We absolutely love staying at our friends' cabin on Beaver Lake and I could stay there for weeks without leaving the shore; except perhaps to go the Mary Ann's Diner for breakfast. As for the rest of the state, it might be fair to say that we have always thought of New Hampshire as being just a place to pass through on our way to Maine.
Last year we took in a few back-roads and began to discover the charm of the place. There are beautiful New England villages with white wooden churches, antique shops and classic local village stores. I am particularly fond of graveyards, because they are shady and the lawns and headstones are good places for birds to hang out. I plan to get a picture of a bluebird at the local cemetery this week. There is a lot of history to be found in graveyards too.
We decided to have a "Get to know New Hampshire" day and set off north and east in a search for mountains, lakes and second-hand guitars.
|Covered Bridge at Squam.|
Our planned route was a loop north from Derry to the little town of West Alton where our son Nick wanted to look at vintage guitars. In fact we looped off to the East to take in Lake Winnipesaugee, which is huge and beautiful, and then back toward Squam Lake, where "On Golden Pond" was filmed.
We eventually found the guitar shop, right where they told us it would be, by a turtle-shored mill pool.
The shop is called Vintage Fret. We didn't buy anything but Nick loved playing a pre-war Martin and a hefty banjo. I plucked away at a few dulcimers and almost bought one, but then thought about the problem of getting it home. This shop is a temple to stringed instruments and the priests who tend it are craftsmen. Instead of a door-bell, they have a guitar screwed to the ceiling. When you open the door, a plectrum is dragged across the strings to play a chord. Lovely; just lovely.
Our only mistake was to let Hanna navigate our way home, but as Nick said; "There are no mistakes here, just alternative routes". We headed further east rather than south, which took us round the far side of the Ossipi Range towards an early visit to Maine. It added an hour or so to our trip, but that was fine by me. We saw deer and woodchucks along the road.
|Robert Frost's house.|