Monday, July 9, 2018

New Hampshire - Day 8 - Lakes Squam and Newfound

Newfound RV Park, Bristol
Sunday, 8 July 2018
combined today and tomorrow routes
I'd spent a week at that last campground, which was where Rt 113 dead-ends at Rt 25.  All week I've seen cars and especially motorcycles head up Rt 113 and I've become very curious about where it went.  Now I know.

It's basically a little country road that mostly has a speed limit of 35 mph and is the sort of place you'd want to poke around on.  You know, take a small car - preferably a convertible on a beautiful day like this - and stop at all the oddball places along the way.  In fact, I think it'd be a great thing to do in this whole area, and spend a week or more just poking around.  You'd want to be staying somewhere with a kitchen, though, so you can buy some of the wonderful fresh produce at the farmstands.

For instance, I passed a sign in North Sandwich for the Marigold Moon Wildcraft Apothecary.  I'd put a link here but what she's got is a Facebook page and I don't do Facebook.

I passed the Sandwich Meeting House (1848), now a Methodist Church, and went through the village of Sandwich, which was so quaint and sweet it made my teeth hurt from all the sugar.

I passed a private road named Addendum and wondered whose house was at the end of it.

I drove around the whole north side of Squam Lake, New Hampshire's 2nd largest, and the setting for On Golden Pond.  I never saw that movie but the setting is gorgeous.
Squam Lake (obviously not my photo)
Now that I've seen the tiny roads with zero places to pull out and no shoulders, I'm having a really hard time imagining how they could accommodate the equipment and personnel necessary to produce a major movie.

I passed a sign directing people to the Whipple House and Glidden Toy Museum toys in Ashland.  I didn't know about either of them, but if I have a chance, I'll go back to the toy museum.

Ashland is celebrating its 150th birthday this year, as signs everywhere told me.

I passed an Italian restaurant that had an extra sign saying, "Ciao Down Tonight!"

I passed a sign attached to somebody's outbuilding that showed a picture of a wind farm and a caption that said, "I'm a fan."  (heh, heh)

It only took me a couple of hours to get to this campground (everything's so close together).  I didn't have a reservation and hadn't been able to get them on the phone, so I just came.  Luckily they can take me - it's pretty well located for a lot of the things I want to see in this part of the state, and they reduce their price on weekdays by 25% - hard to beat.

I got that taken care of so early I drove on to the Daniel Webster Birthplace - open only Saturdays and Sundays.  As usual, I got lost - well, not exactly lost but I didn't realize I was on the right road until I flagged down a woman who was pulling out of her driveway (I'd actually found a wide spot to park in).  She was maybe early 50s and was driving a bright red VW convertible with a license plate that said MZ JONZ.  She had a small Asta-type terrier that bounced around a lot, even though he was seriously harnessed in.   His name is Willie.  Ms. Jones was very helpful and gave me perfect directions, which not everybody does.
This small brown house is the actual birthplace (slightly restored in 1913), dating before 1782 because he was the youngest of 3 kids.  He only lived there 3 years before his father moved somewhere else and opened a tavern.  Daniel was lucky because, though his father had little education, he recognized brains when he saw them and worked hard to get schooling for both his sons.  Daniel ended up going first to Phillips Exeter Academy, then to Dartmouth.  Both he and his brother read law, as they did then, and after passing the bar exam opened a law practice together.  Daniel sounds to me like a restless kind of guy and was often moving from one thing to another, and he ended up practicing law several places before he went to Boston.  He held several public offices and, as US Secretary of State, worked with his British counterpart to establish the previously disputed Canadian boundary from Maine to the Great Lakes.  He brought more cases before the US Supreme Court than anyone before or since and was best known for Dartmouth College v. State of New Hampshire, working for Dartmouth and convincing Chief Justice Marshall to establish the precedent that US law takes priority over state law.  And look where that's gotten us.

I know all this because there was a gentleman sitting just inside the doorway who appeared to have encyclopedic knowledge of Daniel Webster.  He said this is the only New Hampshire State Park with no admission fee.  He said inside the wood room (on the left of the front door and not a room because it's fully open on back to the elements) is a nest, which I saw, of a phoebe that comes back every year to the nest.  I like phoebes.

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