The drive to New Hampshire started off in the rain but cleared up as the day progressed. We stopped at the Vermont Maple Outlet and the Cabot Creamery on the way so it took a little over four hours to drive the 135 miles to Twin Mountain. The campground is a typical RV park with small spaces and full hookups including cable and good WiFi. It is a Good Sam park but still runs $32/night. We have good Verizon coverage and the satellite was easy to locate so we are set up!
The stop at the Vermont Maple Outlet
proved fruitful as we were able to find maple products at a price somewhat less than we had paid at other places - wish we had found this place first. I do love Maple!
The Cabot Creamery
is a 90+ year old co-op of New England dairy farms. It originally started out as a place for the farmers to sell their milk and it just processed and packaged milk. It has since grown into the largest provider of dairy products in New England. They make a wide variety of cheeses as well as butter, dips and other products. They have a great visitor's center and factory tour. Our tour guide has worked there for almost 30 years and is a co-op member as well so her tour was very informative on the company's history and the factory processes. The cheddar up here is the normal white cheddar instead of the yellow that we see in the Southern and Western USA. You probably know that the yellow cheddar is colored and not the natural white color but do you know why?? I didn't, but she told us. Back in the Colonial days when the colonist were rising up against England, they not only had the Boston Tea Party but also refused to buy British products as much as possible. They started coloring their cheddar yellow in order to be able to tell their cheddar from that coming from England. They have since gone back to leaving their cheddar white.
Sunday we had reservations for the Mt. Washington Auto Road
but woke up to a steady rain but since the tour was "rain or shine," we drove the 28 miles over there. The tour was on hold because the road was currently impassable and they allowed us to switch our reservation to Monday morning which we gladly did as we wanted to take it under better weather if possible. As I explained a little in the last posting, Mt. Washington
is the tallest peak in the Northeastern US at 6,288 feet and is large enough to generate its own weather, much like Mt. McKinley does in Alaska. It is also famous for its terrible weather.
Monday we drove over again to take the Auto Road tour and the weather was much better. We actually saw the sun for the first time in several days. We were beginning to think we had been transported back to Oregon with all the rain. But I digress. About 10 miles from the campground Doris hollered "MOOSE!" and I slammed on the brakes!!! Sure enough there was a young BULL moose at the edge of the forest. Doris finally had her bull moose although it didn't really look like one since it was so young and only had spikes for horns. We reluctantly left there and proceeded to the tour but less than a mile later, she was hollering "MOOSE!" again. This time I had to go up a little farther and turn around and come back, but there he was - a beautiful bull with a nice rack. The rack was still a little small as they have just been growing about three months and will continue to grow until rutting season in September or so. The horns also still have the velvet on them since they are so young.
He finally went back into the forest and we proceeded for our tour, which by now was really anti-climactic after seeing the two moose. The tour takes two hours - 30 minutes up, an hour at the top, and 30 minutes back. I have included some pictures of the trip but, while we had some terrific views of the mountain range around us, the top of the mountain was in dense clouds so we couldn't see anything from up there. I took a picture out the window just to show you. :) When it is clear, you can see all the way to the Atlantic Ocean off Maine, over 70 miles away.
After the tour we came back to the Mothership, had lunch and decided to take a drive around the White Mountain National Forest
. It was an 100 miles trip through the center of the forest we hadn't already seen going to Mt. Washington and then around the Eastern side of the forest. It was a beautiful drive with lots of great scenery, a couple of short hikes to falls and overall just a very enjoyable four hour trip.
We had scoped out some trails, so Tuesday we went to the Appalachia trail head and took the hike to Gordon Falls. This is a trail up the side of a mountain along Snyder Brook. Though it was labeled "easy" we found it to be a bit more difficult than we are used to when hiking easy trails. It was fun, the scenery was fantastic, and it took almost two hours to complete the trip up and back. After completing the hike, we came back and had lunch before getting everything ready for the trip to the lower part of New Hampshire tomorrow.