Saturday, October 8, 2016

White Mountains, New Hampshire

Thursday, September 29 - Monday, October 3, 2016
North Woodstock, New Hampshire

Country Bumpkins Campground is a snug little park in the trees in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. FHUs with 30 amp and cable. Level dirt sites. Park Internet doesn't work for us, but our cell phones have coverage so we're once again connected.

While the trees are colorful here as well, within a few miles of the state border we start seeing dead grass and dry brush. It's the first sign we've seen of the eastern drought since the dry creeks in New York.

Several months ago I saved an article on covered bridges and waterfalls in the area so Friday we head out to see what we can see.

The first stop is The Basin in Franconia Notch State Park. The trail wanders through the forest, along the Pemigewasset River. Although the water is low, it sounds like a rushing river - especially when we find the 15-foot-deep Basin. The crystal clear pool and smooth rock walls are beautiful, but the sideways waterfall steals the show.

Pemmigewasset River

On Thoreau's first visit he called this ".....perhaps the most remarkable curiosity of it's kind in New England."
You can't have it - it's my rock!!
We find the first bridge in Jackson - and we get to drive through it!! Known as the Honeymoon Bridge, this single lane structure spans the Ellis River. Built by Charles Broughton and his son Frank in 1876, the sidewalk was added to safely allow for foot traffic in 1930. For years it has become tradition to have wedding photos taken at the bridge, thus the Honeymoon moniker.

Here we go!
Love the paddleford arches
Down the highway several miles we find another bridge crossing the Saco River in Conway. Also built by Charles and Frank Broughton in 1890, it replaced the original bridge that was destroyed twice - once in a flood, then by fire. 

I get ridiculously excited getting to drive through these.
Very similar to the first one. Just as beautiful.

The drive through Crawford Notch is spectacular. High mountains on both sides, lush forests, rock formations, dry waterfalls. It is a beautiful drive.

Here the mountains are speckled in the distance with rescue teams training on the rock to the left.
Around the corner the colors explode.
Silver Cascade just a trickle today
Loving New England
Saturday morning we enjoy breakfast at the Sunny Day Diner down the street. They only take cash so we walk to the ATM at the trading post and train station - where I'm disgusted by the live bear show they have. I can't believe these places are still allowed, and that people take their children to see them. Horrible.

Cute little diner with tasty vittles. Really good coffee.
The rest of the day we run errands, including a trip to Plymouth to pick up a new phone for Bill's mom. While there we find another covered bridge. I'm surprised to see 2001 as the date. 

Originally built in 1788, then rebuilt for $2700 in 1850, it was destroyed by arson in 1993. The new bridge cost $3.3M, was dedicated in 2001, and can hold the same loads as interstate highway bridges.
Spans the Saco River
Wonderful puzzle pieces.
Although she recently moved to another floor in the same location, Bill and his cousin have discussed moving his mom to be near more family. When we get home he starts working on making that happen. 

Tessa and I wander around the campground, appreciating the rapidly changing trees.

Adding our own color
Waiting for the big one, and in this case, the water.
Monday we move to southern New Hampshire. 


  1. Such a beautiful post Jodee. I am enjoying the north east through your lens.

    1. Thanks!!! I want to stop every mile and take more pics, and they still don't capture the reality of the colors.

  2. What a lovely time to visit this area! Mango Tango really fits with all the fall colors:) Love the wrap around fall in Franconia Notch! It is a beautiful place. The colors should really be popping with the cooler evenings that are finally here. Clever idea with canoe and fisherman!

    1. Funny how well the Jeep matches the prettiest orange trees! That fisherman caught Bill off guard every evening :-))))

  3. We really must figure out how to stay in New England for the fall color. I just love your pictures. I am surprised you aren't having any trouble getting campgrounds or did you have reservations? Waterfalls and covered bridges get 5 hearts from me. Amazing that they rebuilt the "new" bridge to interstate highway standards after 8 years. Wonder what folks did to get across until then. Very neat! Love your caption on the tree grabs rock picture. We see a lot of them and they always make me laugh. Tree hugs rock, we hug tree. Since we nearly always stay in public rather than private parks, Franconia Notch SP was on our list although pretty sure there are no hookups or water. Thanks for an alternative near by. And thanks SO much for these gorgeous pictures of fall's blazing colors which have not hit the Blue Ridge yet.

    1. I'm glad to hear the Blue Ridge is waiting for us to get further south :-) We haven't had advance reservations since we left New York. I've been making them about 2-4 days before we get to the next area and haven't had any problem until this weekend (Massachusetts). We ended up in an overflow area with limited electric and water, but so far it's been just fine. I wondered about the lack of bridge myself :-))

  4. Very nice pictures. I love the bridges too. Can hardly wait to see new pictures next week. The colors should even be more brilliant. Gorgeous.

    1. It's amazing to watch the rapid progression each week - they just keep getting more spectacular!

  5. Oh, how gorgeous! Your photos of the fall colors are wonderful—and that sideways waterfall is so cool! The covered bridges really add to the New England charm. So glad you're there at the perfect time—it's such a magical time in New England, and passes so quickly.

    1. I can tell it will pass quickly as some of the early color is already on the ground! We're really happy to be here this time of year and keeping our fingers crossed that the perfect weather continues long enough to get us south :-)

  6. Wild waterfall and crazy tree. Fun bridges to drive through and beyond to all those brilliantly colored hillsides.