Day 25 of a Year Long Road Trip Along America’s Scenic Byways
The night at Elmore State Park was extremely windy. I wondered if the wind were ever strong enough that the pop-top on VANilla would fall down on me or if the van would just get blown over due to being so top heavy. Fortunately I survived the night and prepared for a day in New Hampshire.
Elmore State Park
We started the morning with an hour hike in our campgrounds at Elmore State Park. I wanted to get a good one in since yesterday was full of short stops only. First, we walked leash free around an interpretive trail through the woods and by the stream. The dogs bounced through the chilly morning air. Upon completing the loop, we took an out and back walk on Beaver Trail, again through the woods and across a few streams. Along the way, we passed remains of a work area that housed men enrolled in the Civilian Conservation Corp, a national work project during the Great Depression. The remains includes fireplaces as well as a water storage building.
Bath, New Hampshire
From Elmore State Park, I crossed the border into Bath, New Hampshire where I drove across one of the covered bridges that I’ve been photographing. I simply drove across, took a few pictures, and drove back. It was a quick stop, as I unfortunately timed my arrival with a tour bus. I suspect the locals appreciate the end of the tourist season so they can drive home without dodging picture happy pedestrians. But in the meantime, if you want a tour of fall foliage or hiking in the White Mountains, Get Your Guide provides a few options.
Littleton, New Hampshire
Continuing northeast, I next landed in Littleton, home to Chutters, which features the World’s Longest Candy Counter. Yes, it is in the Guinness Book of World Records. I grabbed a handful each of gummy coke bottles, cherry balls, chewy sprees and hot tamales. I also helped myself to a few pieces of Bazooka and a GIANT Pixie stick! While I have fond memories of my brothers (Bart and Ed) and me licking on giant jaw breakers and stuffing Big League Chew in our mouths like tobacco, I passed on the potential mess. Don’t worry, the dogs weren’t left out, they got some homemade peanut butter dog treats.
Littleton was quite busy this holiday weekend. In order to cross the 2 lane highway, you “stop, look, [and] wave” at the cross walk according to the block lettered paint on the side of the street.
Dry River Campgrounds
Given the holiday weekend, I continued east and looked for campground in the White Mountains early in the day. I found one of five remaining sites at Crawford Notch State Park’s Dry River Campgrounds. I selected my spot and to be extra sure it would be mine after I drove to Arethusa Falls, I set up my tent for the first time. Of course, a piece of paper attached to a post reserves the site, but it could easily disappear, so I wanted my spot to look used while VANilla was gone.
As mentioned, I drove to Arethusa Falls at the southern end of Crawford Notch State Park for another hike. The White Mountains host a plethora of trails, and this one is 2.8 miles roundtrip. The weather forecast called for mostly sunny with a slight chance of rain. Despite the cloudy skies, I hoped for decent weather. By the time I reached the trailhead, it was sprinkling.
Donning my pack with Reese’s, water, bear mace and a rain coat, I began the trek with my old mutts in tow. As expected we scrambled upward over large rocks and trees roots. Eventually, the path leveled out enough to capture the rain and create a boggy mess.
As we trounced through the mud, I met Ruth and Terry from Florida near Palm Beach. They were traveling around New England enjoying the foliage as well and will be in Maine around the same time I am. Who knows, maybe I’ll run into them again! Terry is a vet in Florida which is nice to know in case I need anything for Scout and Petey in the South.
Ruth is a physical therapist, and I needed her right then and there! My hip has been on fire from driving in the car all day long. I’m not sure what stretches to complete, not to mention, it’s not like I could even lie on the ground and do any during the last week unless I wanted a river to flow over me. But I digress. Soon we reached the falls which are the single longest drop in New England.
As I completed the hike, the rain just kept falling harder. I remained optimistic, clinged to the weather forecast (“only a chance of rain”, and ultimately never removed my raincoat from my pack. By the end of the trail, the dogs and I were soaked. Regardless, I still snapped a photo of the Frankenstein Cliffs at the end. They were enormous.
Going back to the camp at five while cold and wet was out of the question. As a result, I drove 8 miles down the road to Bart’s Deli in Bartlett, New Hampshire. After a Philly cheese steak sandwich and a decaf coffee, I’m luke warm! The deli has Wi-Fi, so I’m hanging here until it closes to finish blogging for the night. The cell service in the White Mountains has been virtually non-existent!
While I’m tired of being cold and wet, I enjoyed getting in a long day of hiking . I’m looking forward to a cozy, dry house the next two nights! ETB
Map of My Road Trip Across the USA
For a summary about my road trip across the USA, click HERE. For the interactive map, see the below link.
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Check out the photographic note cards and key chains at my shop. Each card has a travel story associated with it. 20% of proceeds are donated to charity.