Part-time traveller, Full-Time Brummie

USA Sept 2013: Vermont, New Hampshire (again) and Massachusetts in 48 hours…

We like to pick up small souvenirs from our travels. In Maine we picked up a bear claw bottle opener.  In New Hampshire we picked up a moose Christmas decoration.  In Vermont, we picked up a speeding fine…

We start the morning with a drive up Mountain Road to Mt Mansfield and Smugglers Notch.  As if by magic, all the hordes of visitors from yesterday have disappeared.  The roads are clear, we are able to park up at leisure and appreciate the beauty around us.  Kancamagus Highway in New Hampshire was a spectacular pass, but Mountain Road has steep hills, windy bends and beautiful coloured trees around every turn.  We do not linger however, and start our route south to Peterborough.

Somewhere in Vermont...

Somewhere in Vermont…

Today is a day of travelling, hopping out of the car at the odd turnout to take a few piccies and driving through covered bridges (usually twice). The autumnal colours begin to fade a little, becoming more muted with a greater abundance of greens and yellows rather than the vibrant oranges, reds and even purples.  On many roads we travel with no cars in sight, in front or behind.  And as we approach Wooodstock, we pay little heed to the sheriff’s car parked in a turnout.  After all, he is probably just parked up to eat doughnuts and drink coffee…

Cornish-Windsor Covered Bridge

Cornish-Windsor Covered Bridge

The flashing blue and red lights fill the rear view mirror.  A burly sheriff with mirrored sunglasses, a swagger and a gun asks for Mr Fletche’s documents.  There is a lengthy pause while he does the necessary checks.  He returns.  He is brandishing a ticket.  Yes, his radar clocked the FM2013 doing 56mph in a 40mph zone.  We are too scared to protest or point out the numerous (Vermont-plated) cars that had zoomed past before us.  We accept our $158 fine and sheepishly promise to stick to all posted speed limits in future.  Mr Fletche is now ‘in the system’.  He is a wanted felon.  We are like Bonnie & Clyde.  This is the second country in which we have been stopped by local police (although the first was part of a quad bike/helmet laws scam in Crete).  The wind has been taken out of our sails as we curse Vermont and their draconian speeding laws.  Pah, we can’t wait to be back in New Hampshire, whose motto is “Live Free or Die”.  We want to Live Free.

Vermomt State Police

The rest of the journey passes without a hitch as we adhere religiously to all posted speed limits (to the annoyance of the locals behind us. Lunch is a sandwich and potato chips from Mac’s Market in Woodstock.  We don’t want to risk breaking any more laws by parking in an illegal bay or the like in town.  Eventually we find ourselves back in our favourite state New Hampshire and heading towards our home for one night only – Little River B&B in Peterborough.  Our new host Rob is effusive and welcomes us into their home.  This is our third ‘riverside’ lodging in a row, and like our previous NH home, we can hear the river rushing by from our room.  This is highly likely to make me want to pee all night.

Little River B&B

Little River B&B in Peterborough, New Hampshire

Rob warns us that most dining establishments in town are closed on Monday nights.  He is not kidding.  Peterborough is a ghost town, with all possible eateries in darkness.  There is not even an open convenience store to purchase (yet another) sandwich.  It is 7pm.  We drive up and down the main road, hoping for the glow of a Burger King, or a Dairy Queen, or a Dunkin Donuts.  Nothing.  People do not eat in Peterborough on a Monday night.  Just as we are about to turn round and return to Little River with rumbling tummies, we spot a small shopping mall.  Pulling up in the car park, we find a small Italian/Pizza/Sub café which is open!  Yay!  The Italian Meatball & Sausage sub is not entirely to my liking (being slathered in tomato sauce and melted cheese) but it is food.  Any port in a storm.

And so to bed, with the river gushing outside our window.  Tomorrow, we return to the bright lights of a big city, and say goodbye to the FM2013…

Our final morning in rural America is disrupted by Mr Fletche having to do important business stuff.  This morning we have the added excitement of visiting a notary before once again utilising the kindness of our host’s technology.  The disruption doesn’t take long and all business stuff is concluded by 9:30am.  Another fantastic homecooked breakfast and a chance to commune with our fellow guests sets us up for our final drive to Boston.  Our first stop is Miller State Park, in order to drive the auto road to the summit of Pack Monadnock mountain.  At 2.290ftm it is no Mount Washington, but it does have a raptor migration programme up top.

Raptor Migration Tally

Raptor Migration Tally

Mr Fletche is first to spot a swooping bird, and manages to capture it on camera.  The rangers – who had failed to spot the bloody great big bird flying over the mountain – identify it from the photo as a turkey vulture; and Mr Fletche has the honour of updating the tally chart on the chalk board!  It’s a proud moment!  After a pleasant time bird watching, we head off to Boston.  The colour starts to fade, the traffic starts to increase and the ubiquitous “Moose Crossing” signs disappear altogether.  Welcome to Massachusetts!


9 responses to “USA Sept 2013: Vermont, New Hampshire (again) and Massachusetts in 48 hours…”

  1. RoarLoud says:

    Glad you enjoyed New England besides the ticket! Got to love my home state’s motto- Live free or die!:)

  2. […] Vermont: There are three memories which spring to mind when anyone mentions Vermont to me.  The first is spending a morning in the gardens of the Sun & Ski Inn in Stowe, wrapped in a huge blanket reading Game of Thrones whilst Mr Fletche recovers from a dodgy tummy.  Not as though I’d wish for a repeat of that.  The second is the beautiful sunset over Lake Champlain in Burlington.  Not just the sunset, but the almost celebratory atmosphere on the shores from tourists and locals alike.  There were picnics and ball games going on; and then everyone just stopped to watch the sinking sun.  And the final memory.  The speeding ticket.  The cop in his mirrored shades, fingering the gun at his waist.  The excitement and fear all rolled up in one ball of emotions. […]

  3. […] a final night in New Hampshire before heading back to city […]

  4. […] an uneventful journey with no police encounters, , we park up in the parking garage next to the Hotel 140; it is 1:30pm and unlikely that our room […]

  5. What a gorgeous place. On my wish list x

  6. josypheen says:

    Rubbish that you got a ticket…but the rest of the day sounds ace. 🙂

    Good work to Mr Fletche fir capturing the turkey vulture on camera! I am sooo rubbish at taking photos of birds. They are just too speedy.

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