On our way to Portland we flew through Newark (New Jersey) and for once we didn’t miss our flights because of it… Of course, once we got on the plane to Portland we did sit on the runway for an hour …sigh…
Ahh well, once we were finally in the air Rachel and I watched Kingdom of Heaven on my iPhone and we were then graced with some magnificent views of the Mountainous west coast.
After being in Portland for all of 30 minutes we had a few observations:
It’s very green-conscious. We probably saw 147 bikes between the airport and our Hotel. There are bike lanes on literally every street, and bike paths next to every highway. There are “Please Conserve Water” signs everywhere.
Shopping is great here. Lots of outlet stores and no sales tax! This doesn’t mean we’ll be doing any this trip, but it certainly is a good place to go if you’d like to. The pearl district seems to be where all the higher class shops are.
Unemployment is bad here, we saw beggars on pretty much every major intersection between the airport and the hotel.
We had a great trip in and a nice relaxing first day.
While in New Hampshire we took the time to climb a few mountains. No we didn’t strap on our hiking shoes and packs and trek up the mountains but we did make it to the top of both.
To get up Cannon Mountain we took the Gondola. On the way up we didn’t get much of a view because it was snowing! Yup we’ve already seen the first snow of the year. It was a little below freezing at just over 4k feet. We hiked the 1/2 mile trail around the top and even managed to climb the weather tower where the wind blew so bad it hurt. On the way back down the skys opened up and we had great views of Echo Lake.
Our trek up Mount Washington is less exciting. Well, the trip up is interesting but the hike at the top and the views are night and day from Cannon. To get to the top we took a Cog Train. This isn’t a trip that winds around the mountain speedily going to the top while at the edge of thousand foot cliffs. No, this train goes straight up the mountain at a 37% incline inch by excruciating inch. It’s not only painful but it’s expensive. Oh and you can’t see anything because its so cold (6 degrees Fahrenheit with wind chill) that the people in the cabin steam up all the windows, not to mention the cloud cover. All in all a worthless ride, and one I would only recommend in the middle of summer. Even then I’d suggest a drive up instead. It’ll take less time and you’ll have better views. At least now we can say we’ve been to the top of the tallest mountain on the east coast.
The first day in New Hampshire Rachel and I woke up early and took a hike through Flume Gorge. It’s very beautiful and picturesque. Reminded me of Watkins Glen back home. Lots of steps, waterfalls, flowers, covered bridges and wooden walkways line the gorge. A great way to start the day!
Today Driving past MCC I noticed that the foliage over the pond had turned and decided I’d stop by to take a few pictures. I’ve only walked back there once before which was at least 3 years ago. I think the same guy was there today playing with his dog as was there 3 years ago. Strange. In any event I ended up with some nice shots of the pond and the foliage along with the surrounding scenery.
Leaving MCC I noticed there was a parking lot full of seagulls. Normally I pay them no mind but today I had my camera.
I put the camera on Burst, held it out the window and sped through the middle of the seagulls. They came out kind of blurry but more or less the effect I was looking for. Lots of fun and I hate those birds anyway.
This past weekend Rachel and I were relaxing in New Hampshire. We stopped over in Albany on the way and then spent the rest of an extended weekend in the White Mountains. We saw some fantastic scenery and great fall foliage. We’ll have to make the trip a regular one.
Below is the first slide show I’ve created using Picasa. Picasa will most likely become a more commonly used tool around here so brace yourself.