Tree roots and boulders.

Saturday 30th September

 

We’re still here, just in case you thought we had disappeared! The last few days have been quite quiet mainly filled with shopping! Not as blissful as it sounds girls…’cos we have to literally weigh things up. For example the very nice pans are too heavy, so we have to try to find decent ones that are lighter…why? I hear you say. Well given that the RV will do about 8-10 to the gallon (yes I know it’s very cheap but none the less) we aim to maximise fuel consumption by not loading the bus up too much. It’s strange, ask anyone here about their vehicle, any vehicle, and they will include its weight. There are restrictions as to how much you can tow behind too, these vary from state to state.

Thankfully the concept of touring on used oil has faded somewhat (it could actually work out more expensive!).

So back to the shopping, we have purchased a “comforter” and whilst that may conjure up visions of a dummy…or for our more broad minded friends maybe something a little more bizarre, sorry to disappoint it’s the equivalent of a duvet! Sounds cosier though doesn’t it?

We have pillows; hoses (don’t ask what they’re for!) various tools, yes Malc gets to buy MORE tools, some kitchen utensils, plastic of course and I managed to find spices in plastic jars too. Funny though we don’t seem to have crossed many things off our list yet.  Last evening we ate at the “Poor People’s Pub” in Sanbornville (not quite 2 hours away!)Appropriate now I think!

 

This morning we woke to find a beautiful day waiting for us, so we decided to do something we had wanted to do whilst here. We wanted to walk in the woods just like Bill Bryson. The Appalachian Trail meanders through the Mount Washington valley and the lure of just touching part of its 2160miles has been strong since reading Bill’s hilarious account of his journey from one end in Georgia to the other in Maine. What better time to be realising this dream than in the fall in New England?

The leaves have been turning by the day here and are every bit as spectacular as we expected, I never tire of gazing at the wonderful tapestry of greens, yellows, apricots, golds, browns and crimsons. “Autumn colours” just isn’t descriptive enough. It’s like Mother Nature is teasing us with a myriad of ever changing shades that come alive in the bright sunshine on a crisp day. Some are falling but most are waving to us, as if playing a glorious fanfare for the end of Summer. They hug the mountain sides rejoicing in their splendour.

So, with trail map in hand, suitable clothes, snacks and water we set off to follow the Webster Cliff trail. The lower stands of trees were enchanting as the sunlight filtered playfully through them. Tall slender and proud they reached for the brilliant blue sky high above us. Gleaming silver birches and pines with branches so high they seemed to be just poles around us. We followed the river Saco trail for a while but then doubled back and began to climb almost immediately. This part of the path is on the Presidents Range and we were climbing Mt. Jackson.

Huge granite rocks litter the trail and tree roots protrude at every turn. The direction of the path was easy to follow, but underfoot was difficult going, partly because we are out of practice and because the way was fairly steep, often punctuated with large fallen trees. We could hear the chipmunks chirruping in the woods but they are quick little critters and it wasn’t until we came back down that Malc finally got a picture of one. We climbed to about 2000’ almost 800’above our starting point, we were not totally alone. We passed perhaps three or four other couples and stopped to chat to a chap from Essex would you believe, he looked as hot and tired as us!

By this time it was about 3pm and although not dull, the clouds were beginning to roll in, we had not reached the first ledge at this point but given that we were tiring we made the sensible decision to retrace our steps – it was turning chilly too. The mountains in this area are notorious for rapidly changing weather patterns and since our adventures have hardly yet begun, we’d like to make sure we see those sunrises and sunsets we’ve dreamt about.

Meatloaf for dinner back at the Carons (a great home made recipe that we will be using ourselves on the road) and an early night after a long soak in the Jacuzzi – Fryeburg Fair tomorrow – watch this space…  

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