Whites Mountain Notch Trip

July 24th, 2009

A group of daring Miata owners met at the Holiday Inn in Marlborough to begin our adventure into the wilds of New Hampshire. The weather was daunting but with tops up, we ventured on.

Our first stop was at the Route 93 North rest area in New Hampshire. Huddled under our umbrellas, we were joined by several other crazy Miata owners.

We proceeded to lunch at Hart’s Turkey Farm. Here we were seated at tables spread around the restaurant. I guess our reputation precedes us and they didn’t want too much commotion. They even sat some people in the bar area. How was that selection made? Of course lunch was followed by a dessert of home made cookies compliments of Judy. Finally the sky looked clear and everyone put their tops down. I took this opportunity to show off picture of our new granddaughter.

After lunch we left the highway for more congenial Miata roads. Our pit stop was at Chocorua Lake. Jean Brewer and Vicki Busky discovered wild blueberries. This became the theme of the trip. At every stop they searched for blueberries and were warned that they should wash them well before consumption or even to consider not eating them. Who knows what they were watered with?

After taking the Kancamagus highway, we rejoined Route 93 North and encountered rain!! What else would you expect from this summer? While several of us pulled over to put our tops up, others proceeded to keep driving and they drove out of the rain. This was the second theme of the trip. If it starts to rain, keep going. The rain will stop shortly.

Friday evening saw most of us at the Hampton Inn in Littleton NH. Some people had booked other accommodations. Everyone was on their own for dinner. Lillian provided us with an extensive list of local restaurants. Several people took advantage of the Applebee’s – close enough to walk to. Other more adventuresome groups sampled the area restaurants including the Thai restaurant and Italian brew pub.

Saturday morning, well fortified with coffee, we all assembled in the Hampton Inn parking lot for our ride into the North Woods. The problem with coffee is that it leads to pit stops. These stops tend to get pretty long when the facility is a single seater! As the group was large and time was a factor, some people were inadvertently (?) left behind. The route was well marked with long stretches on the same road so everyone was able to easily rejoin the group. Personally, I think some people just enjoyed the chance to go really fast when trying to catch up.

There were clouds on the mountain tops and we drove through some of them in the notches. We traveled some beautiful roads including “Moose Alley” Despite the numerous signs for Moose Crossing; we saw nary a glimpse of the creatures. I think they hide as soon as they hear a Miata. (Some people did see a bear on our way to dinner Saturday night at Fratello’s. It crossed right over Route 93.)

Lunch was at the Buck Rub Pub in Pittsburg – just 14 miles from the Canadian border. The Trouts met some friends who live in NH there for lunch. The friends actually made better time crossing through Canada to reach us than if they stayed in NH!

The Pub owners must have been happy to see us. It’s not hunting season yet, and we almost filled the place. The clam chowder was excellent. It did become self serve at some points as the 2 waitresses tried to take all our orders. Jon was able to get a whole pot of decaf to himself – fresh brewed extra strong.

After lunch, we crossed over into Vermont and traveled along the Connecticut River. Here we encountered more drive through showers. We crossed back into NH at Lancaster. An interesting bit of trivia – Lancaster NH was named for Lancaster MA, hometown of an early settler. We happen to live in Lancaster MA and I can say that the one in NH is bigger and more prosperous.

After a slight “scenic detour”, we arrived back at the Inn with just enough time to freshen up for dinner.

Bob and I left dinner early to get gas and took a wrong turn to the hotel. After a very long detour, we arrived at the Inn at 11:30. We felt this was too late to call anyone for a Sunday morning meeting time. Rumors at dinner suggested we were leaving for breakfast at 7:30 AM. Not being able to confirm this, we woke at 6 AM so we wouldn’t miss breakfast at Polly’s Pancake House.

Polly’s was excellent with several pancake and waffle batters to choose from. Uniquely, the waitresses take the orders and cook the pancakes! They come in servings of 6 but are served 3 at a time so they don’t get cold.

After Polly’s it was off to Hurricane Mountain Road via Bear Notch Road. These are both great Miata roads not to be missed. Several people went over Hurricane Mountain Road 3 times.

We left Hurricane Mountain Road and traveled briefly into Maine. This trip could have been called the Northern New England Trip. We stopped to fill the cars and empty bladders. At this point we left the group to travel back with the Buskys.

The group traveled to lunch at Castle in the Clouds where I heard they had a very exciting lunch! After being seated on the patio under a large tent, a thunderstorm hit. Greg and Dawn were able to convince the waitress to move them inside. Less than 5 minutes later, the tent collapsed! They probably would not have been hurt, but they definitely would have gotten very wet.

There was a lot of rain in the area all the way home. Charly thinks Sunday holds the record for tops up/down in a single day. Unfortunately, the rain was too heavy to keep driving.

Thank you Lillian (and Jon) for another wonderful Miata adventure. Everyone made it there and back safely. We had some great food, some good laughs and many wonderful roads.

Janet Baylis

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