|Leaving the Connecticut River in Vermont and it's mirrored beauty.|
From St. Johnsbury, Vermont, we crossed into New Hampshire. After a leisurely breakfast and a little look around St. Johnsbury, it was time to cross the border and start the climb over the White Mountains of New Hampshire on the scenic-byway called the Kancamagus Highway. From here, one could see some distance.
Not many people seemed to be on the road, so it was easy to gawk, enjoy the colors, the vistas, and....what is that on the side of the road??? Three black bears??? Really. Yes, a mama and two growing cubs. Eeeeeeech!! We managed to pull the car over and stop, but as we were backing up, the bears scrambled off into the trees. So, no images, except for the those burned into our memory. It was a very exciting scene, as brief as it was!
Having now driven several miles along the highway, we saw several turn-outs that were lined with cars, and the parking lots were packed. What??? Reading the signs, we realized that perhaps a hundred cars were parked at each of (at least) three different trailheads. All these folks were hiking? So you go hiking with hundreds of folks? I'm guessing there is not much solitude on the trail? I later discovered that (from here) people can walk portions of the Appalachian Trail, as well as other trails, so evidently that has great appeal. No wonder the roads weren't packed... lots of tourists were walking and (no doubt) taking tons of pictures.
We saw that there were a couple very nice ski resorts in this area too. At one turn-out, we had a great visit with several folks from New Hampshire that were riding the highway on motorcycles.
We eventually got across the mountains and into Conway, NH. We took a little detour north to North Conway, which turned out to be a great little tourist town. We walked around a bit and did some t-shirt shopping with hundreds of other folks, Talking to one of the store's owners, we found out that this town attracts tourists from literally around the world. He had stories of meeting the most unusual people. A very attractive town and a hot spot for leaf-peepers.