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Archive for May, 2013

Nestled in the White Mountains, with Franconia Notch State Park and near to Loon Mountain for excellent skiing, Lincoln, New Hampshire is the second largest town in the state.

A two hour and fifteen minute drive north of Boston, Lincoln is home to two of my favorite places: The Flume, which is a magical place to take a leisurely hike amidst the most beautiful of foliage and sturdy foot-bridges over bubbling streams and water falls, and Clark’s Trading Post where there are some pretty enchanting and flirtacious black bears. I’ve loved those bears since I was about five – not much has changed in that respect. They perform all on their own, no prodding necessary, appealing to children of all ages.

As of the 2010 census, approximately one-thousand people resided in Lincoln. There are restaurants and places to stay, and lots of open space and woodland places to wander – the town is quietly beautiful.

Settled in 1782, the available timber and water falls created the perfect opportunity for people to operate sawmills and eventually paper products.

Summer is the most perfect of seasons to visit the Flume with its lush greenery and abundance of shade, but year round, the town is striking. Foliage in all of New England is brilliant in autumn – the Flume is bursting with color from late September through late October, and those bears wouldn’t mind a little snack to prepare for a long winter’s nap.

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The journey from point A to point B is often an obvious joy in reaching our destination. Recently, I was reminded of the natural beauty throughout southern Massachusetts as we headed to Cape Cod on back roads. Through cranberry country in the towns of Carver, Wareham and Rochester to name a few, the landscape is colored with tints of red – some bogs in abstract forms while other cranberry harvests are neatly squared over acres of land. However the land is sculpted with the brilliant hues, it is beautiful.

The second largest grower of cranberries, Massachusetts blends the numerous bogs with scenery unparralled to any other region. Since the harvest typically begins in mid-September and continues until early November, the famed foliage season of New England mingles with the bright little berries, creating a wonderful treat for your eyes as well as your taste buds.

While Rte. 28 through Wareham is named Cranberry Highway, Rte. 58 through Carver is not to be missed. The land in this area is rich with the healthy fruit of the bogs while offering the passers-by a mezmerizing sight.

First harvested by hand, the cranberry was eventually harvested using a comb-like scoop to persaude the berries from their vines. Today, growers use a lawn-mower type of device to dry harvest, and a textile aid for water harvest. Both methods are fascinating to watch, and it actually looks like fun.

Enjoy the Cape, but take the back roads rather than the highway at least one way. Treat yourself to the sights along 28 and 58 – there are also ready-to-serve farm stands during the summer and autumn months, prepared to amaze you with pumpkins, apples and often home-baked goods seasoned with cinnamon and local fruits. Even now, with approaching summer, the bogs are colorful and being tended to. It’s captivating and well-worth capturing with your camera.

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When I think of Rutland, Vermont, I think of it being the far western region of the state, brushing against the state of New York.

I start at the eastern side of the state in my frequent travels to Quechee. My journey across Vermont begins at White River Junction, which is a border town to Vermont and New Hampshire. We travel route 4 from one side of the state to the other, with unrivaled scenery and wonderful shops along the way. Rutland is our reward before we head south on route 7 toward Bennington and eventually toward the Mass Pike and home.

Rutland has dual offerings in its quaint and historic homes and parks, yet it contains every store, restaurant, and entertainment you could imagine. It’s an understated and easily navigated city – there’s something there for everyone.

While it is a matter of about four hours to travel from the New Hampshire border to the New York line, the interests along the route may give you pause. Restaurants, cafes, gift shops and scenic views will taunt and tease you to stay. Do that, and then head out for Rutland. You’ll love it there.

We who live in New England are so fortunate. The varying landscapes are filled with options, everything from the majestic mountains to the rolling sea. Rutland offers a respite from saturating yourself in beauty – the city reminds visitors to remember that all are not tourists – the heart of the state is in places such as Rutland where people work and live. In many ways, the city is the financial backbone of the beautiful state of Vermont.

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