White Mountains NH

Trip Start Mar 28, 2012
Trip End May 24, 2012

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Flag of United States  , New Hampshire
Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Just returned from a spectacular's day driving through the White Mountains - simply wonderful. Do see a fuller set of photos here. I set off south along I93 and left at North Woodstock to join the Kancamagus Highway which runs west-east and bisects this mountain range. The clouds were down below the tops of the mountains but with a fresh dusting of snow the higher slopes - all wooded - looked magnificent.

The road climbed to about 1000m and into the snow we went. The temperature dropped to freezing and I was again concerned about the isolation in this vast wilderness with wet roads, steep inclines and freezing temperatures with hardly anyone else around. When I stopped to take a photo the bird song was loud and it sounded like something bigger than the rest of them was calling out - disappointingly I didn't see anything. Mile after mile of road contains warnings about Moose crossings - mercifully I didn't encounter any. One of those would make a real mess of my already battered car!!!

The views to the east were a bit clearer and as I began my descent a wonderful vista opened with patches of blue sky. To give an indication of the vastness of the terrain, the road down maintained a steady 7% gradient for 4 miles! Unfortunately the Bear Notch road was closed because of the conditions so I was happy to keep on the man roads and head to Conway. Never passing up the opportunity for curry, I had lunch in the Shalimar Indian restaurant in North Conway - okay but pretty bland - even though I asked for hot.

There are many covered bridges in the region - saves ploughing them when it snows. Nothing new if you are familiar with the European Alps but a big thing here. all over the place a re large Resort Hotels with integrated amusements - mainly crazy golf on a grand scale, swimming pools, gyms, saunas etc etc etc. There is obviously much skiing here in winter - both downhill and cross country. In the summer it's water sports and hiking, but I am told the mosquitoes and Black Fly are not fun! Sounds like Scotland.

I continued north through the Pinkham Notch to Gorham and then swung west heading for the Connecticut River which forms the boundary between New Hampshire and Vermont. The river is more than 100m wide as it lazily flows southwards towards Long Island Sound - it's 407 miles long - again an indication of scale in this country.

Now I'm back at my Motel and enjoying a Diet Coke as I write this up. The fridge in my room has frozen my bottle of water and half my supply of Coke - I hope the bottles don't split as they thaw! I see that Reading have annoyingly won tonight. With saints 6 points clear of third and with only 4 games to go, I do hope they get there. I'd be happy with 2nd - even happier to be champions, but back-to-back promotion would be a great feat - and as Norwich are demonstrating sustainable.

Well, that's it for now. More tomorrow as I drive 160 miles to Boston and then fly to Toronto.
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