My husband has the best ideas. You may recall after my last day trip post that we were very disappointed the Sandwich Notch Road was blocked with Jersey barriers. Yesterday he called the town and complained about it being blocked off and he was told they had just removed them on Tuesday. Great news! So off we went for another mountain picnic.
It. was. great.
We have so many memories of hanging out in Sandwich Notch (so many!!). It’s all dirt road through White Mountain National Forest land, and we and our gang of friends spent many, many weekends up there in our misbegotten youth – camping, hiking, carousing…. just having so much fun – so we love that place. We love the woods, in fact – I feel that getting out in nature and in the woods for me personally, is absolutely necessary to my sense of well-being.
As we drove along we were a bit surprised to see several cars out there but it really does seem that people are making a point of ‘getting outside’ during the pandemic. Which is a good thing, as long as they respect the areas they are traveling to and through (always an issue). Several trucks were traveling way too fast for this road and they were both from Massachusetts. Why can’t you just drive along and enjoy it at a reasonable pace?
That’s what we did, we drove at an appropriate speed to enjoy the woods and streams, playing some of our favorite “Notch music”. Today it was Yes, and as always, it is a perfect choice.
We took some photos of Pulpit Rock and the “Indian footprints”.. and then we drove up to Kiah Pond for lunch. We backed up and sat on the tailgate overlooking the beautiful Kiah Pond and had our “lunch”. I had packed up a little Bento box thing I had with black and green olives, 3 nice cheeses, a little Soppressata and some crackers, though we didn’t even open the crackers, and a beer. A couple was there with kayaks still in their truck and they said they’d decided it was too windy and left … which we thought was strange because it wasn’t really windy at all. It was gorgeous! And what a perfect place to kayak.
After that we drove to Lower Hall Pond, another beautiful mountain pond but a big tree was down across the road. We saw a lot of trees down and damage while out there, but it is early spring and winters are no joke up here. This tree was big enough we couldn’t move it and couldn’t drive over it so we parked the truck and took off on foot. Which was great for me because I love to get the exercise hiking. I had my Fitbit on so I was interested in how much walking I’d do that day.
We walked to Lower Hall and paused to enjoy the same peaceful beauty and quiet (as quiet as it can be with continuous buzzing in your head, but still – it was lovely).
As we started to head back to the truck I asked how far it was to Middle Hall and he said about a half an hour so we took off for there next. The forest there is so dark and deep – so primordial, it just looks OLD… like a fairy forest – velvety moss covered stumps of blown over trees – my imagination was fired up for stories of fairies living in some green cushiony condo communities. Maybe they were peeking out at us seeing who was visiting? It was beautiful and so calming. I need to get out in the real woods more, it’s where I feel I can regroup and breathe. Speaking of breathing, I took in as many deep gulps of fresh air as I could out there. I have been inside too much and you sure don’t feel like taking breaths at all when you go out to food shop or anywhere there are people now.
File this one under Necessary Mental Health Maintenance. If you have a folder called that, that is. Perhaps we all should!
You can read about the interesting history of this area at this website.
Of course out here in the wilderness, there is always at least some wildlife – we saw these beautiful Canadian Geese at Lower Hall Pond. As soon as we arrived they came over like they were curious about us or more likely they thought we might have food (which we unfortunately didn’t, I wish I’d brought my crackers) — it was so peaceful and so beautiful. Man, do they have it made there! There were deer tracks everywhere but we didn’t see anything else except a couple little birds that I’m glad I remembered as I wanted to try and identify them with my Peterson guide.. (Spoiler: I didn’t figure out what they were!)
I was kinda pooped by the time we got back to the truck. 7000+ steps walking in the woods – just the greatest way to spend a day!