Sue and I took off to the Eagle Mountain House in Jackson, NH Sunday 10/15/17 to immerse ourselves in the beautiful Autumn colors in the spectacular New Hampshire White Mountains.
Because Sue grew up in the White Mountains and I've been going there for over 40 years, we had no agenda of time, where we'd go, or what we'd do. Basically, it was to drive around an enjoy the beauty that Nature displays during this spectacular time of year here in New England.
If we would have just driven straight from home to The Eagle Mountain House, it would have taken just over an hour and a quarter. We took just over 7 hours to do it....
We took Route 153 out of Farmington all the way up and into Conway where we stopped at Settler's Green for some brief shopping. From there, we ambled up Route 16 and over Thorn Hill Road to The Eagle Mountain House, arriving just after 3:00 pm.
After checking in, we hopped back into the car, drove down into Jackson, and walked around the field loop just to enjoy the crisp Fall air. Part of that was to stop and enjoy many of the Fall and Halloween "Pumpkin People" exhibits that local businesses put up.
When we got back to The Eagle Mountain House, it was still warm enough to sit outside on the huge wrap around porch. I got a couple of glasses of wine from the bar, and we sat out in the rocking chairs playing backgammon for an hour or so.
We had a lovely dinner at The Highfields restaurant at the hotel, but we were both pretty tired and so after dinner we just headed up to the room. We plopped down onto the bed and watched the last hour of Dancing With The Stars before shutting off the lights. I think I was out as soon as my head hit the pillow!
Monday morning, we awoke to heavy fog hanging over Black Mountain. We tried to get some pictures of it, but you just don't get the depth of it as you do looking at it live. After a nice breakfast at the hotel, we decided to take a drive up to Gorham, NH. On the way, we first stopped at a place Sue thought I'd really enjoy seeing: Glen Ellis Falls. It was quite the hike into the woods and down the trails along steep mountain rock face to the foot of the falls.
What a beautiful place! Just outstanding! I did myself in just a little in climbing back out though. I forgot I was 68 years old, and sort of ran up the trail until my legs gave out. Annoying, of course. And I had to take a breather while more sane folks like Sue wandered along the trail taking pictures as she moved steadily forward. I knew it'd be an Advil-drip night for me though....
Figuering that we'd see some wonderful foliage around the base of Mount Washington and Tuckerman's Ravine from the Wildcat Mountain Ski area north of Glen Ellis Falls, we stopped there briefly. We watched a huge cloud bank of fog roll over the top of Tuckerman's and slide down the face. Just beautiful. We could have stayed there for longer, but wanted to get up to Gorham.
Huge cloud bank of fog rolling over the top of Tuckerman's Ravine and sliding down the face as seen from the Wildcat Mountain Ski area
As we hit the intersection of Routes 16 and 2, Sue wanted to take a little side trip east to Shelburne. Besides a sparkling white capped lake formed by the Androscoggin River, there is a stretch of Route 2 that is lined with so many beautiful birch tress with shimmering leaves changing color that she wanted me to see.
We didn't go to far east, but swung around and drove back west on Route 2 into Gorham. We stopped for gas and some coffee, and then swung briefly through town just to get a feel for this small, 2,800 person village. It's pretty much a working town with little fancy goings on or shops, but beautiful in its own way.
From Gorham, we had planned to drive over to Littleton, NH as we both loved our vist there during our 2012 trip to Sugar Hill, NH. But it was early in the day and we were both up for exploring. I had never been up to Lancaster, NH before, and so Sue showed me the way though Randolph, and Jefferson.
Route 2 though Randolph, and Jefferson.
Route 2 though Randolph, and Jefferson.
I really enjoyed driving through Lancaster. There are such spectacular vistas of the surrounding mountains, and pastoral views of old farm houses and barns. There's not much around, but if you ever want to "get away", then this would be the area to come to.
And since Lancaster is so close to the Vermont boarder, we drove across the Lunenburg Covered Bridge that connects onto Vermont Routes 102 and 2 South. Sue got a couple of nice pictures of the bridge before we swung around to continue down NH Route 135 through Dalton and into Littleton.
I really like Littleton. It's such a picturesque town of around 6,000 surrounded by mountains with a terrific river running through its center. We walked around the shops along Main Street, stopping for a short lunch in a cafe overlooking the river.
From Littleton, we took a leisurely drive down Route 302 through the small village of Bethlehem. The town, more village as there are only about 2,500 folks living there, has such spectacular views of the surrounding countryside and mountains as you come around the bend and start down the gentle rolling hills toward town.
We followed Route 302 all the way into Bartlett and then picked up Route 16 back into Jackson. We didn't get back to the Eagle Mountain house until after 4:30 pm. The air was a little chilly by then as the sun was dropping quickly in the distance over the mountains, and so we decided to get some hot apple cider from the bar, sit in one of the comfortable side rooms off the lobby, and play some backgammon until dinner.
After another great dinner, we again called it an early night, though it was only around 9:00 pm. Having fun wears you out! Well, my legs were still sore from that silly romp up the rocky trail at Glen Ellis Falls. I popped a few Advil, and that was it for me until I woke up around 3:00 am. My back and neck, still messed up from a mild car accident a few years before, were really sore. I got up and did a few more Advil, wondering if I'd be able to get back to sleep. Fortunately, I was able to, and felt fairly good at 7:30 am when Sue and I got up.
Tuesday morning after we piled out of bed, we packed most of our stuff and took a couple of the bags out to the car before having breakfast. This morning was bright and clear, with no fog over the surrounding mountains or along the ground. After a nice cup of coffee along with our food, we were ready to hit the road for home.
We left The Eagle Mountain House just after 9:00 am, and took a right hand turn off of Route 16 onto Route 113 in Chocorua. We wanted to drive down through Tamworth where Sue grew up, and continue from there on 113 and pick up 25 into Moultonborough along the western shore of Lake Winnipisaki. We decided to take 171 past the Castle In The Clouds, and drop down from there onto 109a into Wolfeboro where we'd follow Route 28 down into Alton and home.
It was such a pretty drive. We just wandered through those roads, taking in the wonderful foliage colors. Though the trip, like all fun trips, is great, it's still nice once you get back home. We unpacked, and then just settled into the evening, enjoying our terrific new home on our own mountain!
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