Friday, September 23, 2011

Farewell, Vermont. Hello, Maine (and New Hampshire in passing)

This morning we woke to rain, a long, steady drizzle that would have soaked our laundry had I remembered to hang it out to dry last night. Sometimes these little oversights are just what we need to keep ourselves sane. So, yeah, our laundry was still sitting in the chug-chug soapy tub. We still had one pair of clean undies each, so we were good to carry on.

From Smuggler’s Notch, a nice, quiet campground in the woods, we continued up the mountain beyond Stowe and through the notch. The road narrows and winds and becomes incredibly steep for general vehicle use. If there was a warning sign, I missed it. So did the semi that blocked the road as he tried to back down after getting stuck somewhere ahead. A state trooper blocked the road below, informing us of the semi’s issue, then let us through when the big truck was off the road. We cruised right by the big rig, only to find ourselves with our own minor issue at what was likely the same turn where he found himself considering a new route. The issue involved a tight right-hand turn that was cambered and too steep for any vehicle towing anything at slow speed. We got hung up there, backed down (fortunately, there was no traffic there), then took the wide side of the turn which was flatter and passable.

Otherwise, the road was beautiful and the scenery wonderful. The boulders at the top of the notch were spectacular, though largely shrouded in the mist-like rain. I walked around for a few minutes to check them out, but the girls wanted to stay dry, and were enjoying listening to the last few chapters of “Little Women” ala Librivox.

We cruised down the north side of the pass then headed east on Highway 15 into Johnson, Vt. where we stopped for laundry and to pick up some maple goodies at the Butternut Farm outlet store. Mmmm! Then we pressed on east.

In a small town in the mountains of New Hampshire, V spotted a merry-go-round at a park near the police station. She was SO very excited that we doubled back so we could all get in a few spins and use some pent-up energy. V has asked on several occasions if we can move out of California so we can play on merry-go-rounds again, so this was a special find.

I had hoped to stop in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, but a bridge out at Glen in the heart of the range had traffic diverted north. We carried on through the unrelenting gray drizzle into Sebago Lake State Park, Maine well after dark and called it a night.

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