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Old 09-25-2014, 06:29 PM   #1
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NH/VT Early Foliage Trip

Last week I was whining to my wife that we have only taken one short camping trip with the SMB this year, and because of school and other activities we aren't likely to have any more chance this year. "Why don't you go and do your own trip?," she said. Ok!

Wednesday afternoon I left the Philly area, headed for northern New Hampshire's White Mtns. I beat most of the rush hour traffic by taking the longer, but more scenic way up the NY Thruway and across Vermont. As I headed north the fall foliage began to progress nicely, although it's still nowhere near peak.

View of Vermont's Green Mtns, from near Bennington, Vt.



Bennington is home to Henning's Motor News, where they have a small gift shop inside an operating filling station. Check out the cool vintage flatbed truck out front.



I made it to near Concord, NH, before I decided to call it a night. I was going to park in the Walmart there, but found a small NH state boat launch area on a side road and parked there for the night. I don't think it was exactly legal, but I got there at 11:30 and left at 6:30 the next morning, so nobody bothered me. Enjoyed looking at the mist on the pond when I woke up. Even had a toilet house there!


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Old 09-25-2014, 06:40 PM   #2
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NH/VT Early Foliage Trip

Today started out right away with that quintessential symbol of New England: a covered bridge. A good way to start the day as I was heading back to the highway!


.


From Concord I jumped on I-93 north, and then cut across to see Lake Winnipesaukee. Supposedly Mitt Romney has a house here, but I guess he takes his breakfast somewhere other than the diner I was eating at!

From there I jammed north toward North Conway, pausing briefly to take a photo of a red floatplane against the changing leaves, as well as another lake view taken from a town park that was created from the old, disused former alignment of Rt. 16.


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Old 09-25-2014, 07:02 PM   #3
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NH/VT Early Foliage Trip

I had to be on a conference call for work at 11:00, so I rushed to get back to a good cell phone signal in North Conway. An hour later, freed from work obligations, I hit some of the many outdoor stores in North Conway, including an LL Bean outlet. There's also a cool outdoor consignment store (Int'l Mtn Equipment) in North Conway, with two floors of quality outdoor clothing and gear at reasonable prices. Picked up a Patagonia jacket for myself and a nice North Face down jacket for my wife (always good to bring home a present, right?). Stop by and check it out if you are in the area. I was talking with the owner and he said they stopped selling new outdoor clothes a year or so ago, because of people buying in the Internet. Says he's making more money now with the consignment model, and basically has no inventory costs.

After power shopping, I headed up the hill to Pinkham Notch, which sits at the base of Mount Washington.



The foliage is really looking nice at this higher altitude. The Appalachian Mtn Club has a facility here, with a small lodge, dining room, and coin op showers for people coming off the nearby trails (the Appalachian Trail crosses here). It's also a nice option for showers when boondocking in the van, and I'll take advantage of them tomorrow morning.



My plan was to do dispersed camping tonight on one of the dirt side roads in the White Mtn Natl Forest, but for some reason all my normal go-to roads are closed (gated) at the moment or now have prominent "no camping" signs.



So I'm stealth camping tonight in a parking lot, hoping to not get woken up at 3am by somebody with a flashlight. We'll see how it goes.

There are several NFS and state campgrounds in the area, but I'd rather not pay $25 for a basic site when I'm by myself. Free camping helps offset the extra fuel cost incurred by bringing the van, anyway. Dolly Copp CG, just down the road from Pinkham Notch, is purportedly one of the biggest NFS CGs in the entire country.

Despite "Moose Crossing" signs everywhere, I haven't seen one yet on this trip. Although I nearly hit a red fox on the road, and saw a turkey on the shoulder.



Tomorrow's activities include checking out a 15-mile rail trail by bike and maybe doing a short hike. Off to my stealthy van-bed now!
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Old 09-25-2014, 09:26 PM   #4
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Re: NH/VT Early Foliage Trip

Good trip report. New England fall color is hard to beat. I've seen one Fall in the Northeast and that was in
Maine 20+ years ago. I would love to see Vermont and New Hampshire in full color.

You need to get yourself a kayak. Paddling 'French Pond' in the morning with the mist would have been fun.

Thanks for sharing,

Mike
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Old 09-25-2014, 11:04 PM   #5
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Re: NH/VT Early Foliage Trip

Thanks for the report. I'd like to see some of that area one of these days provided I can find some dispersed camping and not forced into a regular campground. Just curious, were those signs saying "no camping" something new? I mean I'm seeing signs out here saying the same. I have friends in a few other states that have told me they're finding more and more no camping signs throughout their regions.
Nevertheless beautiful countryside you have there Brian.
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Old 09-25-2014, 11:05 PM   #6
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Re: NH/VT Early Foliage Trip

Very beautiful. Thanks for a great report. Always wonderful to see pictures of camping from back East.
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Old 09-25-2014, 11:36 PM   #7
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Re: NH/VT Early Foliage Trip



You have one cool wife.
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Old 09-26-2014, 07:58 AM   #8
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Re: NH/VT Early Foliage Trip

Nice!

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Old 09-26-2014, 10:26 AM   #9
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Re: NH/VT Early Foliage Trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by macmcintire
Very beautiful. Thanks for a great report. Always wonderful to see pictures of camping from back East.
^^^ all that. really makes me regret not alloting more time to explore that side of our nation when we went to geogria to get our van. i know it sounds funny, but im really drawn to the non pine forests i always see from the members on the other side of the rockies. so much color. i guess we always long for what we dont have huh?
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Old 09-26-2014, 05:12 PM   #10
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Re: NH/VT Early Foliage Trip

More to come! Doing it on my iPhone so it's kind of ponderous... Today's adventure: dead van battery in the ll bean parking lot, right after I bought a new kayak there (I took Mike's comment to heart to get a kayak. No paddle though :-)
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