Wednesday, September 17, 2008

New England Part 1

So this is Rachel, guest-blogging my account of our recent road trip through New England.

As we got on our way we discovered that Bill had forgotten his CDs and although I had brought mine, Bill did not seem overjoyed at the prospect of listening to Kate Bush and Yes the entire week. So we stopped at a bookstore and got two books on CD: one, a collection of stories told by survivors of the zombie wars; the other a Nelson DeMille book that started out pretty good and kind of went downhill, especially DeMille’s embarrassing attempts at describing sex scenes. You could practically hear the reader squirming when he got to the part where the characters’ “pubic areas touched.” We concluded that Nelson DeMille has a dull sex life, if any.

We spent the first couple days in New Hampshire and camped the first night. This was my first time camping in the pouring rain and I have to say it was not bad, all things considered, and my new tent stayed dry inside (thanks to Tony for the recommendation). The day was almost over by the time we had our site set up, but we took a short walk in the rain with our umbrellas:

We also checked out the Old Man of the mountain, which is this rock formation that used to look like the face of an old man. But a few years ago a storm demolished most of the face, so now people stop and look at the spot that used to look like an old man. We paid our respects.

I wasn’t up for cooking in the rain so the first dinner of the trip was pizza hut. While waiting in the parking lot for our pizza Bill kept busy by shaving off the remaining hair on his face—a small uneven mustache that made him look a little special—with the help of one of his side mirrors. It was a good move, although he got a few looks from the other pizza hut customers.

The first morning in NH we ate breakfast at the Sunny Day Diner and they seriously made the best chocolate chip pancakes I have ever had. They were kind of crispy on the outside, and not too fluffy… I could go on but I’ll stop now. Here’s a picture:

That day we spent the morning walking around in a really beautiful park, Flume Gorge. I will let the pictures speak for themselves:

Then we took a tram up one of the mountains and got out and walked around. It was kind of cold up there, despite the heat at sea-level, and the vegetation was noticeably different, it was quieter, fewer insects. We walked through an extremely fragrant forest of pine trees and there were occasional clearings that provided incredible views of the surrounding mountains. While we were walking, some clouds rolled in and the mountains disappeared in a haze that brought to mind “The Mist.”

That night we were ready for a nice, dry, quirky New England motel. We spotted this place, shown below, and were attracted by both the game room and by the assortment of geriatric biker types loitering in front of the entrance, smoking cigarettes and watching the lightening. A very nice man with lots of tattoos checked us in and showed us a picture of a bear that sometimes wandered through their parking lot. This was an exciting prospect, as I’ve never seen a bear and neither has Bill. [Incidentally, the other animal we were hoping to see was a moose, but despite much peering into dense foliage, we were not so fortunate as to spot either creature, although we did see a lot of chipmunks, a pair of eagles, some terrifyingly large spiders, and I saw some turtles.] The motel had a nice bed that would gyrate when fed quarters, but we saved our quarters for the game room. Bill kicked my ass at pinball and air hockey. The tattooed guy from the front desk came in and acted like he had some things to do in the game room, but it was pretty clear he was keeping an eye on us and making sure we didn’t mess up his stuff.


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