Last weekend it was Lindsay’s special day (Happy Birthday) but Andrew had been waiting for months for the Train Show to come to Northern New Hampshire. So, we started our day in Bethlehem looking for N scale trains and chatting with the local railroad enthsiasts. Lindsay thought we were the only ones between the age of 13 and 60 (not really but it sort of felt like it) and Andrew was a little disappointed because the Crawford Notch scale model was not there as promised in the newspaper advertisement. But it only cost us $3 each to get in, so it was worth it.
Afterwards, we headed down through Crawford Notch to observe the Irene damage. Lots of new pavement indicating where the road had washed away and debris along the river banks. We stopped at the White Mountain Cider Company for sandwiches and cidar. Yum! Next stop was the Limmer Boot Company for Lindsay to get personally fitted with her new hiking boots!
Next stop was the White Mountain Cupcakery, for some Birthday cupcakes!
After a few more stops around North Conway, we found ourselves with a little time before dinner, but with not enough time to do a big hike. So, we decided to head over to Echo Lake State Park. The park is closed this time of year, but does allow visitors to park outside the gate and walk in.
We walked down through the picnic area towards the beach for the beautiful view of White Horse Ledge. The pond (technically it should be a “pond” and not a “lake”) was smooth and quiet except for a few ducks swimming. A trail circumnavigates the pond and we walked along it noticing the variety of trees there. Surprisingly we found a few pitch pine trees among the white pines, red pines, and oaks. We were happy to see our common northern tree friends too: balsam fir and red spruce. There were low bush and high bush blueberry, plus winterberry along the ground.
When we got 1/3 of the way around the pond, we spotted a great blue heron who consequently flew to the other side of Echo Lake towards another great blue heron. When we made our way to that end of the pond, both herons again flew up. One landed along the waters edge, while the other ungracefully landed in a tall white pine tree.
The air was growing crisp and the clouds were moving in, the record breaking snow storm was on its way. As the sun set, we jumped back in the truck and had a lovely dinner at Bangkok Cafe. The snow began to fall as we enjoyed our Basil Rolls and Tofu Miracle dishes.