Hampshire: May 7
griping the steering wheel all day, it is difficult to write and much easier
to type. My face is a bit blistered but I think I look better with
more color than I've had in YEARS. New England is agreeing with me...and
the weather has been fantastic.
to apologize to everybody on I-93 northbound yesterday. Crazy photographer
from the Concord newspaper wanted to take pictures of Seno while going
down the highway. Here's the scene: me in my roadster doing
holding it to 55 mph and photog in his car coming along side and snapping
away. Nice, huh? Well, he was the only one in his car so he
was driving (sort of), steering (kinda) and taking pictures (camera strap
waving in the wind in front of the lens). So I'll be REAL curious
if any of those photos turn out!
adventure in line occured as I am nearing Lincoln, New Hampshire.
A big rig started flashing his headlights behind me and then signaling
right when I looked up. I figured the entire bottom of my car must
have been falling out in the pavement so I pulled over. The word
"Freightliner" looks SO MUCH BIGGER in the rearview mirror of a tiny purple
roadster. Guy comes up, wolf graphic on his T-shirt, big fella like
they all are (again I'm in a very short car) and he starts in with the
questions and in some accent I can't place. Turns out what I've got
here is the French Canadian version of Billy Bob complete with the teeth.
I am not making this up--I thought he had a set of those creepy Halloween
teeth in his mouth! Nope. I kept Seno running and in first
gear. I asked if there was something wrong with my car and he either
didn't have enough English or was so stunned by Seno that he just didn't
answer. I took off and didn't get out of the car again until I reached
Conway. And that is over an entire mountain range over a highway
known as "The Kank". Stan told me that in the fall, people come from
all over the word to drive The Kank.
didn't work in my room at the White Deer Inn but I needed the time for
catching up on my writing anyway. And plotting more courses.
I sit in bed and read maps like other people read novels.
I went a little north and crossed another range of New Hampshire mountains,
this time stopping off at Crawford Notch and talking with Tom who feels
that small towns shouldn't have to pay for cop cars in other towns. That's
simplifying it but I sympathize. His general store at the "notch"
is eclectic to the max and he and I both groused about how government gets
out of touch with the people. His property taxes have doubled in
2 years. No wonder he's steamed. We were both preaching to
the choir. New Hampshire doesn't have a sales tax and neither does
Oregon. One more round for "stick it to the small business person"
this time with feeling.
over the White Mountains was literally just above freezing but with the
wind chill doing 55 mph, the air in Seno was roughly 17 degrees by Tom's
calculations. But it was spectacular. Waterfalls, fresh pine,
no traffic, a doable road.
by Clark's Trading Post in Lincoln and it was closed. I read about
this place in a roadside attraction book. OK, I didn't have to pay
anything but I did see a bear. Almost missed him but I looked up and he
was asleep on a platform about 25 feet in the air. I got the video
camera out and he yawned, scratched and rolled a bit. Made me want
to go back to sleep. What a ham.
Saw New Hampshire's famous
Old Man in the Mountain. Check your quarters and you'll see an image
of him. Well, I got as up close and personal as you can get and still
stay on a trail. (It's a rock formation that looks a little bit like
For the best grinders in New
England, go to Swiftwater, N.H.'s general store. Tell them Alyce
sent you and Morrie, his wife and his lovely daughter Porsche will make
you one. For you Oregonians who don't know, a grinder is a sub sandwich
(I didn't know). Porsche (whose Atlanta, Georgia dad is a car nut
and got his first speeding ticket at the age of 12! it's a great story!)
is cutting two teeth at once so hope you're there when she is in a good
I also met the Dept. of Transportation
crew who looked Seno over in amazement. Hi, to Fuzzy, Gary, Scott
and Ray--I'll have your photo posted here soon.
White River Junction, Vermont--what
a cool little town and feels like they could film Northern Exposure Two
here. I landed the BEST BAGEL OF THIS ENTIRE trip at the Baker's
Studio on Main Street. Melissa fixed me an "Everything" Bagel with
veggie cream cheese.
Picked up a new pair of glasses
at the WalMart in Claremont and then went west to arrive at a friend's
house in Rutland. What a gorgeous, perfect little town this is.
Great guys down at the Post Office gave me information about wet gear for
riding motorcycles. The receptionist (guy) at the Rutland Herald....well,
let's just say he isn't a car nut. He didn't want to have ANYTHING
to do with this creature standing in his news office (me). Reminds
me of the saying, "I thought he was dead but he was only from Vermont."
Believe me, everybody else has been super kind and friendly. I met
a poet at the gas pumps named Mark. Mark, don't bother stopping by
the Herald office.
Saw this ad in Whitefield,
New Hampshire: "Insure with Burns Before it Burns!" the Burns
Insurance Agency. And there's an ad for Stumpage Contractor.
Not sure I want to know what that is.