Friday, September 20, 2019

Keene New Hampshire to Bethel Maine

It was a cool morning in Keene, New Hampshire. Fall was in the air. The hotel had some cheese omelets and sausage patties so we ate before leaving. Leaving at 7:20 AM, the GPS claimed a projected ETA in Bethel of 11:00, so I figured we should be there by noon.

Crisp morning in Keene New Hampshire

Right away, we encountered truck detour signs due to a bridge issue on Highway 9. I had not checked the specifics of the problem so, to be safe, we followed the detour signs along NH 101 to Peterborough. From there, US 202 took us to Concord. Traffic was moderately heavy on 101, while trees were only starting to change colour and mist was rising off the waters all the way.

Reaching Concord, we needed a bathroom break. The GPS said there was a McDonald's off the main road, so we headed there. Unfortunately, the restaurant was being renovated and was closed, so Sandy used an adjacent Dunkin' Donuts. Then we drove through downtown Concord past the gold domed State House on our way to I-93 North.

New Hampshire State House - Concord

Traffic on I-93 North wasn't too heavy. We got off at Exit 26 to get some coffee at another McDonald's shown on the GPS. Once again, the newly updated GPS let us down. This time, it was not under construction. Instead, it appeared to have not ever existed at all. Luckily, there actually was one in Plymouth, a short distance away. The lady at the counter was very pleasant and Sandy was even able to get a cranberry-orange muffin.

Logging is big in New Hampshire

A spectacular early changing tree

Wind farm above Plymouth New Hampshire

Continuing north on I-93, we got into more mountainous terrain. The Presidential Range of the White Mountains left no doubt as to why this was referred to as the Granite State.

Pointy mountains like a kid's drawing

Who did the art work?

Highland Games - Lincoln New Hampshire

Eventually, we passed through Franconia Notch. A notch in New England is the same as a gap in the Southeast or a pass out west. This was where the Old Man Of The Mountain, which appeared on all NH state highway signs and many other places, was located before it collapsed in 2003.

Approaching Franconia Notch

Cannon Mountain dominates the Notch

Ski hills at Franconia Notch

The leaves are starting to change

Leaving I-93, we followed US 3 through Twin Mountain to Carroll and then took NH 115 to US 2. There were more trees changing colour but they were still in the minority.

So who would NOT brake for a moose?

US Route 2 took us through Gorham and across the Maine border to Bethel. The phone kept beeping as we periodically lost cell service. I slowed down as we reached the Maine border, not realizing that a VW was behind us. He was not too happy as he passed. My bad.

US 2

Railway display in Gorham New Hampshire

Welcome to Maine

Unhappy VW driver

Approaching Bethel Maine

The Sudbury Inn

We arrived at the Sudbury Inn in Bethel just before noon.

Today's Route (202 Equinox/trailer miles):

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