Monday, August 22, 2011
Touring the White Mountains
The last few days have had spotty weather, but in between the rain periods we have done some hiking and touring of the area. It appears to us that the main outdoor activity in the area during the summer is hiking. The Appalachian Trail passes through here and has a lot of traffic. We wanted to walk at least a small portion of the trail and found a section just across the river from our campground. As we were returning to the car from our brief hike, we encountered a young man heading up the trail. He has been on the trail for 5 months, starting at the south end in Georgia and now had only a few hundred miles to go to reach the north end. He travels around 20 miles a day and spends most of his nights camped on the trail. I appreciate his determination, but at the same time, there is no way I would care to do that. When we stopped at the Appalachian Mountain Club visitor center, we were told that traffic on the trail was three times normal this year. From their conversation with those checking in at the center, it seems that much of this is due to the economy. Those who could not find work after college, or were laid off, were taking this time to fulfill a dream to hike the trail.
We also have hiked some of the long trail out of our campground and trails leading to several of the numerous falls and cascades in the area.
Finally, this afternoon, we took a driving tour through some of the most popular areas during the winter ski season, including Conway, North Conway and Betterton Woods. Along the way we spotted the many lodging and other tourist attractions that go along with the ski season. Most of the lodges are one of a kind and not part of major national chains. This is clearly a party area in season. It almost makes me wish I knew how to ski.
We found a few more covered bridges in good condition that were originally constructed in the 1890’s. Along the way, there were more falls, a gorge and beautiful scenic overlooks.
It was a nice way to end this visit to northern New Hampshire.