Sunday, August 13, 2017


A short day got us to Tarry Ho Campground in Twin Mountains, NH. It's a family owned relatively small campground a few miles outside town. Very nice facilities and we really enjoyed our stay, except for the rude person who left both washers full of wet clothes. After an hour or so I went to the desk and the manager didn't hesitate for a second to say, "Pile them on the counter." Carol did. After she had washed and dried ours, the others were still on the counter.

We had an early morning departure on the cog railway. We chose the earliest one because that was the only one that day which used the old coal fired steam locomotive. Diesel just didn't seem like the appropriate way to go.

The engine pushes the passenger car. Note how tilted it is, so the engineer and fireman stand closer to level on the trip.

We were there for the journey, since our views approaching the mountain showed it covered in fog.

As it turned out, fog wasn't the problem, wind was. We stopped about 75% of the way up the mountain. The Conductor said reports from the top indicated wind over 90mph.

Although we didn't make it to the top, the views were spectacular.

The steepest grade is over 37%. The trees really are growing vertically. But this is what they look like from the train.

A close up of the "cog" part of the railway. Top speed up the mountain with the steam engine is 2.8 mph.

Brave (crazy?) hikers. Yes, that is SNOW on the ridge. In early June.

The good news was that with our mountain trip cut a couple of hours short, we had time to explore more of the area. Specifically, we had been told that Kancamagus Scenic Road was a "must do."

The drive leaving Mt. Washington was gorgeous. And it wasn't even part of the "scenic route", just the road to get to it.

We stopped in North Conway do some sightseeing and get lunch. There is another scenic rail there. We did not go on it but did enjoy seeing the old terminal.

Y'all do remember that if  you "click" on a picture, it will open full sized in a new window, right?

The main street was lined with restaurants, most of which looked a little too Yuppie (expensive) for us but Beer & Ski caught our eye. The menu promised that they had "..brought the concept of the roast beef sandwich to North Conway." Carol ordered it as a wrap and I ordered a Taco Salad.

The picture of the wrap speaks for itself - marvelous.  The chips were stale on the Taco Salad but there was so much meat and cheese I didn't mind.

The next stop was at the Ranger Station for The Kancamagus Scenic Byway. It is one of the most popular roads in New England for the fall "leaf peepers." But it is a beautiful ride any time of year. That my Senior Pass got us free admission made it even nicer.

The rivers reminded me of my childhood home in the Catskill Mountains, before NYC built Pepacton and Cannonsville Reservoirs.

After stopping at some other waterfalls, we headed back to the campground.

But one more sign caught our attention. The Flume Gorge is a NH State Park. The gorge is walkable along a 2 mile loop trail that takes one along the stream to the top of the gorge and then back down through the forest past lots of glacial boulders.

The following captions are "borrowed" from the official Flume website. But the pictures are all Carol's work.

The Flume Covered Bridge

This picturesque covered bridge is one of the oldest in the state. It was built in the 1886 and has been restored several times. Such bridges were often called “kissing bridges” because of the darkness and privacy they provided. This bridge was built across the scenic Pemigewasset River. Pemigewasset means “swift or rapid current” in the Abenaki Indian language.

Table Rock

Over time, the rushing waters of the Flume Brook exposed this large outcropping of rock. Table Rock is a section of Conway granite that is 500 feet (150m) long and 75 feet (20m) wide.

The Gorge walls rise 90' and narrow to 12'.

 The "Sentinel Pine" stood for centuries above the stream. It was nearly 175 feet tall and 16 feet in circumference. A storm blew it over in 1938. It fell across the gorge. Following the tradition of New England practicality, it was used as the base for this bridge.

Tomorrow we leave to visit some friends from Salem who relocated in NH MANY years ago.

And AGAIN, nothing went as planned but we had a better day because of it.

Thursday, August 10, 2017


I am REALLY slow in updating our blog. This entry is about the day we had enjoying Acadia and western Mt. Desert Island in JUNE !

My excuse is that we are traveling too much to write my travel blog. OK - that's the excuse. The reason is I'm a slug. Lazy is the word.

But we really did have a marvelous day exploring more of Mt. Desert Island both in the park and outside of it.

We started in Southwest Harbor, a quaint tiny town with a lot more emphasis on working boatmen than tourists.

Then a hike around Wonderland Trail. THIS is what the Maine coast is all about. Quiet, beautiful waterfront, no people.

Didn't see much wildlife but the plants made up for it.

Even the trees were blooming.

 On to Ship Harbor Trail.  Again, great views of the surf.

 The next stop was Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse.

Built in 1858, automated in 1974. A sign said that there was a trail to where you could get a better picture so ......

It only stands 56' above high tide but that is enough to guide boats into Bass Harbor.

Our new found friends mentioned in the last blog suggested Thurston's Lobster Pound. They proclaimed it to be the most scenic dining place in New England and promised us great food besides.

They were right on both counts.

The view from our patio table. You order at the counter inside and they bring your food. From the looks, I'd guess our "62" was probably the second time around for the day.

That large stack of "crates" are lobster pots.

After a short wait, the food arrived.

I ordered the lobster roll and Carol ordered the Lobster Stew.

From their menu:

Lobster Roll

Filled to the brim with our famously fresh, handpicked lobster meat. We lightly toss those claws, tails, and knuckles with mayo, and pile them on a grilled bun with a bed of lettuce. No fancy stuff necessary. Available in two sizes.  (Don't forget a fork for the big one.)

Lobster Stew 

As traditional as it comes. Our own fresh lobster stock makes this cream based stew rich and delicious. Nothing but flavor and lobster. Straight from the boat lobster, and lots of it.

Apparently our new Work Camper friends really do think this is the best place on My. Desert Island. It's a 25 minute drive from the campground and we caught them here for lunch.

More views of Thurston's and the harbor with the working boats.

That little bitty gray and green one story building is the original Lobster Pound. The two story gray and green addition came next, followed by the two story yellow roofed "porch."

One of their original delivery trucks.

We needed to walk off that incredible lunch so we stopped at Echo Lake for a short hike on our way back to the Campground.

Our next day had been planned for a walking tour of the town Bar Harbor.

It was rainy.
We were tired,
Locals told us a cruise ship had docked.

We took a quiet day, walked the campground and got ready to depart.

God is Good. Even, or especially, on lazy days.