|Vicki at her deepest submergence|
We are staying in a motorhome park called Timberland Campground. The camping sites are gravel but quite solidly packed so we are not sinking into the mud as we have at some of our previous stops. It is heavily wooded and we are nestled in amongst the trees. The only downside here is the water pressure is only about 25-30 PSI, which is really inadequate for a decent shower, so we have to run the water pump to punch up the flow and every couple of days I spend 20 min. refilling the water tank.
|Floating in Emerald Pool|
The water was moderately cold but we have certainly swum in colder, for example at the Great Lakes last year, so I got in and got used to it fairly quickly. Vicki got wet up to her belly button and then chickened out and headed back for shore. Wuss. The schnoodles were content to sit on the rocks and watch, but Julian went splashing into the water and Christopher spent a half hour trying to manage him. He did not want to go in beyond shoulder level and when we dragged him out further we found out why. He is allegedly half Labrador but for a retriever he is the crappiest swimmer I have ever seen. He desperately wanted to chase a frisbee out into the pool but he would get into water about as deep as his chest, then turn around and retreat. He eventually decided to stay on shore with Vicki which gave Christopher a chance to do a little swimming. There was a large rock on the far side of the pool you could climb up and use as a diving platform, which Christopher tried out but I decided not to press my luck. I have a waterproof camera that I bought several years ago but I use it so infrequently that I didn't know how to set it for action shots… so, what the hell, here is a picture of a blur jumping off of a rock into the water.
We transitioned out of the water again (in my case by crawling on my belly like a reptile), put on our mountaineering gear and scaled the trail back up to the road. Literally within seconds of getting back in the car it started pouring rain, which it kept up for about an hour.
|Chris and friend at Frenchman's Hole|
|Only swimmer at Frenchman's Hole|
We climbed back into the car and continued up US Highway 26 to Grafton State Park, the home of Screw Auger Falls. This is a really beautiful area that was carved out by the glaciers at the end of the last Ice Age and there are apparently a whole series of waterfalls, but we only went to the ones that were easiest to walk to. You can appreciate natural beauty and be lazy at the same time.
|Screw Auger Falls|
|Osprey nest seen along the Moose Tour|
Finally she gave up and turned the bus back around towards Gorham and, at last, some moose started showing up. This is partially because it was
|Moose in the dark|
Unfortunately I did not bring along my big flash, so I just had the tiny flash on top of the camera to grab a couple of moose pictures out through the bus door. The seats on the bus were only about half as wide as my personal seat, so the Moose Tour was not very comfortable and by the time we finally got back to Gorham at about 11 o'clock I was seriously thinking this was more Moose Tour than I was really interested in.
|On the road up Mt. Washington|
|Tip-Top House on Mt. Washington|
|Wooden building chained to the rock|
We continued on down Highway 16 to Conway, which is a heavily touristified town at the southern border of White Mountain National Forest, then turned east on the Kancamagus Hwy, eventually making a loop back to Gorham. The Kancamagus Hwy is supposed to be famously beautiful in the fall but in July is just another road with dense green forest on either side. There are some camping areas, but almost no day use areas. We eventually found a picnic table alongside the highway to eat our lunch. Other than that, there was not much to do except drive. There were a fair number of hiking trails along the road and at each one the parking lot was packed and cars were parked along the roadside for 100 yards on either side of the trail head. Way more hiking traffic than I am use to.
the loop through the White Mountains. We stopped in Errol to see the L.L. Cote outfitting store whose motto is "if we don't have it, you don't need it". They have a fairly large collection of mounted heads and stuffed animals including a more or less albino moose which apparently gets a good deal of comment. They had a large collection of firearms of which Christopher wanted one each but we held ourselves back. He did get a couple of items of clothing and some flip flops, so he is now ready for the backwoods.
|LL Coat Outfitters|
|Lunch on the road|
Back at Colchester we had arranged to have our mail delivered. Ours arrived with no problem but Christopher's mail had not gotten to the campground by our departure date. He had apparently ordered a watch to be delivered to the mail forwarding service in South Dakota and then it got forwarded with his regular mail which made it a bigger parcel and slowed down the delivery (as near as we can figure it out). So he spent the day yesterday driving back to Lake Champlain to retrieve his mail and said watch while we spent the day in the motorhome without him. I spent most of the day mining and building castles in a computer game called Minecraft that Christopher has gotten me roped into. Vicki wasted most of her day cleaning. Ewww! It rained off and on during the day so we were just as happy not to be out touring
|A watch and a half|
That brings us to today. It was supposed to start clearing up but apparently the weather service change their mind at the last minute and called for ceaseless rain instead. And that is why I am sitting under my awning blogging this afternoon. I am smoking a pork shoulder for dinner which allows me to moan and groan about having to spend all day cooking when in reality I'm just sitting on my ass. Sweet. Tomorrow we pack up and head for Maine and unending lobster. I can hardly wait.
|Kayakers on the Androscoggin River|
|Intrepid hikers at Dixville Notch|
|The falls at Dixville Notch|