We at breakfast in the dining room, watching the activities on the
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.|
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.
|Just look at that sky!!|
|Oilburner says this reminds him of Stone Mountain here in Atlanta. (I'll try to post a picture of it later.)|
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.