Monday, September 14, 2009

Kancamagus Highway, a NH Gem

In yesterday's paper I read an article by Holly Ramer of The AP about one of our all-time favorite places, the 34.5 mile long Kancamagus Highway from Conway to Lincoln, New Hampshire. Turns out it is 50 years old this year.

The highway follows the achingly beautiful Swift River most of the way with many spots to pull off and explore. You can also hike a variety of trails from parking areas along the way. Fall is the best time to go when the foliage in the surrounding mountains is spectacular.

When we were first married, we lived in southern Maine and quite often went to North Conway; in fact we were there for our wedding night. We would stay in a motel that had a view of Mount Washington, maybe see a play at one of the small theaters, enjoy the shops in the village, and spend most of one day on the Kancamagus (the last part pronounced like "Saugus").

I remember lazy days clambering across the rocks in the river or sitting with a book while my husband fished. One year we stayed at a campground and had the fish he caught for breakfast - not my cup of tea for that meal but when in Rome . . . It was proof that anything cooked on a campfire tastes heavenly, well at least good. (What can I say? We were young and in love. Now we're old and in love and I'm quite a bit more picky about what I eat.)

There used to be a breakfast restaurant in North Conway that served walnut waffles and a place called The Scottish Lion where we had wonderful dinners after a day of outdoor activity. Things have changed there; North Conway is now known for outlet shopping centers, one of which took the place of the motel with the view of Mount Washington. Lots of chain restaurants have moved in as well and the atmosphere in the village is different.

However, get out of town and you're back in the New Hampshire we always loved, especially the Kancamagus.

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