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Chasing Rainbows

October 12, 2012

New Hampshire – Wednesday, Oct. 10

We started the morning off with a 3.2 mile walk around Lancaster and adjoining neighborhoods (different parts of town than I’d been in yesterday). I had done a little research last night and saw that there was a homeless shelter in Lancaster, and I was hoping to make a donation to them. So I called, but just got the answering machine – and I’m really hesitant to shop and just leave stuff on the doorstep in case the place might not be in business anymore. I ended up calling a tri-county shelter office in a town about 45 minutes away to see if maybe I should give them the donation. The guy I spoke with there knew the manager of the Lancaster place (the Tyler Blaine House) and called him and tracked him down. In the end, the manager of the Tyler Blaine house told the other guy he would be back soon and would be happy to get anything at all – and perhaps some milk and eggs would be nice. So I did my shopping – and for the first time got some perishable stuff along with the usual non-perishable things. I found the house (and had actually walked by it in the morning without noticing the sign!) and they helped unload the bags and were pleased to get the stuff.

Then I started to head south toward the White Mountains. It was kind of a cloudy day, and we stopped in the town of Whitefield, and did about 2 1/2 miles of walking and got rained on a bit – it wasn’t a downpour or anything, but still a bit wet and chilly! Then I headed down to Twin Peaks, the next town, and decided I better quickly finish my last couple miles of walking because there were some dark clouds moving in even though the sun was out right where I was at. As soon as I parked the car and got out, I saw a huge beautiful rainbow – the complete arc leading right down to the ground by a house about 1/2 mile up. I figured if I really hurried I would find my pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! So we set off down the straight sidewalks on the straight street and it seriously looked as though I should be able to walk right under the rainbow. Oddly enough, the closer I got, the more the rainbow retreated, and even though I chased it down for over a mile, I failed in my attempt to retrieve the pot of gold! I began to wonder a bit about the physics of rainbows (if I saw the rainbow while walking north, I assumed the people driving south could see the same thing…and at some point, if they drove by me, they must have passed under the rainbow) and then it just got all confusing and I decided to just enjoy the magic of a big pretty rainbow – and for a while there was a faint second rainbow too – a double arch! It was beginning to sprinkle when we got back to the car and the wind was picking up.

At this point I should have been able to see the peaks of a lot of the mountains in the Presidential Range, but no such luck. Mt. Washington is the tallest mountain in New England (biggest mountain north of the Carolinas and east of the Mississippi) and I haven’t seen it yet – and I’m sure it’s because I haven’t seen a whole lot of the sun lately either! This is a big receation/resort area, and winter skiing is the main attraction (although in the summer there’s rock climbing, hiking, kayaking and canoeing) and there’s lots of ski resorts and lodges and inns. I drove by an enormous resort that has been there since before World War 11. Back in those days, the wealthy people would take a train into the mountains, and sometimes 50 trains a day would arrive at the resort, and many families had their own private railroad car(s) which would stay on sidings until they were ready to leave again – it’s hard to imagine a life like that! A lady at the train museum also told me that WW11 military units would train for winter/mountain combat in the White Mountains (in white camo) because the rugged terrain was similar to some of the mountain terrain in Europe.

It started to rain more heavily, and then started coming down in a downpour, and although the drive through the White Mountain National Forest was pretty, I was pretty much just concentrating on driving through the rain. When I came out on the south end of the national forest, there were more little towns and I decided to stop in Intervale because it was now getting dark in addition to the rain. I got a reasonable room at the first stop (no charge again for Tula) and am beginning to wonder if I’ll be able to camp at all in New Hampshire! This has been the chilliest state so far, and then there’s been quite a bit of rain too. I was hoping to camp at least once in each of the states, so I’ll just have to see what the rest of the week holds.

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