Julie and I slept here. The other bedroom had a king size bed and a jet tub to go with it. We thought we would be so smart and move the twin beds together in our room. NOT! They were bolted to the wall!
A view of the back of our place. We were in the unit with the two windows and doors on the bottom floor on the end (over Ann's right shoulder). You might be able to tell from the picture that we had a picnic table and a a couple of BBQ grills to use out the back door. Did I mention they had pool, hot tub tennis, golf, etc. Armond and I swam in the pool one night.
Chrysanthemums, corn stalks, pumpkins and hay outside the registration office.
Steele Hill is located near Lake Winnisquam. We love this picture of a little stream and a pond that feeds into the lake.
One of the "inhabited" islands. Looks romantic, eh? Well, we figured that it's is no small undertaking to live on an island. Consider no water, no electricity, no bridge to get there, no garbage service (haul it in, haul it out). How about sewer service? Ya gotta have a boat and a boat dock on the island and a place to launch it on the mainland. How about building your house on the island? Transport all building materials to the island. Mix your own concrete on site (no ready-mix trucks possible). Electricity? A generator and fuel to run it. Drinking water? A water purification system... Need I go further?
Governor's Island is the largest island and is the only one that has a bridge from the mainland. So large houses and resorts like this one are possible.
At the far eastern end of the Lake is a town called Wolfeboro; a quaint New England village
Look for the multicolored leaf earrings in this picture. Souvenirs from the boat trip. By the way, notice Julie's hat. It's the one she bought in Carmel (see the previous blog entry). She made interchangeable bands to add variety.
Coming in to Wolfeboro
An island with an observation tower that looks like a lighthouse.
New England Lobster Roll
The two in this picture described themselves as "A couple of crabs dressed up as lobsters."
Lots of flowers at Weirs beach. The wildlife loves them, too. Check out details of the next two photos by making them larger.
In spite of being early in the season, some trees jumped the gun for color.
We had to double back slightly on our trip back to Steele Hill so we could get this picture. So pretty.
After waiting for the train, we finally saw (and heard) it coming.
Click here for a video I took of its arrival.
But, ya know what? They unhooked the steam engine form the train and put on a more modern diesel engine. Oh, well, we took the ride anyway. These were really old cars, the kind that had reversible seats. Just pull on the seat back. I remembered these from when I was a kid growing up in Philadelphia on the Pennsylvania Railroad commuter trains.
Even though the rain was coming down, the scenery was still fantastic.
At the far end of the line, the engineer did what's called a "run around." He pulled off on a siding. The engine was unhooked, went back down the mainline to the other end of the train, switched back to the siding and re-coupled to pull us back to North Conway. Oh, the rain, the rain!
North Conway has a number of attractions for tourists. One is a "General Store" with lots of antiques on display. One item was this old wringer washer like my mom used to use when I was growing up.
An old soda fountain was recreated in the back of the store. This is much like the one my sister and I used to go to when we lived in Philadelphia to buy delicious chocolate malts. In fact, she actually worked in one of these as as a "soda jerk" when she was in high school.
Let me interject an interesting part of our travels here. We thought we had arranged a stay at Steele Hill Resort for 4 nights. Something in the back of my mind kept telling me to check with the registration office. So as we were headed out after the third night on another adventure we stopped at the front desk. They confirmed that we were scheduled to check out that very morning(!!) and there were no other rooms available for that night. Oops! After a consultation with "the committee" we talked through our options. We called ahead to our next stop (Pond Ridge Motel in Woodstock, VT). Yes, they could accommodate us in their only double room "suite" a day earlier that we had planned. What a relief! Otherwise we would have been homeless. OK, we quickly went back to our room at Steele Hill, packed up in a hurry and left it for good.
I liked this pitchfork (or is it a pickle fork?) tree off in the distance. Very unique.
As you come into Woodstock right along the Ottauquechee River we saw this old barn behind a music teachers house. He had converted it into a used book store. We had to stop and browse. Two stories worth and crammed to the rafters.
Even a few chairs to sit in and read a book. The equivalent of a small-town Barnes and Noble.
Beautiful flowers in downtown Woodstock.
Whose are these kids anyway? They never seemed to move.
Just along the main street in front of a store.
Lots of shops. One of them was the Mountain Creamery. We ate ice cream there one afternoon and breakfast the next morning. Very delicious.
Shop signs everywhere.
We took off one evening into the back country around Woodstock and found these very picturesque views on Lime Pond Road.
What's a gazebo doing out in the middle of a horse pasture?
We wanted to go visit the famous Sugarbush Farm just out of Woodstock we had heard so much about. We planned it toward the end of the day, remembering that it closed at 5:00 pm. There were so many roads closed and bridge washouts due to "Irene" that it took a long time to finally get there. By time we arrived it was 5:30 but we thought we would just go anyway and drive around it so we could say we were there. Whaddaya know? There was a lady just walking away from it. "We're closed." Yeah, we know we are late but we just want to come see it anyway. "I'll open back up for you if you want." So here is Betsy giving us a personal tour and letting us sample the various grades of maple syrup and the cheeses. She said the "kitchen" we were standing in was the kitchen she grew up with when she lived there as a child. She probably knew it was worth her while to let us sample some of her products. We bought some real maple syrup and some very delicious cheese to take with us.
She was so very nice to us. As we were leaving she asked if we knew our way back due to the various washouts and closed roads. She offered to let us follow her to her house and from there it would be easy going. We bounced along some old dirt roads for a while. After getting to her place, she waved us on to the right road and the way back to Woodstock. Very accommodating, she was. We found most New Englanders were that way.
During the rain we saw some "waterfalls". They were more spectacular in person than in this picture but I wanted to show that we were there (with umbrellas, of course).
I wonder if the horse knew he had such spectacular surroundings.
Rock walls, everywhere. Well, they had to do something with the rocks after they plowed their fields.
Chrysanthemums in a canoe? Well, why not?
The Shedd-Porter Library in Alstead, New Hampshire
Constructed in 1910, the Shedd-Porter Memorial Library has been an impressive focal point in "downtown" Alstead. Designed in the neoclassical style by Boston, MA architectural firm McLean & Wright, it is considered to be one of the most impressive library buildings in New Hampshire. Following a floor plan typical of other small library buildings of its time, it is constructed of choice materials and is marked by unusually sophisticated detailing and fine workmanship.
Like many libraries of the early twentieth century, the Shedd-Porter Memorial Library was donated to the town. Alstead natives John Graves Shedd and Mary Roenna Porter Shedd funded its construction in memory of their parents. Upon its completion, John Graves Shedd purchased and donated 2,000 new books. Today, the library contains 14,500 volumesCheck out this view of the dome from inside.
and the main desk and marble columns.
Hanover, New Hampshire
One of the famous medical school buildings. See the next section on Sharon Vermont regarding the Dartmouth Medical School.
An old chapel on campus. Interesting architecture.
Sharon, Vermont - Birthplace of Joseph Smith
Our first stop was at the LDS Chapel located on the property. We timed it to arrive for the Sunday morning session of October General Conference (12 o'clock in Vermont). Here we are 3,000 miles across the country and is was if we were right at home. Instant friends greeted us and we felt the same spirit we feel in any of our buildings. This could happen at any of our chapels throughout the world. We absolutely love being members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
After the morning session of conference we went to the visitors center; right close by. Notice the umbrellas. Sprinkling just enough to get good and wet.
One of the interesting things we learned here was that when Joseph Smith had the operation on his leg as a young boy, it took place when the family lived in Norwich, Vermont. We had just visited Norwich that morning on our way to Hanover. In fact they are no more than a couple miles apart, across the Connecticut River which serves as the border between VT and NH. Dr. Nathan Smith from Dartmouth Medical School (no relation to the J. Smith's) was initially the only member of the Dartmouth Medical School faculty. He taught anatomy, chemistry, surgery, and clinical medicine. He essentially served as dean and treasurer of the medical school, also. He emphasized experience rather than theory, and he largely eschewed bleeding and purging, favoring support of the body's own healing powers and attentiveness to the patient's comfort. Using these principles, he was a consultant on the child Joseph Smith, the future Mormon prophet, saving his leg from amputation. How fortuitous the Smith's lived so close to Hanover at the time.
We had packed our lunch and ate it in the cultural hall of the chapel on the grounds. Not fancy but filling.
It was originally built with donations for the various boxes that families could sponsor; the more expensive ones toward the front ($500) and least in the back ($200). Their teenagers weren't impressed with sitting as families so they sat in the balconies. Girls on the left and boys on the right. The girls carved the initials of their boyfriends on the railing around the edge; still visible today.
Outside the church is an extensive graveyard; just a small part shown here
One of my favorite views as we drove from Bennington to Exeter, New Hampshire.
When president Goerge H.W. Bush wanted to get away for a vacation, he went to his house at Walker Point. Both the US and Texas state flag fly here. What a view!
You can tell by the refection in the street and the flag waving that it was wet and windy.
Gotta do the obligatory stop in the gift shop for postcards.
Kennebunkport Lighthouse. 1/2 mile off the coast, so no tours.
The famous Nubble Lighthouse (200 yards off the coast) near Cape Neddick. Very spectacular in person. There's a couple of park benches on the mainland where you can sit on a clear day and contemplate the vastness of the Atlantic Ocean. Perhaps if you concentrated in an eastward direction long enough you could make out England on the far side.
So here is the special. We figured if we were going to come this far we'd better for for the whole package. We may not pass this way again.
Sea Food Chowder.
Cornbread muffin. Wasn't on the list but it came with the meal anyway. Delicious
The Lobster Pie and other items to round out the main course.
For dessert, I got blueberry pie and Julie got apple crisp with ice cream. These were no small portions either, Kinda like a deep-dish pie and rich vanilla ice cream over apple crisp. Heavenly!
No, we couldn't stuff it all in so we had 'em box it for eating later. Yeah! Ice cream in the box. It melted but it was still terrific.
So here it is for one last look. Armond had to get a cheeseburger. The owner's son at the store window said it was his mother's shop and the hamburgers were voted best in the state. Maybe so but the lobster rolls were out of this world.
2. Pumpkins everywhere. Anywhere from just one, as in this picture, to wagons full of them in the front yard or on all their front door steps. We figure they must never walk up their front steps as they'll never get past the threshold due to all the pumpkins and gourds.
3. Gazebos. This one was at the Pond Ridge Motel in Woodstock where we stayed. The weirdest location where we saw one was in the middle of a horse pasture (pictured earlier). Never did figure that one out.
4. Cemeteries. Every town had at least one cemetery. But then we figured that people have been dying there since the late 1600's so that's a lot of bodies to put somewhere.
5. Rock walls. This one has been around for a while and not well maintained. We have pictures of some better ones above.
6. Stacks of wood. These people spend a lot of time stacking wood. Some examples.
Here is one in the side yard and on the front porch. (It must get really cold in his neck of the woods.)
The next picture is a close up of the previous one. This family can almost get out to the front door. Which brings us to the next item...
9. Dunkin' Donuts. Every town as at least one franchise of Dunkin' Donuts. We saw them everywhere and even stopped at one at Armond's insistence. We used to have one in San Jose not too far from us but it didn't make it. It is now Sunny Donuts. By the way, we planned this picture to get our rental car in it so we could remember that we are tourists on vacation.
Time to end this blog entry. As we leave you after the great vacation tour I am reminded of the closing words of former radio commentator Lowell Thomas: "So long for now."