New England Vacation – Day 6
If you’d like to catch up, here are the earlier days of our vacation:
Early morning found us driving out of Newport, Vermont where we had stayed the previous night. We were headed south on Highway 5A when we came upon a lovely little lake in the early morning mist.
Lake Willoughby is a glacial lake with crystal clear water and a depth of over 300 feet. We stopped and took pics along its eastern shore. We heard a loon calling out across the lake. We LOVE the sound of loons – how magical.
Then we drove to the southern shore and stopped again.
Of course I had to dip my toes in:
The water was unbelievably clear and teeth-chattering cold.
We watched as a single white sailboat drift lazily back and forth on the opposite shore.
Like other lakes in the area, Lake Willoughby boasts its own sea monster with a less than awe-inspiring name of “Willy”.
A few miles further down the road brought us to the small town of Lyndon. Here we stopped to visit a couple covered bridges.
Miller’s Run covered bridge (above) has a covered walkway and was built in 1995 . An earlier bridge had stood here since 1878, but was destroyed in a storm in 1995 and had to be completely rebuilt.
The next bridge was Chamberlain Mill Bridge built in 1881. (below)
There used to be a mill here as well, but it is long since gone.
I love the sound of my feet walking on the wooden floor of a covered bridge.
Peering over the edge of the bridge (below) reveals Branch Brook racing along over the rocks.
After lingering on the bridge for a while, we drove further east into New Hampshire.
Located in the White Mountain National Forest, is the 110+ year old resort hotel, the Omni Mount Washington Resort. We just had to stop and take a look. Considered one of the grandest luxury hotels when it was built in 1902, it catered to wealthy guests from Boston, New York, and Philadelphia. It was built by 250 Italian craftsman over the course of two years and had it’s grand opening in 1902 boasting a staff of 350. Must have been a boon to the local unemployment numbers.
Today, it’s one of the last surviving grand resort hotels in New Hampshire. It has 200 rooms, a 25,000 sq ft spa, and its own private telephone system and post office.
I’ve never stayed here, (yikes! expensive) but I have been here before in the late 1980s on a trip with my Aunt and Uncle. Couldn’t afford it then either, but we stopped to take pics too.
Here’s what it looked like in 1905, only three years after it was built:
Next, we did some mountain climbing, in the car of course.
We drove to the top of the tallest mountain (6,288 feet) in the northeastern United States, Mt. Washington.
It was a long drive to the top because the road is very narrow with a mountain dropping away on one side, and rocks jutting out trying to grab the car on the other side. Harland drove. I cringed, especially when we met another car driving the other way hogging the middle of the road.
It was a little anti-climactic as it turned out because as we reached the top we drove into a thick fog.
Mt. Washington is known for some really wild weather including a record wind gust of 231 mph.
This fact provided plenty of scope for the imagination for Harland.
Never seen a building chained to the ground. Is it possible they get even more wind than we do in Kansas?
Anyway, after getting the requisite pics of Harland, we started back down the mountain.
Here’s a short video of part of the trip down. We had to stop often to allow our brakes to cool.
Partway down the mountain, were able to see a great view of the rest of the Presidential Range.
Finally we made it all the way down, and continued along our journey.
Our next and last stop for the day was Rocky Gorge on the Swift River just off Highway 112, also known as the Kancamagus Highway. The waterfall here on the river had a drop of about 12 feet.
A bridge near the falls provides the perfect vantage point to take in the view:
Here’s a video to enjoy:
We stood on the bridge taking pics and video until the sun set and the bugs began to chase us around eager for our Kansas blood. We packed up our gear, got hastily back to the car, and headed down the road.
We found a hotel nearby where we slept soundly from our day’s journey.
Up Next: More New Hampshire where we see Covered bridges, Baked goods (whoopie pies!!) for sale by the side of the road, and much more. Later in the day we cross the border into Maine.
I’ve had fun watching two Kansans exploring and photographing in my neck of the woods!! We hail from coastal Massachusetts. Each foliage season we head north and explore many of the same roads you travelled. Can’t wait for your take on Maine which is a favorite of mine.
You’ve made me want to pack my bags right now.
Thanks for your view of things.
That’s a lovely little waterfall! Too bad you couldn’t stay in that beautiful resort! That would’ve been fun. I’m really enjoying your trip, since I’ve never been that far east…
Suzanne I hope you had lobster in Maine! I had lobster and blueberry pie in Maine, what an amazing meal! Your photos are beautiful and the water is very cold! I am enjoying your vacation guys, did you go up to Canada…only a stones throw away from Maine. Thanksa
Love the waterfall video!
OMGosh Suzanne! You have way more nerve than I possess. I’d have gotten out of the car and walked that road….or asked to be tranquilized!! Beautiful pictures and wonderful vacation.
I was exhausted by the time we reached the bottom. Vacations shouldn’t give a person gray hair. 🙂
Suzanne, I am vicariously enjoying the pictures of your New England trip!
I was in Vermont and New Hampshire several years ago in the fall, which was spectacular! I just loved it!
I stopped in awe at the majesty and size of the Mount Washington resort!
Looked around, checked the prices, and said, no way could I stay there!
But it was beautiful and fun to look around. I wonder what the rooms are like there? I remember it being really awesome just to see the hotel and mountains around it!
Thank you for the video of the drive down from Mt. Washington. I could never have driven that for sure! I found most of the roads I was on in Vermont and New Hampshire were just fine, but I hate really twisty turny mountain roads, especially when another car is passing by! Even the mountains in Virginia scared me big time to drive on! But those in Vermont and NH generally were a joy to drive on!
The Kancamagus highway was really pretty in the fall, but since I was by myself, I didn’t get out of the car to hike around the falls, etc.
I really wanted too, and there were lots of people doing that!
Thanks for the video!
I can’t remember why they built covered bridges……?
Did you find that out? Whatever, they are really cool, and I hope that they keep them structurally sound, so they don’t go the way of so many wonderful things in our history!
According to Wikipedia, “The purpose of the covering is to protect the wooden structural members from the weather. Uncovered wooden bridges have a life span of only 10 to 15 years because of the effects of rain and sun.”