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Picturesque Villages in New Hampshire…

Posted by on August 30, 2015

AUGUST 30, 2104

TODAY’S GAME PLAN: While having breakfast and drinking lots of steaming hot coffee at Munroe’s Diner this morning, we were reading one of thoseplan tourist maps you get from the display rack at restaurants and in hotel lobbies. This particular one highlighted some of the interesting little towns and villages in the area. So we decided to take a long drive in the country and explore some of these little off-the-beaten-path places. It turned out to be a very enjoyable day.


Welcome back. You were here with us in this little village just a day or two ago, when we rode the Cog Railway to the top of Mt. Washington. The railway station is located here. The locomotive’s climb up the mountain begins here. But there’s something else in town I want to show you. It’s the Mt. Washington Resort.

Grand history and modern luxury. A favorite retreat of Presidents, poets and celebrities. The resort is one of the last surviving grand hotels in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. It includes a championship 18 hole golf course, a tennis club with professional clay courts and a stable where horses are available to guests for trail rides through the woods. My San Diego friends will see a resemblance to the Hotel del Coronado, but of course the setting is in the woods rather than on the ocean shore.


The upscale Mt. Washington Resort almost seems out of place in the little village of Bretton Woods, New Hampshire.



Tennis and golf at Mt. Washington Resort.


Riding stables at Mt. Washington Resort.


The village of Dalton is quintessential New Hampshire. Only  1,000 folks call it home. More than 80 percent of the village’s land is undeveloped farmland or forest land. The main point of interest is the Dalton Covered Bridge, constructed in 1863 at an original cost of just $630.00. It spans the Warner River. Unlike many of the other bridges we’ve seen, this one has covered sides. Don’t know why that is.


Driving across the covered bridge in Dalton, New Hampshire.


A train trestle crosses the Warner River in Dalton, not far from the covered bridge.


The Covered Bridge.


The Train Trestle


View from the road leading into Dalton, New Hampshire.


That’s the Dalton Covered Bridge in the background. We drove the Jeep off the road and down to the river to get a good look at it. 


When the folks who live in Dalton “go to town,” they head to nearby Littleton, with a hefty population of almost 6,000 souls. There they can find a post office and even a courthouse. Main Street is lined with churches, a little grocery store, a bank or two, retail shops and a few tempting restaurants.


This impressive looking building is the Courthouse and the Post Office.


All the action in Littleton is located on Main Street.


More shops along Main Street in Littleton, New Hampshire.


This church is on Main Street, of course. 


An office building in Littleton.


Chutters Candy Shop


Chutters Candy Shop is home to the world’s longest candy counter. An impressive 112 feet of gleaming glass jars runs the entire length of the store.


Bethlehem was our last stop of the day. Its population is less than 1,000. Part of the town is located in the White Mountain National Forest.  The famous Appalachian Trail crosses in the south. Again, quintessential New Hampshire. When we stopped so I could take a picture of the Post Office, we met a friendly chap who lives in town. He and his wife, together with their adult daughter, own the building that collectively houses the Post Office and a Coffee and Espresso Shop, the antique store next door and the transmission repair shop next door to that.

This fella told us all about the town and why he so much enjoys living there. According to him, the colorful Fall foliage this year will probably peak within just a few short weeks. Since we will still be in this general area for a while, it looks as if we’ll get a chance to “see the show.” Autumn in New England is supposed to be very special. When we check it out, you guys will be the first to know.


I guess there’s no reason not to house the Post Office in the same building with the local Coffee Bar, is there? See the coffee shop at the end of the building, with the awning? 


Most of the churches in New England are shiny white wooden buildings. Not as much in New Hampshire, which is called “the Granite State.” Here’s an example of why…a beautiful old church constructed entirely from stone. This is a beautiful addition to the village of Bethlehem.


As you can see, the leaves are already starting to turn red and orange. New England is going to be absolutely stunning in just a few weeks!


This handsome rock wall completely surrounds the church. The flat granite slabs were carefully placed and stacked to construct the wall, but it doesn’t appear that any mortar was used at all.















BLACK BEAR SIGHTINGS. I’m going to have to eat my words and extend my apologies for the derogatory remarks I’ve made about Chambers of Commerce and tourist bureaus all across the country. I’ve made accusatory charges against them for years. You see, I thought all their talk about wild bears was totally fabricated. Just designed to lure unsuspecting tourists into town to spend their money and add to the tax coffers. After all, we’re from San Diego, home to the largest zoo in the world. I was sure that all bears lived in the zoo. Well, I was wrong! Very wrong.

I’VE GOT TO EAT MY WORDS. During the last two days, we’ve spotted not one, but two huge black bears! On each occasion, Mother Nature treated us to an up-front and almost too personal encounter with these marvelous creatures. I was so excited about the one we saw yesterday near the Cog Railway I kidded with Florence that I didn’t think I’d be able to even get to sleep last night! And when another one, also very large, lumbered across the road in front of our Jeep this evening, I could hardly believe my eyes! My faith has been renewed. I’m on the prowl again, now with high hopes for spotting both Moose and Elk. Stay tuned. With a little practice, I’m hoping to develop a “quick draw” system with my pocket camera so next time we have a sighting you won’t have to take my word for it.


This picture of a black bear was taken in New Hampshire near where we saw one this evening. It was too dark for me to get a picture, and the bear was in too big a hurry to pose anyhow. But I’m hoping soon to present you guys with a picture of a bear we’ve actually spotted ourselves. 

AND SOME PHEASANTS, TOO.  As if our bear sightings hadn’t already offered us enough excitement today, we also saw some pheasants alongside the road. For a couple of city-slickers like us, we really hit the jackpot!


Several of these pheasants were marching down the road today as we drove through the countryside in New Hampshire. 



The Wayside Inn, located in Bethlehem, New Hampshire.

Driving back to our motorhome after a long day exploring little villages in New Hampshire, we came across a country inn aptly named “The Wayside Inn.” It’s a small place…almost looks like a large Bed and Breakfast. A lantern by the front door illuminated a little chalkboard that announced  dinner service between 6:00 and 8:00 tonight. Perfect! We’d arrived at just about 7:00. We were hungry and the place looked charming. Large windows in the dining room offered us an unobstructed view of the beautiful river and a European-style natural garden.

Our hosts were Kathe and Victor Hofmann, originally from Switzerland and now Innkeepers here in New Hampshire. Here’s how they describe their dining room: “The finest local ingredients are selected, and everything is carefully and lovingly prepared by your host and award-winning chef, Victor Hofmann. His European training is reflected in the delicious Swiss culinary menu, perfect here in the heart of New Hampshire’s White Mountains.”

I’ll want to remember our evening at the Wayside Inn. So, at the risk of boring you guys to tears, I’m going to mention what each of us selected from the menu. Florence chose the Niman Ranch pasture-raised grilled pork chop, marinated in maple syrup. And I enjoyed french onion soup, baked in a crock with a crouton and melted Swiss cheese. For my entree I selected the fresh salmon filet, char-broiled and served with a lemon wheel and Hollandaise sauce. Both were good choices, and having dinner by candlelight was the perfect way for us to celebrate our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.


The dining room overlooks the Inn’s garden and a cheerful little stream. Looking at the view makes you think to yourself, “All is well.”



The ambiance was delightful. The food was fresh and well prepared. And the home made rolls, right from the oven, were the best! Our waitress brought us a second basket without even being asked. We must have looked hungry!



This area is just outside the dining room. Very charming. It would be fun to spend a long weekend here at Christmas time, with snow on the ground and a fire burning in the fireplace. Just like a Christmas card! 

By the time we finished dinner, the kitchen was closed so we got a chance to chat with the chef. You guys know I’m a wanna be restaurateur, and Victor was kind enough to answer lots of questions I had about operating a small restaurant. Thanks to you both, Kathe and Victor. We really enjoyed ourselves. Perhaps we’ll join you again someday when we can stay a little longer!


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