Recently, Marty and I took a trip to New Hampshire for a few days. We had a very lovely ride, and during the trip we saw beautiful scenery. The further we went from Connecticut, the more peaceful it became.
Our first stop was to see the License Plate House that Marty had read about in different brochures. We have seen, in the past, a bottle house and also a paper house, but still, when we viewed the license plate house, we felt that we truly saw something unique. There were all different license plates attached to the house —different states and different years. We had fun looking for specific states and, of course, the dates of many years ago.
The License Plate House is located in Hinsdale and was not far from our next stop, which was to visit some friends of ours, Maureen and Dick Jones. We made arrangements to meet at their lovely home.
Their house is made out of logs and the inside looked so cozy. We had a terrific visit. We then had a wonderful lunch and plenty of conversation, as we had many years to catch up on.
Before we knew it, it was time to go to our motel, but not until we saw Waterfalls Park, which had fantastic scenery around every bend in the road.
By this time, it was raining somewhat, and it looked dreary with heavy clouds, but the scenery showed through. We checked in for the night, praying for nice weather the following day.
The next day we had a leisurely breakfast. The sky seemed to lighten up, so we went to Clark’s Trading Post located in Lincoln. Clark’s turned out to be a real treat, as a person could spend many hours at the post. We were there for four hours or so, and we had a great time.
First, there was a bear show that lasted about 45 minutes and was filled with trained bears. They jumped through hoops, played basketball, rode tricycles, and much more. The show made people laugh and grin. These bears were all unleashed and enjoyed performing. You see, if they do it well, they get a treat. They stand full height, sit in chairs and pull ropes, and the more applause, the more they performed.
After the bear show, there was a train ride that lasted approximately 30 minutes. This was an excursion on the White Mountain Central Railroad, and the ride transported passengers through a 1904 covered bridge and along the scenic Pemigewasset River. Here we ventured through wolfman’s territory, and we actually saw the wolfman in person. It is a scenic two-mile train ride.
Another attraction at Clark’s is The Old Man Of The Mountain Climbing Tower. This is a replica that grownups and children try to climb. There were water-blasting boats on Old Mill Pond where you could cool off. These are interactive boats that have squirt guns.
There also was Merlin’s Mystical Mansion that turns your whole world upside down. It takes only a few minutes, but is loads of fun.
At the Americana Museum and 1884 Fire Station, there is an antique horse-drawn fire engine and also a wagon. The museum contains many more treasures from our early electrical, mechanical and advertising past.
Finally, we saw the Tuttle House where water runs upward, and you have fun trying to stand.
These were the fun things to do and see at Clark’s, but there were also specialty shops along the main road, such as a photo parlor (where they take pictures in old-fashioned costumes), a candle shop, liberty press (where they put your name in the headlines) and a maple cabin. We definitely had a good time.
The day wasn’t over yet, as our next destination was Loon Mountain located in Lincoln. Once we arrived at the base of Loon Mountain, we took a gondola trip to the top of the mountain. It was a great ride, and the top of the mountain offered many different views of the scenery, and it made for a spectacular picture.
There were several local artisans on the top of the mountain, and they sold unique crafts. There was also horseback riding, where you can explore old logging trails, but this we declined.
A wedding took place on the day we were there, and we got to see the photographers taking pictures of the wedding party. This was one wedding that I do not think the guests, or the bride and groom, will ever forget.
The day was still strong, and we were off to Hobo Railroad in Lincoln. We went on this train ride years ago, so we were satisfied in looking around at the many different trains.
From here, we went on a ride on the Kancamagus Highway that is noted for the many turnouts overlooking beautiful scenery. I think we stopped at almost every one of them. We only went through part of the highway as it was getting late, and we wanted to get back to our motel before dark.
The following day promised to be a very nice day, weather-wise.
We started off the day with a visit to Franconia Notch State Park, where we took a walk to the basin and saw beautiful scenery, such as a rock formation with a waterfall. We walked a little bit and saw breathtaking views.
After spending some time here viewing the scenery and the mountains, we took our leave and went to the Cog Railroad located in Bretton Woods. We took the Cog to the top, and while traveling up the mountain, we experienced magnificent scenery combined with a spectacular climb up the highest mountain in the Northeast.
The journey began at the bay station located at 2,700 feet above sea level. Here they had a gift shop and a museum. We then went up the mountain to 6,288 feet — the summit of Mount Washington. Here, at the top, they had an observation tower and the historic Tiptop House.
A little history of the Cog Railway — the Cog is the first mountain-climbing railroad in the world. The building of the railway began in 1866, with the first excursion to the top on July 3, 1869. We have gone to Mount Washington before, and we drove up several times, and at other times took the Cog railroad. It is so beautiful up there that we decided to do it again.
One interesting fact — when Marty and I were going to leave the mountain, and we were already seated in the Cog railroad train, snow was falling from the sky and landed on the windowsill of the Cog. We also heard, upon the roof of the train, sleet coming down. This is something that we were not prepared for. It didn’t last long, just long enough to say that we experienced it.
Once we got back to our car, we drove to North Conway to visit Jebs General Store. This made us feel like we were walking back into time seeing the different displays and the penny candy (that were no longer a penny), plus the marzipans and fudge. Yummy! It got me hungry just being in the store.
After we spent some time browsing through the store and reminiscing, we then went to the Conway Scenic Railway. Once there, we looked at the rolling stock and the roundhouse. Everything was quite interesting and when finished, we took the Kancamagus Highway back to the motel. This was the scenic highway that we had started on the previous day.
The next day we decided to visit the Cathedral of the Pines, as we had not done so previously because of the weather.
The Cathedral is located in Ringe, and we had visited it many years ago. It was beautiful then, and it is still so beautiful. The only difference is that there are less pine trees now.
The Cathedral is a nondenominational, 200-acre, outdoor cathedral with breathtaking vistas of Mount Monadnock in southwestern New Hampshire. The Cathedral of the Pines was founded by Dr. and Mrs. Douglas Stone after learning their son, Sandy, had lost his life in World War II. There is an Altar of the Nation that is made of stones from every state in the nation and contributions from every U.S. president since Truman. It was recognized by Congress in 1957 as a National Memorial to the American war dead.
There also is a Women’s Memorial Bell Tower that is 55 feet tall. It houses carillon bells to enjoy as you stroll the grounds. This is the first memorial in our nation to recognize the contributions of women who served, sacrificed, fought for and helped build our country. There was also a Garden of Remembrance lined with peaceful walkways, and a Hilltop House used in inclement weather. Finally, there is a museum that features extensive military memorabilia and many religious items.
By Helene Rubenstein
Published July 27, 2016