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Flag of United States  , New Hampshire
Saturday, September 4, 2010

We’re now a week into this year’s trip, and it’s about time that I bring everyone up to date.  In many ways, this trip is a trip down memory lane.  Thirty-seven years ago, Janet and I made our first long term trip in the U.S., and it was through New England and the Maritime Provinces of Canada.   While we have been back to the area frequently, we haven’t spent a concentrated amount of time here since 2000.  So this year we decided to spend the fall in New England,
and finally do what we have always called the “Retired Teachers’ Fall Color Tour of New England.”

The first day of travel was a short one to South Bend, IN, just far enough to get us around Lake Michigan and out of Chicago traffic.  From South Bend we drove to Syracuse, NY, and crashed for the night.  The next day we left the interstate and headed cross-country on two lane highways crossing into Vermont on a small ferry at Ticonderoga, NY.  We continued on the back roads of Vermont until we reached our first destination of the trip in Cornish, NH.  Getting off interstate highways has both good points and bad points.  The scenery is great, and driving the twisty roads is great fun (at least for me – Janet may have a different viewpoint).  The downside is lack of gas stations and, at our age, bathrooms!     

Our New Hampshire stop was a family affair to celebrate a niece’s wedding.  We stayed in a
wonderful inn called The Common Man Inn in Claremont, NH.  The inn is located in what was formerly a woolen mill dating back to the mid 1800’s.  Claremont was one the mill towns of the Industrial Revolution when many factories were built alongside New England rivers.  Several textile companies and other factories were built along the Sugar River that runs through Claremont.  One of the largest textile firms in town was Monadnock Mills, and The Common Man Inn is in their former Mill 2.  Claremont made a concerted effort to keep the mills and other factories from deteriorating with an eye towards preservation and repurposing.  Mill 2, two other mills, and a building known as the Woven Label Mill have been developed into an office building
(currently housing New Hampshire state offices), the inn, a restaurant (The Common Man) and condominiums.

We also visited the Saint-Gaudens National Historic site with Colin and Anne, our son and daughter-in-law.  They had driven out the day after us and are making their own tour of the northeast, albeit much shorter.  Augustus Saint-Gaudens was a sculptor known for his public
statuary.  Two of his most significant works are the “Standing Lincoln” in Chicago, and the Shaw Memorial in Boston.  The Shaw Memorial was popularized at the end of the movie “Glory,” and of course, the Standing Lincoln is in Lincoln Park.  While waiting for Colin and Anne to meet us there, Janet and I got to talking to the volunteer working the admissions booth.  Turns out she is a retired teacher –from Wisconsin yet – and not just a teacher, but a retired school librarian.  Needless to say, we ended up talking to her for nearly 1/2 an hour and sharing stories.  Oh, and the grounds were beautiful, too.  Afterwards, we took a trip into Vermont, crossing over the Cornish-Windsor covered bridge, the longest (until just recently) covered bridge in the U.S.  This area was where Janet and I had camped for two weeks back in summer of 1973 while I attended a photography school in South Woodstock, VT.

While we were enjoying wonderful weather in New Hampshire, we spent many anxious hours following Hurricane Earl, as starting Sunday, 5 September, the three Burke brothers and their wives were supposed to spend a week on Cape Cod.  It didn’t help matters to see all the reports from Cape Cod were originating in Chatham, the town where our house was located.  Luckily, Earl turned out to be less severe than originally anticipated, so the next phase of our trip could proceed. 





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