Monday, August 20, 2012

Day 9 - Gorham, NH to...Gorham, NH!

Bucket list item checked off, where were we headed new? No clue. I wanted to be headed towards the next adventure. Oilburner was tired of the pace and wanted a down day. What? A down day?!?! You want to stay another night at the worst, crappiest hotel of the entire trip (so far...) for another day? Why couldn't we have done that someplace nice with things to do like Camden or Portland? Why here, with nothing, and the most uncomfortable room? It's beyond me. But I gave it to him. After all...he is an old man and needs his rest. ;)

We at breakfast in the dining room, watching the activities on the goof golf course across the street as they prepared for some sort of tournament. The Dr. Seuss hats and streamers piled on the golf cart cheerleaders was a dead giveaway.

In the lobby, making arrangements to stay another night, the desk clerk revealed that she also rode. She pointed us up the road to a loop that would take us through some scenic areas. Her exact words "Go up Rte 2, turn left on the street after the rock house. It's a fun road. It'll take you into Bethel. Go north on 26 and it connects to 16 and come back down." She described it as a great 100 mile loop that should take about 3 hours. Sounded good to me. (Oilburner seemed to not hear anything after turn left and thought we were just going 10 miles down the road and coming back.) The other woman working the desk chimed in to warn us about one sharp left corner. They both laughed remembering it. The husband of the second lady took her on it when she was past her due date to try and scare the baby out. It didn't work.

We made short work of finding the road and promptly stopped to photograph the dam and hydro station. It was originally built in 1906 to supply, in part, electric power for the streetcars operating between Berlin and Gorham. I can't tell you where the power goes now since someone broke the sign.

I've never seen birds "lay" on a wire.  Kinda neat.
Portion of the dam on the right is made of wood.  Seems to be ok with the pressure.

From there the road meandered about and took us past houses and forests. Most of the houses were nicely maintained and clean. There was some farmland, lots of trees. We stopped for the bridge and an action shot!

Sometime on this road we crossed back into Maine. (Sheesh. I thought we left that place behind us!) I guess they only put the "Welcome to ...." signs up on the big roads. ;-)

We bypassed actually entering Bethel, ME and headed up Rte 26. It was a nice little road. Quite a few frost heaves though. So we kept the pace down, and just looked around at the mountains.

Since we are back in Maine, I had been hoping to stumble across a blueberry pie. We had been told they were in season, blueberries not pies. And we had seen numerous people along the sides of roads out picking wild blueberries. So when I saw the fresh pie stand I forced us to go back and look at the offerings.

No luck on the blueberry pie, but they had fresh apple, crust topped or crumbles. We debated, hemmed and hawed and settled on the Dutch Apple pie. Luckily we were able to pack it into my saddlebag and surround it with jackets to prevent sliding.

We entered Grafton Notch State Park. And just fell in love with the scenery. I mean, there isn't much built up around here, but Grafton Notch just appeared untouched. And their signage was on rough log posts and just looked rugged. We stopped at Screw Auger Falls to lunch on the subway sandwich we had picked up at the start of the day. The area was in heavy use, all the picnic benches were taken. People were even using the grill stands! We don't see that in our area too often. So we squatted on a bench along the path and enjoyed the sound of the water, or the sound of the kids yelling about the cold temps of the water. Hey, I was just happy to see kids out in nature, playing without the aid of electronic gadgets.

View from our lunch bench.  Soothing.
We also noticed that about half the vehicles had plates from Canada. Ontario was well represented, with a few from Quebec thrown in.

As a side note, we were amused to see most tourist signs and even our "Climbed Mt. Washington" stickers dual written in English and French. Yes, yes, before you write in, I know Quebec is French. But we come from the South, both East and West, and we are accustomed to seeing English and Spanish. We aren't judging, just had fun noticing.

We worked our way north, back into New Hampshire, and passed Umbagog State Park. I thought we should have stopped. I liked the name. :-) However, we did take a quick break in Errol, NH to stroll a few feet along the river. I'd love to take a canoe or kayak to this area.

Just look at that sky!!
Starting south back towards Gorham, the road travels with the river. It was beautiful just meandering along the curves, scouting the water for moose (no luck), and just soaking up the calm atmosphere. We did finally get to Berlin (a few days late...hehe). We only needed to stop at a Rite Aid for a few provisions. Otherwise we were so close to the hotel that we just headed home.

Oilburner says this reminds him of Stone Mountain here in Atlanta.  (I'll try to post a picture of it later.)
In all it was a lovely 100 mile ride that took us about 5 hours, just taking our time. Lovely, lovely day.

We made a small dent in the pie that night. Unfortunately it seemed to be lacking some spice. It was rather bland and we decided not to try bringing it with us the next day.

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Addendum:  We stayed at the Town and Country Inn and Resort.  It has some great reviews online.  There are a couple less than stellar ones.  And I have to agree with those.  Some of the rooms may have been fantastic, but ours was not.  The room was stuffy and moldy smelling.  It was not spacious.  There were cobwebs in the corners.  The bathroom fixtures (toilet paper roll and towel rods) were coming out of the tile.  I will say that the air condition was good, but the unit itself needed some upkeep.  The front desk staff was wonderful.  The server for our first breakfast was great.  The second day had us waited on by young men that weren't that attentive.  Try at your own risk.


  1. "goof course" Typo or not?

    It looks like a great area. I haven't been to New England for over thirty years and really want to head back there sometime. I really like the yellow flower photo.

    Too bad the pie didn't turn out very well. Amazing since apple is one of the most basic pies. Maybe they didn't add cheddar cheese (Yummm!).

    1. is a typo...but possible Freudian slip? ;)

      I would highly recommend the trip. This is only my third time and I love the place. Would move there in a heartbeat...if there wasn't 9 months of winter. Hehe. Actually..we have only been in the summer. It would be nice to experience a few more months/seasons.

      I love cinnamon, so I think the cinnamon was severely lacking. Though even a regular connoisseur would think it was missing. I still have never tried apple pie and cheddar cheese. Guess I might have to try that soon..l

    2. Just sprinkle a pile on the inside before the top crust. It is a wonderful combination...

      I know several folks that ended up retiring there because they were looking for seasons. Alaska only has two and that was apparently insufficient. One of these years I'll get there again....

  2. Richard:

    I think Lori did mean "Goof Course", goofy characters


    why didn't you stay another day in Maine with Mike & Tom, instead of that crappy hotel where you had that crappy pie. I bought an apple crumple pie and it isn't very good either, I am going to toss it out, but my raisin tarts are delicious.

    I like blueberry pies too, with whipping cream

    Riding the Wet Coast
    My Flickr // My YouTube

    1. Well...staying another day in Portland was also on my mind. The sticking point was the perfect weather for Mt Washington, the intervening day in Camden, and the lack of lodging. Our carriage house was completely booked. So we didn't really have much say. In addition, Mike and Tom were nice enough to make time for us, but their schedules can be pretty packed.

      And the crappy hotel and crappy pie were mutually exclusive. We didn't get the pie from the hotel. I cant tell you when the last time I had blueberry pie was...and you can have all the whipped cream...

      I've already warned Mike and Tom, and am threatening returns and time hogging, :)

  3. Is oil burner a Man or a mouse! Sort him out.. mum and dad play "goof"..this will make them laugh.

    1. Umm...squeak, squeak?? hehehe. I might get hurt for that one. But since he scratched my bike tonight I'm risking it. ;)


  4. Notches and birds on the wire - reminds me of a Hitchcock film...

    1. Wouldn't you rather attempt to equate it with Goldie Hahn and Kurt Russell in "Birds on a Wire"? ;) Just a suggestion.

  5. Your talk of blueberries made my mouth water! Nice bridge picture!

    1. your mention of blueberries is getting me going. But they are sour here!!

  6. Beemer girl - you've gotta get to NovaScotia for wild blueberries. Just stop and pick 'em and eat 'em right from the ditch (no time for pies) but I'm with Richard - "An apple pie without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze!"
    Your photos have just solidified it for me - I'm heading east (again) next summer. I miss the east. I remember camping near Mt.Washington, sitting in front of the tent, waiting....waiting for a moose. Didn't see one regardless of the signs claiming 485 people were killed by moose to date.

    1. show me the blueberries and I will try them fresh. :) I considered stopping to pick fresh, but don't know what they look like...and am horribly afraid of ticks.

      As far as going east next year for you...TAKE ME WITH YOU!!!! LOL. I could spend all summer there. Do you not consider yourself in the "East"?

  7. Very cool dam. I love waterworks. I have a fear of water, so it's kind of a twisted attraction that I'm drawn to dams, locks and such. The water and the hidden tunnels/channels ... It fascinates me and freaks me out at the same time. It also looks like a great spot to kayak.

    The perfect lunch: Good food (prepared by someone else), enjoyed in a lovely outdoor setting, preferably far from crowds, but hey, sounds like you carved out your little nitch amongst all the hoards. Agreed it is good to see kids outdoors and unleashed from the electronics!

    1. Hmmm...I love water...but really only if I can see through it. I am not good with rocks or tree branches that can be seen for a foot or so, then the water gets murky. So I can understand your feelings.

      Food always tests better outdoors, doesn't it? :)

  8. Beautiful pictures Lori. That landscape sure is pretty.

    Bummer the pie wasn't spicy enough. Can't have too much cinnamon in apple pie right?

    1. Thank you Trobairitz! I just daydream about the seclusion there...compared to the traffic and congestion here. Agreed...there can always be more cinnamon. Pies, cookies, toast. ;-)