After escaping the beautiful, boot-ravaged state of Maine, we headed to the White Mountains in New Hampshire. This area, which is in the northern part of New Hampshire, is serenely beautiful, exceedingly mountainous, and adverbly remote. It was a great place to meet up with some friends and curse the lack of cell service.
Our first stop in New Hampshire was a Camping World located in Conway, New Hampshire. If you’re not familiar with Camping World, they sell everything relating to RVs, including all sorts of nifty RV gadgets, and they also sell and service RVs themselves. We had an 8 a.m. appointment at Camping World to get the tow equipment we bought online installed on our tow car. Basically, there is a plate that attaches under the front of the car, with hooks for the tow bar to grab onto, and then there is wiring to make sure that the brake lights in the car light up when you press on the brakes in the motorhome, etc.
We knew it would be a long job, so we wanted to get there right on time. Unfortunately, the road to Conway stopped being a road about 15 miles outside the town: construction crews were resurfacing the roadway, which meant they had removed the entire road surface, and so a fairly major state highway became a one-lane dirt path composed, entirely, of potholes.
No time to worry about that: we had a schedule to keep. Jake plowed ahead in the RV as quickly as he dared, and Heather got to watch from the car behind as the entire motorhome was shaken like a Polaroid picture. It was a little like riding a mechanical bull while wearing a backpack full of your pint glasses, and the second-most harrowing drive we’ve had on our trip so far. (We’ll get to the worst in about 3 more blog posts.)
But we made it in the end, nearly all breakable items intact, and the cheerfully incompetent Camping World employees were able to get our tow equipment installed in only 4 hours more than they estimated. Boom! Tow car activated.
It was twilight by the time we finally made it out from Camping World, and we headed to our home for the weekend, Dry River Campground. We met up at the campground with friends of ours from Boston, Kate and Matt, the only people so far brave enough to meet us somewhere dark and secluded. Being outdoorsy, at least for former Manhattan residents, they slept in a tent outside while we stayed in our RV. Now, one of the Kate and Matt duo is pregnant; we won’t tell you which one, but yes, that person slept in a sleeping bag on the ground while we cuddled up in our comfortable bed in our RV, which also has a bathroom and a refrigerator.
We have no regrets about this, which we assume toughened up the baby somehow. We just thought you should know.
Anyway, we had a great time hanging out despite the inequality (check your sleep privileges, America!), and got to enjoy a pretty beautiful part of the United States for the weekend. We hiked up Mt. Washington, except replace “hiked” with “drove,” and the views from the top were spectacular. It’s so ridgy!
Here’s some trivia: Mt. Washington is the highest peak in the Northeast, and infamous for it’s erratic and dangerous weather – the official record low is −50 °F. The winds are insane; until very recently, the weather station at the top of Mt. Washington held the record for the highest wind speed ever recorded (231 mph). According to the “Extreme Mount Washington Museum,” during the winter, researchers have to continuously clear off supercooled rime ice from the instruments, which actually is super cool unless you’re the one doing it.
In other words, don’t go to Mt. Washington in the winter. During our visit in late August, it was mostly clear, with bright blue skies and a temperature of about 60 degrees. As the clouds started to roll in, we made a hasty retreat.
We ended up on a short hike somewhere with a lower altitude: the lovely and lush Thompson Falls. Brace yourself for lots of pictures of climbing on rocks.
After we got our fill of scrambling over rocks and tromping through nature, we headed back to our campsite. Unfortunately, the guys had to leave our evening campfire, for an extremely important and legitimate reason: Fantasy Football. You see, Dry River Campground is located in the middle of a national forest, in the mountains, in a remote part of New Hampshire. We have been able to get cellular service through our Verizon hotspot or AT&T phone in literally every other place we’ve ever stayed. But the one time we actually needed it, we couldn’t get even the whisper of a signal, which meant that instead of drinking beers and drafting around a campfire, Jake and Matt had to drive to a ski resort hotel, where they still drank beer but which had no campfire. (We’re pretty sure the vacationing teenage girls at the hotel were impressed by the two bearded 30-somethings with stacks of paper and multiple electronic devices each, though.) The draft was bizarrely held at 8 p.m. on a Saturday night, so some camping time was missed, but at least they still made it back in time for some s’mores.
Meanwhile, the girls stayed behind to tend to the fire, and had the pleasure of listening in to our neighbors’ extremely loud conversations. The neighbors were on a “mancation” (“sausage weekend” must have been taken), and built themselves a gigantic bonfire so they could see while they played the card game Asshole. They also cursed like… well, like assholes.
Way to represent the gender, fellas.
That was it for our short but sweet adventures in New Hampshire, and the next morning, we packed up to head to Vermont. Matt and Kate, ever the outdoorspersons, went hiking before they headed back to Boston. We… did not.
What’s next: Currently, we are in Marfa, Texas, a desert town with a population of 2,000, taking a weeklong break from travel and cranking out some blog posts. Next up is El Paso, where we look forward to mooching off of Jake’s mom.
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Shamefully missed a prior post? You can check them out below, but be warned: we can’t keep coddling you forever.
- Week 8.2: Maine, Part 2: The ReMaineder
- Week 8.1: Maine, Part 1
- Week 8: Womp, Womp
- Week 7: Cape Cod – It’s Gonna Rain
- Week 6: Road Through Rhode Island
- Week 5: Underwater
- Weeks 4-5: You Connect, I Cut
- Week 3.5: A Casino, An Art Park & A Lake
- Week 3: Watkins Glen is Magic
- Week 2: Ithaca is Gorges
- Week 1 (ish) Travelogue