Tuesday, July 31, 2012

New Hampshire and Vermont

NH White Mountains

White Mountains - Franconia Notch
It was time to move on to see the remaining New England states. We drove basically due west across the middle of Maine on US 2. It was a good road (for the most part) and we got to see life in the state other than along the shoreline. The terrain was rolling hills and mostly covered with trees with small towns every 5 -10 miles. 

NH State House
As we approached the border of Maine and New Hampshire we entered the White Mountains and the hills became bigger. The road went through a gap in the White Mountain National Forest and became very pretty. We stopped for a break in Gorham, NH which is a picturesque little town with mountains all around. We left US 2 and headed south on 115 and then US 3. This was a beautiful drive through the White Mountains and the Franconia Notch. I would have to say this was the prettiest drive that we've had in months.

Our first week in the campground (near Contoocook, NH) had excitement when a storm came through with a micro-burst that knocked down branches and trees. A lightening strike dropped a tree on a trailer. Fortunately we did not receive any damage. We drove into Concord to see the New Hampshire State Capitol. It was very modest inside compared to most. We learned that NH has a very unique legislative setup by having an Executive Council that works hand-in-hand with the Governor. (http://www.nh.gov/council/overview.html)

Coolidge Homestead
General Store

Community room - Coolidge Hall
The next weekend was time for a road trip around Vermont. We headed north on I-89 and then west on Hwy 4 to the Calvin Coolidge State historic site in Plymouth Notch. (http://historicsites.vermont.gov/Coolidge/CoolidgeSite.htmlhttp://www.calvin-coolidge.org/html/the_homestead.html)  
This is a really great place to visit as the home, furnishings, barn, tools, etc. are all intact from when it was owned by President Coolidge. The General Store is in tact including the addition on the back where Calvin was born and lived to age 4. The upstairs community room is setup exactly as it was when President Coolidge used it as an office when visiting (complete with actual furnishings). We really enjoyed our time here.

Next we drove down Hwy 100 to Weston. This entire town is on the National Historic Registry. It was a neat town with an awesome museum in an old house and a working restored mill. The people of the town have done a great job of restoring and keeping this town nice. We drove back east to NH from here. For those of you who are familiar with it, this is the home of The Vermont Country Store which we went through while we were there.

Our second weekend in the area was rainy and gloomy and thus some of the potential scenic activities were rained out. We also had been on the go so much we decided it was good to chill before our driving day on Sunday. New Hampshire and Vermont have made it on our short list of places to return so we'll have a chance to see things we didn't see this time through.

Next up, we start the Hall of Fame tour month.  Stay tuned.

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