Sue had been telling me for quite awhile how beautiful the areas further north and west of Rt. 93 were, so Sunday 10/13/13 we headed out about 8:30 for a Fall foliage drive to New London, NH.
We started out by heading over Rt. 4 to, 125 and over Rt. 101 to Manchester where we took the Bridge Street exit down to the river, across the Queen City Bridge, up Front street, and finally off onto Dunbarton Road.
Our first goal was to get to Dunbarton as Sue had always wanted to see it. Very beautiful, with large stately homes set back on well kept expansive lawns. We took a few of the back roads to see more of that area before continuing to Hopkinton, NH, a beautiful little village, and then on to Contoocook, NH, another place we wanted to see.
From Contoocook, we wandered Rt. 103 up to Warner, NH. It's amazing how many times Rt. 103 and Rt. 114 ziz-zag back and forth under Rt. 89. In fact, that was the case all the way up to New London, NH and even Springfield. where we turned around for home after over 4 and a half hours.
Our original end goal was New London because Sue's daughter Jill went to Colby Sawyer College there and she knew I'd just love it. And New London is beautiful. We even took Pleasant Street out to see Pleasant Lake where Sue got out and took a couple of pictures. But not much access to that lake as houses pretty much sat on hills surrounding it. But a nice little side drive.
Though New London was our original goal, Sue suggested that we continue further up on Rt. 114 and into Springfield, NH. That has a really nice lake as well and I enjoyed seeing that area. Whenever would you ever get up there again, anyway?
From Springfield, we cut across 4 Corners Road onto 4A South, which hooked into 4 and then Rt. 11. We stayed on Rt. 11 all the way into Franklin, NH and then Tilton. I hadn't been to either town, but wanted to see them because they were south of Laconia and the Lakes Region. By the time we got through Tilton, Sue suggested that we might be close enough to check out the Steel Hill Inn Resort that we had tried to find the last time we were up in Laconia.
She knew her way around that area pretty good, and the drive to it was beautiful. And what a place the Steel Hill Inn is! What views of the lakes! We got out of the car and walked around the grounds for awhile before heading back toward Laconia.
Sue knew a back road around Laconia that hooks into Rt. 11A East that goes through Gilford and the Gunstock Ski area. I was surprised that we didn't run into more leaf-peeper traffic; even coming down from Alton, NH on Rt. 11 and then onto the Spaulding Turnpike we didn't experience any traffic at all. I wonder how bad those roads were Monday with everyone streaming home. Must have been a mess.
Monday, Sue and I just stayed in and poked around rather than trying to go anywhere. A nice relaxing day to over 450 miles of driving through the beautiful back roads of New Hampshire!.Sue and I listened to CDs while we jointly cooked up a wonderful Chicken Pot Pie. We ended off the evening with just some mindless tv.