Greetings from new hampshire and vermont ...

Trip Start Jun 02, 2002
Trip End Apr 01, 2003

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Flag of United States  , New Hampshire
Saturday, July 20, 2002

Greetings from New Hampshire and Vermont,

Tuesday - Although we pulled into our campsite in the little town of Bethlehem, New Hampshire, we were only an hour away from the Vermont state line. Feeling very adventurous, we drove to the base of Mt. Mansfield and attempted to hike to the highest point in Vermont. The girl at the information hut informed us that the level of difficulty for this long hike was rated between intermediate and advanced. We were psyched.

The temperature was cool and a very light rain fell from an overcast sky. At first, the trail was over dirt which, at times, turned into mud by the falling rain. The second part of the trail had us stepping up large rocks as steps or we would have to walk up their shallow but slippery slope. The third and final section I went up alone and was faced with the most difficult part of the hike. I had to do more mountain climbing and less hiking than I bargained for. The winds picked up to 30 mile an hour gusts, the temperature drops above the tree line, and sometime there was only the narrow path of a cliff wall. The fog was thick at the top and it blocked any scenic view there was, but I was still feeling triumphant. We ended up hiking for seven hours that day, but we felt powerful after conquering the 4,393 foot high mountain.

During our drive back home, we passed by these two girls trying to hitch a ride. Remembering that we were in rural Vermont and not South Florida, we turned the truck around and proceeded to pick them up. They were between the ages of 18 to 21 and both of them were working as camp counselors for the summer. One of them was from the Ukraine and the other was from Russia. They were staying at the camp's housing facilities a mile or two down the street, so we did not have a chance to learn much about our new visitors. We knew of the danger picking up a hitchhiker could bring, but ...

Thursday - We packed an overnight bag and drove south to Portsmouth, NH to visit our friends Sean (Kule) and Cheryl. They took us to Orione Park for some live entertainment. We also brought along two coolers full of good tasting homemade food and drink. The park is located on New Hampshire's 17 mile stretch of beachfront property. The band, Circus Peanuts, had all 10 of its members dressed up in silly costumes. We ate homemade guacamole and pasta salad and Kule made all of us his famous signature cocktail called the "Full Nelson". After a tour of downtown Portsmouth we went to the Harpoon Bar for more refreshments where another friend Nate, who we met at the Bonnaroo concert, met us there. An all around good time with good friends is always priceless.

Friday - We said goodbye to Kule and Cheryl and thanked them for their hospitality. Then we drove back to our home, repacked our overnight bag, and continued driving north towards Montreal. My old friend Zavi from college and his wife Naomi invited us up for some Canadian good times. We met Zavi's at his house, jumped into his car, and he took us on a tour through Montreal. He is very proud of his city and enjoyed showing us its highlights. One thing we learned is that if a sign has French and English on it, the French words have to be on top and in a larger font. The other thing is that the women of Montreal do not like to wear a bra. We were not offended by either. After our tour, we picked Naomi from work and headed out for Japanese food.

Over dinner, they found out that we have never seen the movie Road Rules and insisted that we watch it when we return to their house. The movie was silly, and I began thinking of our friends Su and Wil from Atlanta, GA. They insisted that we watch the movie Rat Race. Both movies had something to do with traveling long distances; I think they were trying to tell us something.

The next morning we went fishing at this place that stocks its ponds with trout and bass fish. Naomi was the first to catch one and I was second. The sky was clear, the sun was bright, the fish were biting, and we were really enjoying the company of our friends. We knew that beginning in August we are not going to see a lot of people we know, so we were really cherishing the times we spent with friends and family. Later that afternoon we headed back home and can you guess what we had for dinner?

Saturday - Vermont is famous for its skiing, maple syrup, and Ben & Jerry's ice-cream. Unfortunately, the month of July meant that skiing was out of the question. Instead, we headed out to a farm where they manufactured Vermont's finest maple syrup. We learned all how syrup is made and how weather dependent the process is; because, unless the temperature reaches a minimum of 32 degrees the trees will not produce the sweet sap. In their gift shop was a tasting table for the 4 different grades of maple syrup. We drank a lot of syrup in determining which one we liked best. The sugar rush had begun. Then, Jenn bought a chunk of maple fudge. The sugar rush was now racing through our veins. Then we left and headed to the Ben & Jerry's factory. Hi, our names our Jenn and Dave and we are sugar junkies.

If I were ever to have a last meal, Ben & Jerry's Phish Food ice-cream would have to be included. The Ben & Jerry's tour would not move fast enough for us and we could hardly wait to reach the tasting room. There they set out a tray of Cookie Dough and Cherry Garcia samples. Mmmmmmm. There were a few leftovers after everyone took a sample, so I had to go back for more. The samples were still not enough and we each bought a pint of our favorite to take back home. Can you guess what we ate for dinner? On the way home we visited two covered bridges in New Hampshire. A covered bridge is as exciting as a covered bridge, even if you are high on sugar.

Sunday - We left early to arrive at Syracuse, NY ten hours later. I was driving and got us temporarily lost. After some back tracking and u-turns I was able to find my way to the interstate. You may be wondering why I am telling you this. The reason is because of our delays, we had the opportunity to see wild bears. As I watched mama bear run across the street in front of us my brain was yelling that that was not a big dog, but a bear. I then suddenly turned to Jenn and yelled, "Bear!" then "Baby bears!" and finally "Another bear!" It was meant for us to make wrong turns that morning so we could see a mother bear and her three cubs run across our view. Coincidences are not random.

Wish you were here
Dave & Jenn
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