We always hear New Hampshire is gorgeous. People talk about the vista, the foliage, the wild life, moose, bears… We thought people were exaggerating, but New Hampshire is what they say and more. Fall there is a little faster than here. By mid October, the leaves are almost gone. We arrived a little late to see the foliage, but it was still amazing scenery. I told Paulo I was tired of being late to nature, first it was the Cherry Blossom Festival in DC. And now in New Hampshire, we were late yet again; most of the leaves were gone. On the other hand, we saw a New Hampshire in the changing clothing stage. Some trees were all naked, others were half way there. The shy ones were still undecided on what color to wear. They were wearing a faded green, with a few brown spots, others wore scarlet hues, others golden yellow… The colors of fall…
Instead of staying in a hotel, I had the idea to camp in NH. It would save us money and it kind of spiced up the whole trip. We never had camped during the cold weather before. Paulo had some camping experience but it was in Brazil where everything is easy breeze. To make the idea easier on us we stayed at a KOA camping ground. It offers sites with water and electricity plus clean bathrooms nearby. The camping rules were very clear: do not leave garbage or food outside, for your own protection, because it will attract bears and others animals. That was wild enough for us. You have to take understand we are city birds. Our natural habitat is the city…
Places to Visit
At Franconia Notch State Park, the Cannon Mountain is a must see. If you are feeling adventurous you may hike all the 4081 feet (1244m) up to the top, or you may take the tram. Either way you will love it. When you are going up the clouds will shade on the mountains as if a giant is coming behind you. At summit, the view is breath taking. If you look down it appears as you are on an airplane, the tiny road, the ants’ little cars… the clouds are so close and you may think you can touch them. The reflection of the sun light on them will make you think you are in haven. They also may look like cotton candy or maybe like fluffy pillows.
The Mount Lafayette trail is about 8 miles, but we were not prepared to hike so we just walked around the entrance. It is
said to have scenic views and we are coming back for it. The Flume Gorge at the base of mount Liberty is very scenery walk apart from the tourists. You may walk there or take the bus. The gorge has granite walls on both sides about 12 to 20 feet apart and 90 feet tall at some areas. If you walk there, on your way back you will see the glacial boulders (amazing), you will go across the Sentinel Bridge (beautiful), you will visit the Wolf Den (scary)…
The Mount Washington Cog Railway will take you the 6288 foot summit of Mount Washington. There you will go above the clouds! The ride is so steep that you will be able to stand on the train in about 45 degree angle.
New Hampshire is a most come back place. I only saw a fraction of it. They have all year around fun and beauty.
I never had slept in a sleeping bag before. I never had even seen one. On the first night “The Hillbilly bears of the camping gear” – we – arrived around 11:00 pm at the camp site. It was a dark, freezing night. The weather man said it was 24F (-4C) but you would feel like 14F(-10C). Paulo was able to set up our tenant in 20 minutes! Yeee! The cold is a good motivator. We quickly changed into our PJ’s and slip into our sleeping bags. Paulo got warm quickly, but I was cold and I got colder as the night continued. I didn’t understand why my feet would not warm up. I would move and it would make it worse. It seemed like there was an air flow from my feet to my head. At some point during the night, I thought I was sick – my legs were getting cold too. The cold was coming up my legs to my hip bone; I thought by morning I wouldn’t be able to walk. I couldn’t complain, the camping idea was mine but I didn’t know if I would make thru another night. I was so cold that I consider sleeping inside the camping grounds’ bathroom. On top of everything, I don’t know if I was dreaming but I heard a sniff, snuff around the tent. “Paulo do you hear that?” And my husband just mumbo jumbo something and went back to sleep. “I think there is a bear or something sniffing us!” He didn’t bother to answer. Next, I heard like someone or something was walking around the tent, and that cold I couldn’t move. .. What a nightmare. In the morning I was happy the warm sun was up! Not really warming sun, it was more like an illusion light but it was better than the night. Make breakfast on that cold weather, it was another fun challenge. The camping stove would not heat up the water. We tried to fry eggs and it would not cook. It took foreeeever. By night fall, I had already forgotten how terrible the last night had been. Paulo made a fire to warm us up and cook dinner, while we drank some wine and talked about our adventures of the day. By 10:00pm, we were so tired. Our day had been so much fun, we walked all day with nature, we had lived lots of new experiences, we were sure we would sleep fast. At least Paulo was. I was starting to have doubts about it, until I looked at the bottom of my sleeping bag. It was open at the bottom corner. I didn’t know sleeping bags had 2 zippers. I had only closed the one on the side thinking it was from the bottom up. I showed it to Paulo and he said “oh let me help you, the corner is really hard to zip it” and I replied: “What?! You knew this was open and didn’t tell me?! You closed yours last night and didn’t close mine? Apparently, you have to open the zipper at the end of the bag to be able to roll it up and take most of the air out. Now I keep teasing him with this all the time. It is unbelievable how a little opening in your sleeping bag can make such a difference.
What do you think? Is Paulo guilty or innocent?
Photos by Paulo Dasilva Photography