Sunday, November 20, 2016

White Mountain National Forest to Burlington [Part 6]


Our New England Road Trip continues in this next installment and it's the most scenic one. We will be driving from North Conway and the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire all the way to Burlington in Vermont, and see some surprises along the way. As you will see we had some rain on this day. It didn't lessen the experience, but we just couldn't walk around as much as we would have liked. We did see a lot though. From the early start in North Conway, to the wonders of a fall forest, Vermont's hills, Montpelier, Stowe and lastly Burlington, where we spent the night. So come along and join us for a scenic drive.




Breakfest and Fall Colors in North Conway

North Conway came as a discovery to me. Initially we were supposed to spend the night in Portland (and had a motel booked, which we had to cancel, free of charge luckily), but as plans shifted I realized that we had a short drive one day, and a really long one the next, so a town in the middle had to be found. Once we discovered the outlet mall in North Conway we knew it was the perfect place to sleep in.

I woke up and got dressed before the rest of my group and made a walk around the neighborhood. The fall colors here were really intense. Nothing here has been edited. This is the intense orange and yellow color I mostly saw while walking around. It was a bit misty, but I think it added a lot to the images



We got ready and headed out for breakfast. We ate in a cozy restaurant (which was the size of my living room) called The Stairway Cafe. It was very delicious. Once again we got served home fries for breakfast which is very unusual for us, but it was great nonetheless. It was time to move on. We had a longer drive today and lots to see. We tanked gas and drove towards the White Mountain National Forest.

Covered Bridges of New England

One of the great sights in New England were covered bridges. We saw a few during our stay. The one we saw just outside of North Conway was actually a gift shop, but we did stop anyway and took some pictures and headed inside to see what was on display. The river flowing underneath gave a nice reflection of the surrounding fall colors.








White Mountain National Forest

Probably the most colorful sights of our trip were in the White Mountain National Forest. While often casually referred to as a park, this is a National Forest, used not only for hiking, camping, and skiing, but for logging and other limited commercial purposes. The forest is the only National Forest located in either New Hampshire or Maine. Most of the major peaks over 4,000 feet high for peak-bagging in New Hampshire are located in the National Forest. Over 100 miles (160 km) of the Appalachian Trail traverses here as well.



Because of its beauty, its proximity to major metropolitan areas, its 1,200 miles (1,900 km) of hiking trails, 23 campgrounds, and the presence of a large number of ski areas within or near its boundaries, the White Mountain National Forest is one of the most visited outdoor recreation sites east of the Mississippi. We found a resting area and parked the car. The sights were incredible. Wild mountains, hiking paths, forests. Just nature at its finest. The place is Crawford Notch State Park.



Into the Forest

We couldn't just stay at the parking lot. After the car was locked, a narrow walking path took us across the nearby pond and into the fall colored forest. The trails lead much deeper into the woods, we only stayed at the entrance, since we were restricted with time, but were also without hiking gear. We made a lot of images here, only some of which I can post here, otherwise the post would contain hundreds of images. I do hope to show you the outtakes as well one day.







Crossing into Vermont

The next state we crossed into was Vermont. Right from the start it charmed us with its beauty. The small villages and amazing fall foliage blended into each other. We stopped for gas and continued towards Montpelier. A part of this trip was driven on the highways so that we could make it in time to Burlington at the end of the day.


Montpelier

We had lunch in Montpelier, which is the state capital of Vermont. Unfortunately the rain stopped us from really exploring the town. One interesting fact about Montpelier is that it's the smallest state capital of any US State. It's much like any other small New England town. Still we had a great time here and an amazing lunch at the Down Home Kitchen restaurant. The most interesting sight of Montpelier is the State Capitol which is the legislative building. It hosts free tours.



Stowe

Next up was the charming (I'm fully aware that I'm using the word too much, but everything truly was charming, so I have to repeat it :) town Stowe. It's only a 40 minute drive from Burlington. Stowe is host to arts and crafts shows, a balloon festival, and many other special events. The weekend-long British Invasion event is held annually in Stowe during the third week of September. The Stowe Theater Guild, along with Hyde Park Opera House, and the Waterbury Festival Players, offer theatrical productions each summer. Again, the rain on this day hindered me from really exploring the town, but I still got out of the car and took some photos.




Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Factory

After lunch we were craving something sweet, and while in Vermont you can't miss the Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Factory. For 3$ you can take the factory tour or simply buy a scoop of one of the many flavors this ice cream factory is know for. It goes without saying that the ice cream was incredibly delicious.



A Night in Burlington

We finally made it to Burlignton. It was after 6 when we got to the hotel. Burlington, although a student city (it is home to the University of Vermont and Champlain College, a small private college), isn't really that cheap which surprised me since all the other towns were relatively affordable. Still the city is really great, especially the Church Street Marketplace at night, which is a glowing walking lane.




As we walked down the Marketplace the rain stopped for a moment which gave us an opportunity to enjoy flickering and colorful lights. The pubs and restaurants were filling up with people. Our mission was to escape the cold as well so we headed into a pub.




We enjoyed some local beer and drinks at Rí Rá Irish Pub. We shared a baked spinach and artichoke dip as well. All very delicious.




The day came to an end and we headed back to our hotel for the night. The next day waited for us, which included a drive through Vermont Route 100 towards New York City. But more on that in the next installment.

End of Part Six
To be continued...


27 comments:

  1. I see you are still travelling round, Mersad. I enjoyed looking at your pictures all the time wishing I had the opportunity to visit these places myself.

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    1. I am back home now, sharing these images from our latest trip. But yeah I'm still out and about :) Next trip is already booked.

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  2. Beautiful. All of the photos.
    I, of course, being a bird 'freak', really enjoyed the steeple with the birds.

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    1. I like that shot as well. I turned out lucky there.

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  3. You caught New England at its best.. my old stomping grounds. Brings back many fond memories.
    A very enjoyable series, Mersad.

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    1. So glad the photos bring up good memories. We enjoyed it there so I guess it showes in the shots.

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  4. What a great reportage and great autumn colors 'worn' by the mother nature before she becomes naked! :) In Finland we have a special word for autumn colors - RUSKA. Please, try to pronounce it :)

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  5. you may use the word charming all you want to because I use AMAZING every time I come to your photos. God's Crayons to color the leaves and your camera to capture it. I will just repeat the well used Awesome because that is what your photos are.

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    1. Thanks Sandra for your kind words. I hope I could do these places justice

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  6. you have mentioned breakfast a couple of times, and now I am curious, please let us know what is common for your breakfast since it has no sugar or home fries.. waiting to here.

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    1. Well if you have cereal here it does contain sugar obviously. But usually breakfast is toast with cheese or cream cheese or anothe type of spred. Eggs, salami sometimes as well. The only sugar comes from jam or marmelade. Our bread here contains no sugar. And we dont eat fatty or fried things for breakfast. I guess that's the main difference. Not saying you guys dont eat this type of breakfast it's just that everywhere we ate breakfast it was usually suggary, muffins, donuts, sugary bread etc.it's the motel and diners faults i guess :)

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  7. Just read your new post. All pics are awesome.
    Thanks for sharing :)

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  8. wonderful pictures. All of them!!
    best susa

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  9. Such beautiful autumn colours

    Mollyxxx

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  10. Mersad, it is a treat to see places I know so well through your eyes. Your photos would make good images on tourism sites. And, though I have said it before, I am still astonished that you were able to be in New England in a year when the fall foliage was late enough that you were able to enjoy it at peak or near-peak.

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    1. Thanks again Jack. Believe me I was as surprised as you that the fall colors remained as long as they did. The most scenic parts of our road trip were followed by amazing colors. I can see why this region is so popular with tourists during fall.

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  11. Those fall colors are truly amazing! Now I'm really longing to visit this area next autumn.

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  12. Ahhh, cozy New England! Do you know there area also White Mountains in Arizona? Perhaps that can be your next trip. It is also very beautiful there!

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  13. Oh my goodness, Mersad!!! What gorgeous photos! As you know, I live in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and I have been to Vermont many times. I see that you captured the gorgeous and brilliant Autumn colours that are well known in Vermont. We get the same spectacular colours here in Quebec! Very vibrant and lovely. This is one of my favourite posts, and I am so happy you got to see Vermont. Thank you so much for sharing! :)

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  14. Laura has told me what it was like--- You proved she wasn't exaggerating! And as always--- wonderful night and interior shots.

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  15. You have perfectly captured the beauty of New England in the fall. Vermont is a favorite state of mine. Well done.

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  16. I just love those fall colors! Can't get enough of them :)

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  17. Wow wow wow! Incredible! I have been to the White Mountains but it was summer. Now I want to go in autumn.

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  18. These photos remind me so much of the fall trip I took to New England so many years ago. The weather was much the same with rain soaked streets and colorful leaves blown about. It looks like you were there at the perfect time.

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  19. Every photo in this post has the "wow" factor. Some of that is due, of course, to the beauty of God's creation. But a huge part of it is due to your wonderful ability to capture that beauty with your camera. Great job, Mersad. You truly could do travel brochures or calendars or something like that with your photos.

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  20. Sehr stimmungsvolle Bilder und mir gefällt am besten das mit dem Baumstamm.
    Liebe Grüße

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  21. I'm catching up on all these posts and you certainly were there are the perfect time for breathtaking fall foliage. :)

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