photography, memories, friends, fun, travel, adventure, perseverance, food, moments, life goes on, connections, a second look, road trip, leap of faith, Camping

Hitting the jackpot…

The Jackpot being all the photos ops that could possibly be crammed into one 24 hour period.  Or maybe it’s the jackpot of having your lifelong friend be the one person who would be willing to pull the car off to the side of the road to capture, or try to capture, the scene that has caught your eye.  What a treasure it is to have someone in your life who has been your best friend since childhood.  Somehow our interests, and also our worries, have always been compatible.  We haven’t lived in the same state since we graduated from college together, but that hasn’t mattered a bit.  And we are now finding our way alone in life, but together.  Yes, I certainly hit that jackpot.

But this particular jackpot took place at the Quechee Balloon Festival on Sunday morning.  We actually went on Saturday, almost all of the photos we took were on Saturday, and it was a perfect day from the cardinal we saw as we started our day (a husband or two stopping by to cheer us on?), the glorious lunch we got at Simon Pearce (gazpacho soup and a fabulous quiche, two grown up ladies such as we may have pictured ourselves years ago when we were little girls together), and the lovely day with blue skies sandwiched between days of rain in the weather forecast.  Yes, all was going well, and then the clouds got heavier and the winds came up, and we started fearing the balloons wouldn’t go off at 6PM.  Which is about when I realized I didn’t have my phone.  I lose things often, but not usually my phone, which currently is my lifeline for  this adventure I’m on.  We gave up on looking, left info to reach us, and went back to the campground with a damper now weighing down the entire day.  Only they did call!  They had my phone!  We decided to wait until sunrise to go back to Quechee and got my phone, and also saw the balloons launch!  Every good story needs some drama, and this was no exception.  We made it back to the campground in time for the wonderful Father’s Day breakfast the owners put on for everyone.

Quechee has a covered bridge, we’ve taken pictures of it before, but it was the kids under the bridge that I hadn’t ever seen before.  Jumping off the cliffs (sort of) and into the water.  Do they really know that there are no rocks hidden under the water?  It was nerve wracking to watch, but of course we took pictures.  These aren’t as clear as I wish they have been but they do show the scene.06_15_19bridge06_15_19the whole scene06_15_19upriverview06_15_19quecheejumper106_15_19quecheejumper206_15_19quecheejumper3

But it was the balloons we came for, the third time I had come to a balloon launch and the sixth time for my friend, but we saw the balloons for the first time together.


Quite an eventful 24 hour visit.  Can’t wait for the next one…

a second look, connections, coping, courage, finding my way, friends, growing old, life goes on, live and learn, memories, perseverance, photography, road trip

Bridging the gap…

I was looking for bear tracks the other day when I wandered down to the river and saw that the bridge was ‘lit up’, so I took an iPhone photo.  I often forget to check the iPhone even though I take pictures with it frequently.  I have to work a little harder to take pictures with the camera, and here I had the nicest picture right in my pocket the whole time.  Looking at this picture you have VT on the left side of the bridge and NH on the right side.   And at this moment in time I feel as if I’m standing on a bridge and I have my nostalgia for my ‘home’, my roots, for the people I used to know and the person I used to be on one side, and on the other, what exactly?  I have no clue, but I’m working on it…

And yes, there was a bear in the campground the other night.  Which explains why I now drive to the bathroom in the middle of the night…

bugs, nature, photography, adventure, perseverance, natural wonders, finding my way, 'scene' along the way, road trip, Camping

The Kancamagus Highway…

That was my goal Wednesday when I set out to take some pictures.  I think I just like to say Kancamagus, and it was too pretty out to stay home.  If you look at it on a map it looks like it goes in a diagonal line from where I am now, to Lincoln, NH.  That’s not true though.  You have to drive a bit to get to Rt. 112, and I discovered several distractions along the way that slowed me down and kept me from traveling the whole highway.  Which is okay because a friend of mine is most at home in the Lincoln area and I’m in hopes we’ll get back there together eventually.  This farm was a distraction along the way.  And when I stopped to take a picture this cow came over to say hi.farmagain6_12_19cowandbarn6_12_19cowandbarn26_12_19redbarnscene

Then the town of Bradford provided it’s own distraction.  Just a block long, but quaint, and good food.  A pastrami reuben at a little coffee shop called The Local Buzz.  What a great name, and a great sandwich.6_12_19waterfall1bradfordlibrary6_12_19townturretthelocalbuzzBuzzmap

Eventually I did make a run at the Kancamagus though, and I got there.  As promised by my cousin, the scenery is spectacular.  But pull-offs are too few and far between.  Which explains why I turned around after I passed the Beaver Pond scenic area and returned for photos there also.  But I turned out to be the main course for the black flies and mosquitos that were just hanging around waiting for an unsuspecting tourist to show up. When I told my cousin that I stopped at Beaver Pond he said that he and his wife hiked a trail there once and encountered a swarm of black flies that had them running to their car.  Glad to know it’s not just me being a wimp.  Nobody bothered my DEET infused legs, which was nice.  But too bad I didn’t think to spray my ears because they got gnawed on pretty fiercely.  Now my ears are burning, you aren’t talking about me are you?6_12_19beaverdamoverlook26_12_19beaverdamoverlook6_12_19beaverpondredux


blessings, childhood, connections, coping, courage, faith, family, friends, healing, honor, memories, moments, perseverance, photography, road trip, strangers become friends


I only met her once.  She had long ago married into the family that I loved in my childhood, and had recently fallen in love with again despite the 60+ year absence.  On Sunday I attended her memorial, her celebration of life.  And with four generations of family present it truly was a celebration.  Hearing everyone from her granddaughter to her sister speak of her love of reading and love of family, I saw that I would have enjoyed knowing her. But she was gone too soon.  She was a special part of this special family, and I saw that she will be missed.  And remembered.  It was a privilege to have been included in this day.

This celebration was held at her brother’s house, and when I arrived I was concentrating on seeing/meeting this large group of people that I had never met.  It was after I’d been there a few minutes that I began to notice the house itself. The low plaster and beamed ceiling as you walk in, and the seven (I think) fireplaces, one in every room. Turns out it was built in 1724, and as much of the original as possible is still present.  When necessary improvements had to be made, such as in the kitchen with it’s loft overlook, the original wood that had been taken out was used to build any new cabinets, etc.  It’s completely obvious that this house has been loved.  And it may not be an exaggeration to say that George Washington slept there.  His 2nd in command married the daughter of the home owner back in those old days, so it’s entirely possible.  Though someone mentioned that considering all the area houses making the claim that George Washington slept there it would seem George may have slept around a bit.  As we left we were talking about what a nice memorial it had been, which may be why I forgot to take the outside shots I had intended to take.


cornercupboardcornerwithphotosfireplacefireplace2fireplace3kitchen wallkitchen wall2kitchenislandkitchenwall2loftviewsoapstonesinkspinningwheelstaircasetwowindowswelcome


'scene' along the way, adventure, Camping, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel

One good thing…

I thought that this would be the day that I would make a blog post without a single picture.  You see I discovered a potential tick bite, yes again, on Sunday morning.  I could feel the skin wasn’t right, but for the life of me I couldn’t see what was wrong because it was located in an unmentionable spot.  So I resorted to taking a picture, a picture that I’d have bet you a million dollars that I’d never take.  And yes, a bite of some kind, but maybe it would heal on it’s own.  Besides, Sunday was a busy day that started by waking up in NY and finished in front of a campfire in MA.  And the next morning it was back to NH by way of VT, several times back and forth it seemed.  But this morning I decided to go get it checked out, if for no other reason than to be able to delete that picture from my phone before I mistakenly posted it online.  And, darn it all, turns out I have the full blown bulls-eye of Lyme disease.  Let’s see, it took me a little over a week of camping to get Lyme disease?  That must be a record.

So I got checked and I got my prescription, and asked Siri to take me home by the back roads, in search of a photo op.  So she sent me home on Lyme Road.  Sigh, of course she did.

But the good news is that I saw that Dartmouth College was in the area, and I didn’t even have to make a turn in search of the campus to stop for photos.  Lyme Road took me straight through the campus, so I did get a few photos today, and none of them are embarrassing!  A very good thing.6_11_19Dartmouth6_11_19Dartmouth26_11_19Dartmouth36_11_19Dartmouth46_11_19Dartmouth76_11_19Dartmouth86_11_19Dartmouth1006.11.19dartmouth606.11.19dartmouth906.11.19dartmouth1206.11.19dartmouth13

I have to say that Charley would have had a field day with this whole Lyme disease thing.  Oh, he’d be sympathetic alright, but he would have had a grand old time speculating on what I was up to that led to a tick bite on the butt.  And that’s the really not so great part, because I did nothing out of the ordinary.  So I have no clue what to do, or not to do, so it doesn’t happen again.  Excuse me while I go take my pill…

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'scene' along the way, adventure, dragonflies, flowers, gardens, life, natural wonders, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel

Innisfree Gardens…

Down the most innocuous looking one lane dirt road, looking as if you’ve gotten onto a service road rather than the road into a garden destination, you will find Innisfree Gardens.  If not for the 15 mph signs every so often I’d have tried to find a spot to turn around.  I thought to myself that the senior price was only $5 and I shouldn’t have expected much.  But then you are finally in the parking area with lots of other people.  Some are pulling coolers out of their cars, clearly planning to spend some time rather than just take some pictures.  This sign greets you, and explains the place better than I ever could.6_08_19sign

And yes, you roam the paths and on the grass, and at every turn there are lovely little scenes. 06-08-19gardenview16_08_19gardenview46_08_19gardenview56_08_19gardenview66_08_19gardenview706-08-19threechairs6_08_19gardenview96_08_19gardenview36_08_19gardenview86_08_19gardenview26_08_19chairs

And of course where there are flowers there are bees, and butterflies…6_08_19bee6_08_19butterfly26_08_19purpleflower

But this dragonfly provided the most fun moment.  I had been keeping pace with a family of several generations as they enjoyed the park.  One of their group was wearing a red ball cap and a dragonfly decided to perch on it, much to the delight of her family.  I had missed the moment but I told them that dragonflies always come back to the same spot, and I was going to add that I didn’t think that that would apply to the cap, except there he was again.  Both he and she were quite cooperative and I appreciated the chance to capture that moment.  I hope they have stuck with the blog for a couple of days because I told them I’d use the photo, but it has taken me since Saturday to do it.6_08_19dragonflyhat6_08_19dragonfly

The little woodpecker in the featured photo was quite a surprise.  I wasn’t fast enough to catch the exchange as one adult flew into the nest and the other flew out.  But I zoomed as much as I could and took a picture of the tree just in case, and I planned to explain that I could hear the babies in there chirping for food.  Because I did, but what I couldn’t see until I looked at the photos in the computer was that someone was keeping a watchful eye on things.  It was a small price to pay for such a lovely day.