Sue and I took a short 2 day vacation to see the Lupine Festival in Sugar Hill, NH.
Field of lupines along the road in Sugar Hill.
The last time we had seen this wonderful display was our trip there in 2016. Lupines are wild, and thus their blooming is sometimes sporadic. Not only has it been a little chilly in the mountains late in the season, but we were told that some of the fields may turn out to be off this year.
But that doesn't matter because what we did see was lovely, and we had a great time driving around on every back road we could find.
Thursday morning 06/07/18, I took Beau over to Alton Bed & Biscuit so he'd have a comfortable place to stay while we were off charging around the Sugar Hill area. He seems to be happy about the place because every time we've dropped him off he's scrambling to get in the door.
After I got back home, Sue had finished her packing and we were out the door at 9:15 am. We stopped at the Alton Circle Store for gas and much needed coffee, and then headed north on Route 11. We enjoy the drive through Meredith and the Holderness area, and it really doesn't take more than about 10 minutes longer than trucking over to 93 and going up that way.
Sue wanted to get some greeting cards at a bookstore in Meredith that we both really like. From there, it was a nice scenic ride through Holderness to Plymouth where we jumped onto Route 93 north. We stopped in Lincoln for a quick lunch and coffee refill before continuing our trip on Route 3 up into The Flume Gorge State Park.
It's been a long time since either of us had actually been into The Flume. In our 2016 trip, though we did stop there, we didn't go into the park itself, but rather just walked one of the short visitor trails because we didn't really have the time for a full visit.
But this time, we wanted to walk the full Loop Trail, a spectacularly beautiful 2 mile trail that runs through the gorge with the raging river splashing alongside the wooden walkway.
We just poked along the trail, with Sue doing her photographer thing, both us us enjoying the beauty of this wonderful state park. We spent a couple of hours exploring before heading out for Franconia and some of the surrounding roads there to see if we could find any lupines.
There are more phlox in the areas surrounding Sugar Hill than lupines, and we saw quite a few wonderful fields of them as well as all along the sides of the roads. Since it was only around 2:30, we decided to take a long drive over to Lisbon, and then down to the picturesque village of Bath, NH.
We had done this on our last trip, and Sue had taken some really nice pictures of the bridge and town. I had her duplicate a couple that I particularly like.
I just love this view of the village center from the opposite side of the river.
Though taken from a different angle, I had used this scene as the splash page picture for one of my other websites. It's just a terrific view.
Sue took the following pictures as we drove around the general Sugar Hill area Thursday afternoon.
We both love this quote, and duplicated a picture of it from our last trip. The plaque sits in a large field just across the street from the Sugar Hill Sampler.
The Sugar Hill Sampler is a central point of this event, with fields of lupines on all sides. Our Lupine & Poetry Walk meanders through our own fields with their magnificent view of the mountains. Little signs with famous quotations and poems dot the trail...it's just a great photo opportunity.—from their website
We were so sad to hear that the owner, Barbara Serafini, whose ancestors were the first settlers of the village of Sugar Hill 200 years ago, was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer, and has had to put the property up for sale. We hope this does not bring an end to this historic New Hampshire business, and that someone will come in to preserve its legacy.
After touring all around the area, we drove to our hotel, The Inn At Sunset Hill. The following is a Yelp! review that I wrote on our stay:
Sue took this picture of me digging into our Chocolate Torte desert.
Sue was up and outside wandering around snapping pictures way before I climbed out of bed. She had gotten up at 5:00 am to see how the sunrise would be, but didn't go out until around 6:30 as the temperature differential between air and ground from the day before seemed to have created a misty cover over the mountains in the distance.
What a terrific close up of some lupines!
Sue got this nice shot of the grounds behind the inn just before I joined her outside. In fact, we thought this field was the best we had seen, even better than across the street from The Sugar Hill Sampler.
Lupines come in colors other than purple, as these by a small lake show.
Huge beacons of sun breaking through the clouds and splashing across the distant mountain sides were just picture perfect.