Sheetrock Up!

We made our customary trip to our future house today, and found that while the siding wasn’t up, the sheetrock and primer coat was basically done. All the cabinetry is in the garage ready to go, along with the the flooring, trim, and other assorted supplies. It may not feel like it in some respects (finish work takes longer than you think), but it’s getting close!

Kitchen, sans cabinetry.
Missing the French doors to the deck still, which is a bit worrisome.

It wasn’t the greatest day for a photo of the view, as it was cold and overcast, and couldn’t really get one from up high, but this will suffice for now.

Still have to get those trees pushed or cut down!

Cilleyville Bog Covered Bridge in New Hampshire

I pass this everyday going to and coming from the kids’ school, and today I stopped for a photo. History.

Of course I had a visitor that really wanted to be caught on digital film!

Way more chipmunks in New England than squirrels!

RV Life

Upon arrival in New Hampshire, we still had 2 1/2 months to go until the house was complete, so needed a place to live. The Lake Sunapee region is a very touristy area, peaking in the summer, but then also having an uptick during the winter with the skiers (and practitioners from other various winter sports, I suppose) coming up from the cities. Interestingly, I heard that the population of Newbury, ostensibly about two thousand people, drops by over half after the summertime is over. What does this all mean? That Airbnb’s in last August/early September are a bear to find if you don’t have a money tree. And to be clear, we don’t.

Where to stay? We figured we were already in the Minnie Winnie for weeks by that point, so let’s just extend that out. Go with the flow. Danica booked us for 3 weeks at the Crows Nest RV Campground.

You don’t want a close up of the vehicles — pasted with mid-western bugs.

Lily got some great outside time here. I worked outside most days, sitting out in the sun on a camp chair, which allowed her to indulge her need to mow the grass.

Happy pig.

I did a lot of walking around to keep as active as possible, but the options were a bit limited. The campground was pretty big, but you could still do the whole thing in about 15 or 20 minutes. It did have a pretty lake, though.

NH sunset.

I did find a challenging route across the highway to walk when I had the time, though. (As an aside, you do not want to walk NH highways. While they’re two lane deals, you have construction trucks going 55 MPH along these somewhat narrow roads, which is just asking for a quick path to the afterlife.) The route I took was steep, but pretty. I’d hit it in the mornings while the fog was still sitting in the valleys, and got some great photos.

Bucolic.

Our stay was great, all things considered. “Considered” means that we were still in a smallish living space, up in each other’s business, coin operated laundry, challenges with the Wi-Fi, and using public showers. No complaints, though — the stay was great. We even had a tropical storm we endured while we were there, which was honestly kind of fun with the rain dumping on the RV. We watched a few movies in the camper, did some excursions to the area, and generally enjoyed the last gasps of summer before school started. Next up is the Airbnb at Ragged Mountain!

Vermont: Almost There!

We rolled into the final KOA of our journey east on September 14th, 12 days after leaving White Salmon. Our trip was almost complete, going through high desert, cornfields, cities, and staying at more KOAs that you can shake a corn cob at. While we weren’t quite arrived in New Hampshire yet, we were in New England, and it felt like it.

The Green Mountain state!

The Quechee/Pine Valley KOA was pretty nice, honestly reminding me of campgrounds in the Columbia Gorge. Lots of trees to shade everything, camp fires putting up smoke that settled in the morning to inundate everything, and very peaceful.

Moose!

All KOAs have events, mainly for kids, and we’d tried to take advantage of them when we had time. This was one we could: a hay ride! The kids loved it. I wish they’d provided some cushions for the older adults, though 🙂

Bumpy.

As a lot of the campgrounds we stayed at, this one had a fantastic, very photogenic lake. I was lucky with many of these over the trip. Pretty.

New England dawn.

For dinner we went into the town of Woodstock — about 15 minutes away — to a place called Worthy Kitchen. Very cool place, with a modern gastropub menu, a huge selection of local beer, and luckily for us, seating outside for Tigli. (That was always a challenge on this trip, as leaving her in the RV for any length of time wouldn’t be right to her, but also not right to close neighbors if she decided to get into a barking loop.) Woodstock is a bit of a drive from the Lake Sunapee region, but I’m sure I’ll be back at some point. Great place.

We’re not worthy!

That’s it for the trip east, but I’ll post about our next campground soon in Newport, NH. We stayed there for a quite a while, but I’m not considering it part of the trip, per se. Definitely some great photos to share form there, though!

Hiking Ragged Mountain

As I’ve mentioned before, its fantastic luck that our Airbnb we’re living in while waiting for our house to be complete is basically at the base of a ski area, Ragged Mountain. I’ve taken advantage of this, and get into the weeds a bit. This was Saturday

Do they weed whack these runs, or what?

I still have yet to hike to the summit, even though that’s on my list of things to do in October when the foliage is fully engaged with its autumnal glory. Look forward to that, please. I also found this bridge. It may be one of the more useless signs I’ve seen. I’m guessing that it’s been around for a long time, when there was an actual bridge here, and it was deemed unsafe for lawyers to approve.

You don’t say?

Last photo. You can see a little color in a band of the forest here, but it’s happening fast now.

Band of orange.

Niagara Falls: I See Canada!

Apologies for the long delay. Adjusting to a new location, new conditions, and all the time demands when having a house built have taken its toll on this enterprise. Anyway, today is New York, specifically Niagara Falls. This was the first time seeing this in person for me and the girls, and the second time for Danica. It’s just as amazing as I thought it was going to be: a true American treasure. Or should I say, American and Canadian, since you can look across the river and see the Great North. Due to COVID, sadly, going over there for a visit wasn’t going to happen. Maybe in 2022 we’ll see some sense come to that particular border crossing.

New York does not have the greatest roads, by the way.
Yeah, not for long.

I’m a product of my generation, so the first thing I thought about in anticipation of the falls was Superman II, and some dumb kid getting saved by Christopher Reeve. (Fun reminder: https://youtu.be/YSv8iNuvnpg) Yep, I was a comic book kid and my memories of childhood back that up. Back to the real thing:

That’s a lot of H2O.

We had a few hours there, and it was very hot that day. When we got close to the water, you could feel the cool wind coming off of it, which was appreciated. We spent some time on this side of the falls, snapping some photos and listening to a group of Christians singing songs very, very loudly (were they competing with the waterfall?). I’m skeptical how much of that really moves people to either become Christian or commit further to Jesus (I’m guessing essentially zero), but each to their own, I suppose.

Take it in fam.

Close up.

Of course we read about the barrel riders that used to go over the falls starting about 120 years ago (well, the first person to survive it). Just like the milk crate challenge, I’m pretty sure I could do it. I have a request out to Danica. I guess it’s going to committee. I’ll keep the public informed. If you want a fun little deep dive into this odd artifact of American history, read here.

Tesla: #1 to Edison’s #2.

One unexpected thing was this statue of Nikola Tesla. That’s another fun deep dive into the fantastically interesting life he led. Why is he here? He and George Westinghouse built the first hydro-electric power plant here. Ground breaking. This is where one of the greatest upward shifts in human history happened. It’s hard to really wrap your head around how easy things are now due to his engineering genius.

Getting very, very wet.

The photo above is the Cave of the Winds, and it’s on my bucket list of things to do. Why not this time? NO DOGS ALLOWED, and leaving Tigli in the RV for hours wasn’t going to happen. Next time! It looks like it’s one of those tourist things that lives up to the hype!

Ragged Mountain

We’re at our Airbnb now, finally out of the RV, and we’re happy to see it’s literally 100 yards from a ski area called Ragged Mountain. Beautiful, and inspiring for the upcoming season.

We’ll, it is the Granite State after all.
Yay, detachable!
Apparently they mow the slope in the summer?

The Airbnb is tiny for 4 people, but no complaints; it’s huge compared to the RV.

In the Buckeye State for a Day

Up until getting ready for this post, I didn’t realize that “The Buckeye State” was a reference to the state tree of Ohio. The more you know. The obligatory proof of entry:

Well, thank you Ohio!

At this point we were getting very close to the end of the cross-country journey to New Hampshire — only a couple more stops to go. This was a beautiful campground. If anyone happens to need a place to camp while in Ohio, you got a great place.

This wins the KOA sign contest that other KOAs didn’t know they were in. Thompson/Grand River wins!

We got to the campground early enough to do some exploration. Beautiful. There was a big lake that was for fishing and just hanging out and appreciating the natural beauty, which we took advantage of. I have to say that on the trip East, I got real lucky with grabbing some stunning sunset photos.

The theming was also nice and well executed. Kind of a pioneer theme/old West thing going on (which is a bit incongruent, but still cool). The kids at this point had been pretty good, but we felt all the treats and downtime were making them soft, so we threw them in jail for a bit to toughen them up. New Hampshire is rough I hear. This’ll learn ’em.

Not fake. At all.

The next morning we had a bit of time before we had to leave — the next stop was at Niagara Falls, which was only a few hours away, so we took advantage. The other lake was meant for play, and all sorts of options: a floating slide, mini-kayaks, paddle boats, etc. Clare was an enthusiastic user of these options, and of course made a friend for the morning in the process.

Steady…

After she cleaned up a bit, we were off. Almost there! Next up is Niagara Falls, my first time there!

NH Sunset

Crows Nest RV Park in Newbury, NH

St. Patrick’s

Rainy morning in New Hampshire

Attended Mass at what will probably be our some parish this morning. Beautiful choir and old, beautiful church. It was probably the most traditional Mass I’ve been at ever, just stopping short of Latin. So different than St. Anthony’s in Tigard, but not better or worse. Just so different. You can tell the priest is really connected to his faith, too. We’ll be back!

Next week, since we’ll be in an Airbnb north of New London, we’ll be attending the church nearer, though. We’ll see what it has in store in 7 days.