Hello again! Here we are, back for week two of our New England road trip. We logged 1,536 miles!
Here is a short video of the ride down Sugarloaf – hope this works!
Monday, Oct 13 – Maine to New Hamshire
Today we sadly said goodbye to Sugerloaf Resort; our favorite spot so far. The cashier at the local grocer told me we should have been here 2 weeks ago when the ‘reds’ were still out. She said every tree was like a flower. I thought that beautiful. In order to see those reds in the landscape, we decided to move on to New Hamshire.
On the drive we stopped at a lookout point in Rangeley ME that was several miles up a long, narrow, winding road. From the top you got a beautiful 360 degree view of the area. Wonderful! Here’s a video:
We continued our drive into New Hamshire. The leaves were dancing on the road; flying up at the windshield like snow. I’m sure the New Englanders love the autumn – how could they not? But they must not like to rake the leaves; it would be an never ending job!
Hunting Season is clearly in full force here! So strange to see big trucks with mounted rifles and a couple of guys walking roadside with guns resting on their shoulders. Everyone has an ATV too. Much of New England is an ATV area – how incredible that must be to drive through the fallen leaves!
And I noticed something else here too. Suddenly my fluorescent orange sweat shirt that meshed wonderfully with the fall colors, meant something totally different in the back roads of New Hampshire. It was hunting season and I was dressed, to my horror, like a hunter. Every man and his dog (yes they did!) had the same color on as me. Well, I knew at least I wasn’t going to get shot here! But I decided to switch my wardrobe for awhile just the same.
Tuesday, Oct 14 – New Hampshire to Vermont
On the road again! We are becoming expert packers.
We love to take our time on the drives, which are all short anyways – usually under 3 hours. Joe has been awesome driving and figuring out highway exits and entrances and shortcuts and freeways and sidestreets. He ROCKS! Today we stopped in a state park and went for a hike. Walking sticks were provided at the start of the trail ‘for your safety’. So beautiful in there! You can hear the wind blowing above the canopy followed by a snapping sound at the top of a tree. Then suddenly hundreds of leaves start falling at once; floating together to the ground like snowflakes – their job done. I tried to get a video of it but didn’t do it justice:
In some forests the pine needles do the same thing and you can feel them landing on your head and hitting your skin.
We stopped in the very artsy town of Brattleboro, Vermont and poked through a few antique shops. They had some very interesting pieces in these stores. The town was very cool; the waterfall in the middle was awesome. Lots of hippies here. Peace, love and groovy. We couldn’t find anywhere to stay so moved on to Bennington, VT.
We liked Vermont and there is still reds in the trees here! The foliage map is accurate! (There is a map online that tells you what stage the foliage (green, peek, fading, done, etc) for all of New England.)
Wednesday, Oct 15 – Vermont to Connetecut
(Happy Birthday Amy Thompson!)
After another lovely drive, we arrived in Hartford, CT. Our hotel is a 10 minute walk across a bridge into the downtown core. It was very quiet and very few people were around. Some interesting sites but clearly this is not a downtown where people live; very few restaurants and shopping.
Lincoln Meets Stowe sculpture
Tomorrow we will find something to do in the forecasted rain. Might be a movie day!
Thursday, Oct 16 – Hartford CT
Woke up to ‘rain, heavy at times’. (We heard that weather forecast in Vancouver for 30 years and still joke about it). So after our workout we went for a swim. Refreshing! Later we headed into town for lunch and a movie. Stumbled upon one of Joe’s favorite restaurants; PF Changs. He spotted it as we pulled into a parking spot at Red Robin – the only restaurant we could find in our search for the mall. PF’s was across the highway, in the mall – it was like a rainbow on a rainy day! Had a great lunch followed by the movie ‘The Gone Girl’, which we enjoyed.
Friday, Oct 17 – Westerly, RI
Before we left Hartford this morning we went around the Riverwalk for an hour. So enjoyable – great views of downtown from our hotel side. The sun was shining!
Got on the road and our first stop was in Salem, CT. It’s not THE Salem but we won’t tell you that. : )
Next stop was just outside of Salem; a hidden gem of colour:
Short drive and we are in Rhode Island! So quick to go from state to state. Just before our final destination for the day was a town on the map called MYSTIC. Could it be, we wondered, the Mystic as in the movie ‘Mystic Pizza’? I had just watched that movie in the last 6 months and realized, judging by the scenery, it was a pretty good possibility. As we drove into town, Joe spotted it right away! We didn’t go in, but photo op just the same!
Our final stay on this fantastic New England roadtrip was Westerly, Rhode Island. It is a quaint little town with a huge resort nestled in between beach houses. A long drive from the town. We thought our room was a steal at $89. We didn’t have an ocean view; that would have been sweet. The waves lapped at the shore and beach chairs lined the front of the hotel. We had a late lunch which consisted of fresh calimari and we shared a lobster roll. Lobster rolls are a New England favorite but we had not tried one until today, mostly because they are pricey. Today it was $22 – we shared it. Lots of lobster; very delicious. Not sure why supply and demand doesn’t play into fresh fish but you only live once! Lots good, huh?
We went for a walk on the beach – if was pretty windy but what beach walk isn’t? This area had been hit by hurricane Sandy in October of 2012 and still some of the properties were in disrepair:
The beach itself was beautiful:
And sorry, but a few classic sunset pics:
Saturday, Oct 18 Boston, MA
Back in Massachusetts where we began this leg. The license plates here look just like Alberta plates so it feels like we are back in Kelowna! Lol. Today was mostly driving but we did make a pit stop into Sandwich in Cape Cod. Another great area with beautiful landscapes.
The people have stronger accents here. A car is a ‘caa’ – too funny. Returned our ‘caa’ and checked into the airport hotel in Boston. Have to try and fit everything back into our suitcases again – no more using the trunk and no more cooler, snacks or supplies.
What We Learned / Observed In New England
We came at the perfect time of year, not only because of the incredible foliage, but also it was end of season. Several places were shutting their doors behind us and a few restaurants were already closed.
There is at least one, but usually several Dunkin Donuts in every town and city. However, we did see a few lowly Tim Horton’s too!
A police officer is on every construction site; patrolling traffic with his lights flashing.
The streets are poorly signed; if at all. We often travelled for miles on streets with no name. Or they suddenly become a different street. Makes it pretty difficult to figure out if you are going the right way. Joe complained about this issue a lot; rightfully so. Google Maps rocks.
Road kill is fascinating – skunk, possum, porcupine and a few unidentifiable creatures.
And lastly, they grossly false advertise the existence of moose throughout the region! Haha
Sunday, October 19 – Montreal, Canada!
Today we are heading back to Canada for 2 weeks – until then, keep smiling!
Paula and Joe