.

We crossed Lake Champlain by ferry at Fort Ticonderoga. As we were crossing I noticed a pontoon boat with a live well releasing fish into the lake. The ferry woman told me it was because of a bass tournament being held that weekend, all of the fish are returned live after the weigh in. Sure enough once we land the parking lot is full of high tech bass boats and towing rigs with enough advertising to make a NASCAR owner proud….

On into the Adirondacks to Paradox Lake Campground. The place is fairly empty as this is a Sunday night and all of the weekenders have hurried home for work. After a nice campfire, we were off to bed.
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