Sunday, October 9, 2011

Fall Weekend in New Hampshire

We got up to the New Hampshire house this weekend. It's a small cottage that's been in the family since the end of the second World War. It's nothing grand but it is on a pond (that sadly doesn't fish well on account of fairly acidic water). The last time I was up at the cottage was in April. We've had a water problem -- it stunk to holy hell and tasted like rusty bolts -- for quite some time and we even replaced a fifty year old well to see if we could remedy it. No dice.

Over the summer, we had a water treatment system put in and my parents mentioned that took care of things. We went up to check for ourselves. Mission accomplished.

The hurricanes left their marks on the local streams and any road that crosses those streams. The streams seem to be on the mend. They're back in their banks and acting normal. Fortunately, New Hampshire didn't adopt the asinine policies of Vermont and New York. There folks are allowed to just dig up streams without a permit; fixing what they believe mother nature cannot. The roads need more work but all of the small, dirt roads we drove were at least passable.

Color has come to the hills though they seem muted this year.

Morning on the Pond I

Morning on the Pond II

On the Water

Boys on the Pond

There's a rail trail that runs along about three miles of the Sugar River. The boys are both getting over colds so our walk wasn't too long but we did cross a number of old trestles and ran into a few folks fly fishing. Streamers were the ticket; one guy swore by black, another chartreuse.

The rail trail is designed for use by ATVs, snowmobiles and self-propelled humans. It was great to see that all the side trails were marked by stop signs and large signs warning that ATVs and snowmobiles weren't allowed up them. We're not fans of ATVs but it was cool to see that the state had made an investment to provide ATVers with a place to ride while at the same time protecting habitat (especially stream habitat) from their deprivations.

Of course, all these good feelings were totally destroyed as six guys came riding along the rail trail  and took a sharp turn up a side trail driving past the stop and warning signs. People shouldn't be allowed to buy an ATV unless they own land upon which to ride it. Someone who doesn't own land but owns an ATV is by definition a trespasser (save for those few who simply want to display the ATV in their living rooms as objets d'art).

A local enforcement official I know once had the following conversation with an ATV rider.

LEO: You're not supposed to ride this on town land. It's posted. You're trespassing.

ATV: So where am I supposed to ride my ATV?

LEO: On your own land

ATV: I don't own land.

This is where the person should have gotten the bitch slap. If you don't have a place to ride the damn thing, why'd you buy it?

Unfortunately ATV trespass isn't even a misdemeanor. I'd neuter the fuckers. I think there should be higher penalties.

Swinging Streamers, Sugar River

Sugar River Bridge

Sugar River Bridge Detail


One of the great pleasures of being at the house in New Hampshire is that it's a whole lot more unplugged than when we're anywhere else. A decade ago the place really was unplugged. POTS. No cell service. You could really get away. Today there's cell antennas on the microwave tower on the next ridge line and satellite TV at the house and now internet though it's unreliable and damn slow.

Even though we're not unplugged there's plenty of things to do that don't revolve around electronics. Mostly it's rambling around the countryside or paddling about on the pond. It was great to see the boys indulging in those things sans electronics.

Simple Pleasures

Sam and I did some fishing on the pond on Saturday evening. There are a few spots that generally yield a small bass or two but we got nary a bump. It's been a while since we did any serious bass fishing so perhaps were just rusty. At least that's my story.

So, we're back at home. I've been ignoring the growing layer of leaves but at some point I'm going to have to face reality. Welcome to Fall.

So it begins. Where's my rake?


  1. Nice Steve. The color does seem to be predominantly brown this year, at least so far. Still very green in Guilford.

  2. Sounds like a great time. New Hampshire looks like a pretty spectacular place.

    Really enjoyed the post. Cheers!

  3. EJ: The color I'm looking for is Steel.

    Sanders: There are some beautiful parts of this country and while we're still searching for the one to retire to we sure do like New England, especially in the Spring and Fall. We have decided we need to get out to Colorado. That looks like some great country.

  4. great pictures Steve. Looks like you had lots of fun and relaxation. Thanks for sharing.