New England Vacation – Day 7
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Day 7 began with us looking for a place for breakfast in Littleton, New Hampshire.
We decided on a little restaurant downtown called The Coffee Pot, which reputedly has the best breakfast anywhere.
Harland had a full breakfast while I had one of their giant homemade muffins. We took our time eating and watching the locals come and go. When we travel, we always try to eat where the locals do so we can listen to the accents and enjoy the regional culture.
After breakfast, we traveled east and soon we slipped across the border into Maine, one of our favorite states.
Our first stop was a covered bridge named The Artist’s Bridge.
Built in 1872, it is called the Artist’s Bridge because of its reputation of being the most painted and photographed bridge in Maine. The bridge was closed to traffic in 1958 when a new bridge was built nearby.
The bridge is 87 feet long.
Here’s a peek over the railing looking down at the Sunday River:
And here’s Harland in his waterproof hiking boots:
By mid-morning, we were on the road again.
One of the things we really like about the northeast is all the roadside stands where passers-by can purchase anything from bundles of firewood to homegrown vegetables, all payable on the honor system. Our favorite stand on this trip was this one on Bear River Road north of Newry, Maine. which sold homemade baked goods, jams and jellies, and cut flowers.
We picked out 2 maple cream whoopie pies, and slipped our money into the slot on the moneybox hanging from the tree.
We hopped back into Black Beauty, and continued driving through the wooded countryside savoring our delicious homemade whoopie pies. By the way, whoopie pies must be a northeast thing as we don’t see them anywhere else on our travels and you can’t buy them where we live. If we want a whoopie pies at home, we make them ourselves.
After we finished our 2000 calorie snack, we found ourselves at Grafton Notch State Park.
Bear River bisects the park, and there are many waterfalls to explore.
Screw Auger Falls (pic below) within the park was impressive. Trouble is a lot of other people thought so too. It was very crowded.
Here’s Harland doing some plotting and scheming on his smartphone. He finally went downstream with his camera gear, while I tried upstream.
I found another waterfall, but it was crowded with people too. I did find this secluded spot on the river (below) where I relaxed for a few minutes in the shade of the trees listening to the river bubble over the rocks.
Finally we moved on down the road to another part of the park to an area known as Mother Walker Falls (below).
Here, it was quieter as there were less tourists about. In the pic below, and remains of an old stone bridge can be seen on the left and right of the river.
The water here was amber colored, like iced tea, and very cold.
Our next stop was a hidden find due east of Grafton Notch park on the Andover Road. There is a trail south of the road that follows Frye Creek and provides some fairyland views of the creek. I have to say this was one of my favorite stops of the trip.
With the lush green trees towering overhead, the cold creek meandering between the boulders, and the carpet of moss growing on the bank and rocks, it was a magical place.
We were reluctant to leave.
But it was lunchtime, or past lunchtime. It was 2pm, and even though we weren’t hungry from eating our 2000 calorie whoopie pie earlier in the morning, we stopped for lunch in Andover at the Little Red Hen Diner, a local hangout.
I had a bacon wrap with fresh tomato and lettuce on a basil tomato tortilla. I think Harland had a sandwich with sweet potato fries. Delish!
About eight miles north of Andover on Hwy 5, we turned left onto Covered Bridge road and there crossing the Ellis River is the Lovejoy Covered Bridge.
Here’s one end of the bridge,
and here’s the other end.
This bridge was built in 1868 and is 70 feet long.
There was no breeze of any kind, the river was still and the color of strong tea. It was a spooky place.
We continued to drive east for the rest of the afternoon until we were tired, so we found a hotel for the night. Don’t remember where we were exactly by then, but we had worked our way about a third of the way across the state.
UP NEXT: We continue east into the heart of Maine and by the end of the day we reach Lubec on the coast.