New England 2010

What did we do

Thoughts of Autumn colour and donuts filled my mind as we landed at Boston to be bussed to Salem where we spent 2 nights. Sunday took some of us to Boston where we walked the Freedom Trail. Set up in the 30’s to encourage tourism it links historical sites and on this day the backdrop was a bike event attended by 5000 Monday took us north... Gloucester greeted us, scene of the George Clooney film ‘The Perfect Storm’ we passed the iconic fisherman statue but the highlight was the fabulous tiny diving museum. Tucked away memorabilia lined the walls and the curator was a hoot. The weather closed in as we entered Salem and a lobster supper was enjoyed by some.

Tuesday’s start was sunny which revealed Rockports glory; however the weather closed in again as we cycled through Ipswich’s historical streets. However some kept ahead of the weather and enjoyed Kennebunkport. An evening at a long bar working out baseball finished the day Along the 16 miles New Hampshire coast on Wednesday. Multiple State parks and lovely sea views. Portsmouth has an older side and some of us enjoyed the old houses at Strawberry Banke. A final dash to Dover and free food at the Inn Into the trees now as we turned inland towards Wolfeboro. I foolishly ordered the $1 side dish of ice cream with my apple dish and had enough to feed the group. Friday saw us heading further north to North Conway. The wettest day and it didn’t stop all day. Half the group did it as quickly as possible, the rest of us pottered along dodging the puddles No rain for a week said the weather channel, just in time for the Kancamangus Highway, one of America’s prettiest roads. Blueberry Pancakes fuelled us as we joined the weekend traffic up and over the pass with autumn colours all about us. A rest day at Lincoln, we were staying at the Red Sleigh Inn and the owners very kindly ferried us to first a cable car and then the gorge where we admired the waterfalls and chipmunks.

Two big climbs greeted us on Monday as we headed to Barre, however the weather was grand and we entered Vermont where some of the trees gave way to farmland Due south to Quechee, fuelled by Blueberry pie. We met Vermont Cycling on the way and the back up van was raided for souvenir cycle jerseys. Quechees claim to fame was a gorge. Pretty enough as coach after coach disgorged its contents for the 5 minute photo. A lovely back road took us to Woodstock and more coffee and covered bridges. Up and over a road lined in yellow, orange and red and a long lunch in a café. Ludlow finished the day where the owner had turned on the hot tub especially for us. The road too Brattleboro took us through two very pretty towns. Chester and Grafton were extremely scenic with their war memorials, white churches and the ever present foliage Friday took us through more farmland and we visited the old town of Deerfield. America has history from the 17th century and all is beautifully preserved. In Deerfield case, many houses are preserved as if trapped in time.

Fall and Halloween are big in the States, pumpkins are everywhere, but the pumpkin patch at Northfield was so over the top it deserved a detour and the huge inflatable cat was my favourite. More beautiful foliage and we ended the day (and started the next) in Peterborough Diner Under the gaze of Mount Monadnock, we headed east. Stripped bare by fire driving out the cougars in the last century, it was a magnet for walkers wanting a view rather than leaves. 10/10/10 was the date and in the Cathedral f the pines, four weddings and a baptism were lied up under the gaze of the mountain as it was a lucky day. The last day took us to Lexington, site of the start of the American Revolution but for us it was the end of a beautiful tour and for most in the group a taste of what America has to offer.