September - October 2015
  • Day23

    White Mountain National Forest

    October 2, 2015 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

    The village of North Conway is tourist-oriented with shops, bars and restaurants. They even offer moose bus tours in the evening as there is an abundance of moose in this area and tourists are willing to pay $30 to hopefully see a real live moose ("96% success rate"). There are lots of roadside signs warning of "moose crossing" and "hundreds of collisions" but we didn't see nor hit any thankfully.

    Apart from touristy North Conway is the beautiful and rugged White Mountain National Forest. There are serious hikers here and the 6288 foot Mount Washington, the highest peak in the NE USA, is considered one of the 10 most dangerous small mountains in the world. The weather at the summit is comparable to the Antarctic and has logged the highest wind velocity in the world at 231 mph! The Visitor Centre has a memorial to the 152 people who have died attempting to climb the mountain, often from hypothermia.

    We continued to enjoy our short, scenic hikes! One of my favourites was Diana's Bath, a 1 km hike to a series of cascading waterfalls. We were well rewarded for enduring the heavy rainfall this week!
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  • Day22

    This is New Hampshire

    October 1, 2015 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 12 °C

    There are 54 historic, covered wooden bridges in the state. Decorating for Fall and Halloween is a big event here. Every year they have a competition called "The Return of the Pumpkin People" and they can be found everywhere in the region. The North Conway vintage train can be seen and heard frequently as it takes tourists on a short but scenic route.

    We are back to our usual routine of me cooking all of our meals....pasta, stir fry, and tacos are our favourite easy dinners for travel and camping. When I came out of the grocery store I was greeted with this magnificent sunset. The colours are real and untouched.
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  • Day20

    A Wash-Out

    September 29, 2015 in the United States ⋅ 🌧 20 °C

    It started to rain around noon on Tuesday and continued heavily for the next 48 hours....a total of 3.5 inches of rain. The weather office issued a flood watch for our area and were advising people to stay off the roads and highways. Since we weren't familiar with the roads and streams it seemed wise to comply and stay indoors. Doing laundry and watching TV was all that was accomplished. On Thursday the sun returned but the temperature dropped to the mid-teens for the remainder of the week. JS decided it was a good day to read and sleep. The reading came to an abrupt end when he discovered that his new book was missing 65 pages! I walked through town and browsed the shops, not spending a penny.Read more

  • Day19

    Kancamagus Scenic Byway

    September 28, 2015 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    After some negotiating with the front desk staff, we were able to move to the more spacious studio unit with a full kitchen that we had paid for. Once that was settled we were on our way to scout out the area.

    "The Kanc" highway is a 55 km two lane, winding road through the White Mountain National Forest. It's a beautiful drive with many scenic viewpoints, waterfalls and short hikes. It would have been perfect if the leaves were at their peak. This area is known for attracting "leaf peepers" and is the main reason I had selected it. It was 26 degrees and sunny so we spent the whole day driving and exploring.
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  • Day18

    North Conway, New Hampshire

    September 27, 2015 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

    It was time to close the book on our whirlwind tour of Atlantic Canada. This isn't our customary style of travel....a different hotel or B&B almost every night as well as many travel miles.....so we were both feeling a bit exhausted. Perhaps as a result, JS turned the air blue as we left Saint John early Sunday morning because the GPS couldn't locate the satellite as quickly as he would like. So we meandered a bit before reaching the Trans Canada Highway. Later in the morning we reflected on the past 2 weeks.

    Likes:

    - breakfasts, but not the beds, at most of our B&Bs
    - the pastoral life of PEI and the ruggedness of Cape Breton Island
    - fresh lobster, scallops and haddock that we ate almost daily
    - warm, sometimes hot, sunny days
    - beautiful scenery around every corner
    - friendly, welcoming reception by the locals
    - the historical significance of the people and places

    Dislikes:

    - the major cities, except for Charlottetown
    - we kept missing the kitchen parties so sadly did not attend one
    - rude Quebecois who ought to just stay home
    - the high cost of lodging, meals, and gas
    - the weight I gained from eating all that good food, not to mention the wine

    The 7 hour drive went by quickly and we arrived in NH around 5. When we checked into our timeshare condo, we were assigned a regular hotel room with a small kitchenette instead of the studio suite I had paid for. Since they were full for the night we reluctantly accepted this room. The photo is of the main building but the timeshare units are located in a separate building at the rear. North Conway is situated in White Mountain National Forest and reminds us of a much smaller version of Banff. I was expecting vibrant Fall foliage but apparently it is slower than usual this year so the leaves are just beginning to turn.

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  • Day17

    Saint John, NB

    September 26, 2015 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    Our route took us through the Fundy National Park, which would be a great spot for a camping trip. We made time for a short coastal hike, then tried out the Park's red chairs with a view of the Bay of Fundy at low tide. Then it was onward to Saint John, watching out for moose on the road as by now it was dusk. Saint John is another unimpressive city. It took us 11 hours plus 15,710 steps logged on my Fitbit but we sure crammed in a lot of great sights.Read more

  • Day17

    Hopewell Cape, NB

    September 26, 2015 in Canada ⋅ ☀️ 12 °C

    We left the hotel at 8 a.m., which is darn good for non-morning people, and drove to the Halifax harbour so that I could get a quick view of the city. It's very congested and has narrow roadways. I wasn't impressed. After a 3 hour drive on the Trans Canada Highway we arrived at Hopewell Rocks on the Bay of Fundy, a provincial park that has recorded the world's highest tides. We arrived almost 2 hours after high tide and saw the height of the bay go from 42 feet down to 14 feet. It was expected to go all the way down to 2 feet but we couldn't hang around that long as we had already spent 3 hours here. After the water receded we walked on the ocean floor. There was no sea life like I had experienced on the West coast, just a gravel surface. The rock formations are mostly under water when the tide is high. It was all quite impressive.Read more

  • Day16

    Halifax, NS

    September 25, 2015 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    For lunch we met Irene, a Luxton School teacher that worked with John a few years ago and who has now retired in her old hometown of Wolfville. We had a delicious, reasonably priced meal at Luckett Vineyards. The wine was great, although pricey at $8 a glass, and the view was amazing. There are 6 vineyards in Wolfville, the main wine-growing region of NS. Before heading to Halifax for the night we stopped at Grand Pre to see the ocean when the tide was out, a real contrast to the lush vineyard down the road!Read more

  • Day16

    Grand Pré, NS

    September 25, 2015 in Canada ⋅ ☀️ 12 °C

    Awoke to another gorgeously sunny day. After another fantastic breakfast at our B&B, we spent the morning at the Grand Pre National Historic Site. Here we learned about the tenacious Acadians and how they were treated poorly by the British and French battalions. The grounds were beautiful and the flower gardens still thriving. Parks Canada places 2 red chairs at all of their historic, scenic sites as a great photo op and encourages visitors to place the photo on their Facebook page.Read more