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Beverly Abbott – Trip to NH, Canada, NY and PA part 1

I recently had a fun vacation that was part research for future paintings and part family gathering. Our son flew down from Canada but because of an airline problem we picked him up at Dulles Airport instead of him flying down to the Norfolk airport. We spent the next two weeks together traveling north at a slow pace. We spent a couple of nights at the Nutmeg Inn in Meredith, NH. It is a lovely old home built in 1763 by the gentleman who invented the rotary printing press. The home is filled with antiques and fresh flowers that the owner grows in the gardens around the house. I spent a good bit of time photographing the antiques with special attention to the lighting. Later I enjoyed the gardens, photographing the many different types of flowers that were flourishing. I particularly paid special attention to the heritage roses as they are very different from the blossoms we are acquainted with. The petals are small and much more numerous and the fragrance can only be described as heavenly, deep, and rich. The old maple tree growing in front of the house and spreading it branches wide is 400 years old with a thick gnarled trunk that had many interesting textures I could not resist photographing.

leavesofautumnsquirrelWe drove around the local towns photographing anything that caught my fancy. Found a jewel of a town park and took many scenic photographs of the stream and wildflowers. We were looking for the family cemetery plot and found the more recent one dating from 1912 but never was able to locate the old one dating from the early 1800’s. We stopped by the lake at the bottom of Mt. Chocorua, which is a picturesque spot to photograph the mountain especially when the water is still and there is a good reflection of the mountain. Unfortunately it was windy that day and the water was ruffled. We waited so late to have dinner that night that all the normal restaurants had closed for the evening. We ended up eating in a biker bar. A first for me! Luckily it was almost empty and the food was good. Our next stop was to drive to North Conway, NH to visit The Flume Gorge at the Franconia Notch State Park. It is a deep gorge that the Pemigewasset River quickly gouges and tumbles its way through. Pemigewasset means swift current in the Abenaki Indian language. The flume was formed 200 million years and was first discovered by a 93 year old white woman in 1808 while out fishing. Brook trout and recently returning atlantic salmon can be found in the river. It was too late in the season for me to spot any fish. There are interesting rock formations and swirling water and I had a fine time making dynamic compositions with the camera.

We sped on through the Kancamagus Highway though the White Mountains as it was getting late. But I did have the fellows stop to take photo here and there. We have been enjoying good food but there is a meal I must make a comment about. We had dinner at Jonathan’s Seafood where I ordered salmon brûlée where the fish was covered with a mustard and sugar topping that was torched to give it a crusty, crunchy, sweet, and delicious flavor. My two Ira’s had Ipswich clams which they enjoyed. The next day we drove the length of the Kancamagus Highway from Lincoln to North Conway, NH. This was our only rainy morning of the vacation. Still I was able to take photographs of the scenery, a covered bridge over the Saco River and along Swift River. The Ira’s decided to tackle driving to the top of Mt. Washington. It is the third time we have made the trip on the “Road to the Sky”. The views are spectacular of the surrounding mountains on the way up. The top was socked in so bad it was like pea soup, and cold 53 degrees, and windy, and damp. One time we were up there and it was clear and 72 degrees but that is rare. The new cars are so efficient now that for the first time ever we had to pull off to let the brakes cool a bit, but this gave me the opportunity to take many more photographs of the stunted trees, rocks, and swiftly flowing streams. This evening we had dinner at the Lobster Trap in North Conway where I enjoyed lobster pie. This was mostly claw meat with buttered bread crumbs on top served in a casserole dish. Ira had a whole lobster and young Ira had a humongous Italian seafood platter. All was excellent.

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