We headed for Vermont today on the last leg of our trip. Sue’s father told us about a place they visited about 30 years ago, Ruggles Mine, when he and Mickey, Sue’s mom, traveled in a trailer with their friends the Fords. We also saw it in a book I bought, Roadside America. Ruggles Mine sounded interesting in that it was an old mountain top mine that they removed beryl, mica, and uranium among other things a long time ago. Now you can go in and collect rocks and learn a little about the old mining operation. It’s located in Grafton, NH about halfway across the state. Grafton isn’t much of a town, a couple of houses, a church, and a gas station with a variety store. As we passed through town there was a crude wooden sign pointing the way to Ruggles Mine. This should have been my first indicator that this was not a major tourist attraction for southern New Hampshire. I pointed Winnie down the road in the direction the arrow pointed and saw this was going to be a narrow road, but at least it was paved. It was barely paved the further we went. It eventually turned to gravel and we began to hear the banjos playing again. We were committed because there was nowhere to turn around. As we made what turned out to be the last turn before the mine, the road actually turned to recently poured, smooth asphalt. They probably did that to give you traction on the hill up to the mine. It was about a 15% grade which is hellacious for a gas powered RV towing a car. I didn’t think I would make it to the top. Winnie was in low gear and I had the gas pedal to the floor and we were moving at about 10mph when we finally got to the top and rounded the bend to good old Ruggles. I parked old Winnie in the spot reserved for “campers” to let her rest for the return trip that I was dreading already. We went into the store where I politely told the person working behind the counter that they needed to warn people with motor homes and trailers that the road was not in the best of shape and that the hill was nearly impossible to climb. The young girl sympathized with me, but in a bright and cheerful voice said there are plenty of RV’s that visit the site. Our plan was to go in and hunt some rocks for a little while, but when I saw that it was $25/person to pick up rocks, I felt that was almost as steep as the hill to get to the place. Sue looked around the gift shop and found that most of the items were from another state or country, picked up a couple of rocks from the parking lot, and then headed back down the hill. It was almost as bad as going up. Because the road was so narrow, I had to ride the breaks much of the way even though I was in low gear, for fear of getting out of control as another vehicle was coming the other way. Fortunately we only passed 2 cars traveling in the other direction and made it to the bottom safely. So much for blind side trips.