A Winter Wonderland in October

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October 13th 2009
Published: November 2nd 2009
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Early Morning in MontpelierEarly Morning in MontpelierEarly Morning in Montpelier

The view from the hotel room
Going to bed last night we thought it just might get cold enough for a chance of snow. Still we were quite surprised when we looked out our hotel window to a fresh blanket of snow. Since we had a lot of ground to cover today, we had another early start to our drive. Snow flurries were still falling when we hit the road around 7am. Not having ever driven while the snow was falling, I was a little nervous about taking the wheel. Shea had some experience while she lived in South Dakota so she took the first driving shift. We drove towards northeast Vermont along Highway 2 to St. Johnsbury. By now the snow had turned into a light rain but it was still absolutely freezing. We stopped for a quick breakfast at McDonald's before heading into New Hampshire. Our destination in New Hampshire was Franconia Notch State Park in the heart of the White Mountain National Forest. When we were in Boston, we overheard a local news special on the fall foliage in New England. They had focused on the Franconia Notch area where many people had flocked to during this past 3 day weekend. Upon hearing this,
Fresh SnowFresh SnowFresh Snow

About to experience my first time driving in the snow
we decided to make this one of our stops. We drove down Interstate 93 south into the mountains of New Hampshire. When we made it to the Franconia Notch area, we stopped at Echo Lake. Snow had started to lightly fall again but we braved the cold to do a little exploration. Except for a camper trailer parked in the lot, we were the only people here. The fall foliage with freshly fallen snow made for some good pictures. We took a quick stroll around the lake taking photos and watching the lone duck left at the lake. After about 30 minutes, we returned to the warm car to continue our drive down through New Hampshire. We exited the Interstate at the town of Lincoln and drove east into the White Mountains. This stretch of highway is called Kancamagus Highway and is renowned by many as being one of the best leaf peeping spots in all of New England. Once we passed the Loon Resort after the town of Lincoln, the weather started to turn as we increased in elevation and drove along the flank of Mt. Kancamagus. Despite the fog and snow, the drive is definitely one of those places where you'll be making many stops. Once we reached the highest elevation and we started to descend, the weather finally started to clear up a bit. This was when the region's beauty started to fully show itself. The spring and summer green had fully transformed into a vibrant mix of flaming reds, oranges, and golds. Jaw dropping panoramic vistas seemed to be around every corner as we rounded every curve of the road. This was easily the best place we had seen over the past two days for fall colors. Since it was a Tuesday and the weather wasn't the greatest, we almost had the road all to ourselves to enjoy this feast for the eyes. From here we drove into the state of Maine, the seventh state we would be passing through on this trip. Passing through the towns of Fryeburg, Sebago, and Westbrook, we made our way to downtown Portland for a quick lunch and look around. Lunch was at a small local bar that was so small they didn't even have a menu. After lunch, we just walked around looking at a few shops before returning back to the warm car for the drive to Boothbay
Driving In a Winter WonderlandDriving In a Winter WonderlandDriving In a Winter Wonderland

Along State Highway 2 somewhere near St. Johnsbury
Harbor. Once we got there, we immediately checked into our hotel, the Flagship Inn. We had the friendliest greeting upon our arrival to the hotel. The front desk clerk was so nice and chatty while checking us in. Once she was done, she went into the kitchen to bring us some delicious freshly baked cookies and some hot chocolate. Boothbay Harbor is a seaside resort town popular in summer for yachting and boating. The weather was blistering cold today when we arrived which lead us to spend most of the rest of the day in our hotel room. For dinner tonight, we dined at the Lobster Dock. This popular local restaurant was featured on the show Throwdown by Bobby Flay on the Food Network. Kevin and I had our first taste of the famous Maine lobsters while Shea avoided any seafood by ordering a pasta dish. The lobster and steamed clams that I had were delicious but tasted like any lobster and clams I would order at home. The Lobster Dock was closing for the season in a few days so our arrival came just in time. With nothing going on in the town at night, we just made our
The Drive Along State Hwy 2The Drive Along State Hwy 2The Drive Along State Hwy 2

Somewhere near St. Johnsbury
way back to the hotel for the rest of the night.

Additional photos below
Photos: 33, Displayed: 25


Franconia Notch State ParkFranconia Notch State Park
Franconia Notch State Park

At the Echo Lake parking lot
The Lone Duck On The LakeThe Lone Duck On The Lake
The Lone Duck On The Lake

His friends had all gone south for the winter!

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