Jail Break Part II: Outlaw Picnic

by | Apr 9, 2020

Filed under “Social Distancing” and “COVID-19” and “So far 2020 is soo bad… (HOW BAD IS IT???!!)   No, actually I filed this not only under “Places” we visit but “Health” – and specifically – MENTAL HEALTH.

Another Jail break. Yes! We are Outlaws, ok!?? We are going into what, the third week of “containment” ie: social distancing and “Stay At Home”?  Fourth week? I don’t even know anymore.  It is sounding like most people are kind of “over it”. Like from “Ha! Look at us, we can do this!” to “Ugh, this is getting really old…”  to now people talking about ending it altogether and going back to work and school etc. That’s ridiculous and I won’t even go into all of the reasons why it’s the dumb thing to do here, but – if it isn’t obvious to people, then there’s nothing I can say to make it so.

It’s not quite so bad for me as it must be for many people since I work from home all the time and … I really like my home. Of course now I have my dh (dear husband) here with me so it can get interesting, let’s say.  I really like him too and good thing. I’m pretty sure we like each other. Hopefully we still will when all of this over.    Just kidding!  He does like to blast his music though when I’m trying to think and write and believe me, those two things can be very difficult in the best of times.

It is getting a little cabin fever-y.  This past Monday my husband and I took off again for a drive.  It was a really beautiful day and we wanted to get out of the house again – somewhere there would unlikely be people that we would have to run into. We both brought our bandanas and we kind of looked like – well maybe not exactly outlaws. Thankfully we didn’t need them as we indeed did not associate closely with any people at all.Sandwich Notch sign

PLAN A. Our first picnic plan was a huge disappointment as we gleefully took off for one of our favorite places, the Sandwich Notch. We spent much of our misbegotten youth in the Notch – camping, hiking, driving, just enjoying life. I was very excited, I haven’t been there for a long time and I could think of several great places to have a lunch. Our thought was to get up to Lower Hall Pond, sit on the tailgate and look at the pond.  And listen to the quiet, because it is so quiet there. Not that a tinnitus sufferer gets to hear quiet, which stinks – but I can sort of still get the idea because I remember way back in the day – the absolute drop dead silence there. How beautiful.

Sandwich Notch closed

These Jersey barriers need to go back to New Jersey

However – the Sandwich Notch Road was closed, and I mean CLOSED. I mean, even my CJ-7 I had couldn’t get around those Jersey barriers, and we got around a lot of barriers back in those days, especially in the Notch.

Made me angry. Another thing taken away and for what? The Sandwich Notch Road was basically the early 19th century equivalent of I-93 and has been accessible for all these years, but year after year, it has become more and more inaccessible. It’s a great place but now I’ll guess we’ll need to plan day hikes there instead of being able to hit all our favorite spots. Historically it’s very interesting and if you’re interested in learning more, there is a good book called The Road Through Sandwich Notch by Elizabeth Yates, I highly recommend.

So — PLAN B: my husband turned around and adjusted our trip and even though we went through many of the same places we did last time, it was a beautiful day and I always enjoy viewing one of my favorite and New Hampshire’s most scenic peaks, Mt. Chocorua from many angles as we drove around it. I have climbed that so I feel an affinity for it other than it’s beauty.
Mt. Chocorua

We did eventually end up on the Kancamagus Highway. Yay, one of my other favorite places.

Who was Kancamagus? sign

What with the snow, the chill and the shade from all the trees, it was a little more sketchy on potential lunch places at this time of year but we were feeling positive. I had confidence my husband would find a place to go. We were a little surprised at the amount of snow still up there though we shouldn’t have been. His first lunch spot, Lower Falls on the Kancamagus was closed, as we were looking for a sunny spot on the Swift River to sit and have our picnic.

That kind of threw another wrench in our plans but after trying a couple other places like Rocky Gorge (still snow-filled parking areas!) we did finally get a nice view and full sun at the Sugar Hill Scenic Overlook. I knew my dh would find a great spot, he always does!Charcuterie lunch on a tailgate

There was one truck when we got there, then they left and a few more came and went but since we didn’t set up in the beautiful gazebo (needed direct sun!) we didn’t interact with any of them other with a smile and a ‘have a great day’.  We had our lunch sitting on the truck tailgate.

Our Outlaw Picnic Charcuterie was delicious! I packed up several yummy cheeses I had, some Soppressata, olives, almonds and my own jarred hot peppers as well as other goodies. Finally we had picnic success – sun, blue sky and a gorgeous view.  It was quite windy up there of course, and it was chilly but it was great!

It’s really the one way, or at least the best way for us to uplift our spirits a little. We’ve been driving around New Hampshire for recreation for over forty years. I love this state and there’s something about the mountains that just makes me feel more peaceful and less stressed. They make me happy.

Sometimes these days you just need a little something to make you truly feel happy, at least for a while.

Unfortunately the weather has been terrible since then. Thank goodness we got out in nature when we did. Onward and upward.  Stay the course and stay resilient, friends. WE CAN DO THIS.

Mountain vista in New Hampshire



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