Dateline August 12, 2017 New Hampshire and Maine

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Golf with Maurica

We departed Connie and Lee’s in the morning to meet our friend Maurica Smith at Amherst Country Club to play golf.  Maurica grew up at our local golf club in Florida, Riviera Country Club.  She is one of Donnie Klem’s star pupils She took the morning off to play the course with us, and what fun, Maurica hits the ball over 275 yards off the tee! (Klemphonics does work!!).

She has been at Amherst for four years and has decided she enjoys the management side of the golf business over being a golf pro or teaching.  We had a wonderful time and enjoyed a great lunch with her before departing to Franconia Notch State Park. Franconia Notch is a mountain pass in the White Mountains between the Kinsman Range and Franconia Range.

We had a beautiful drive up through the White Mountains and checked in to Fransted Family Campground in Franconia, NH.  The camp ground is beautiful, they gave us a spot in the trees that was very private.  The rains caught up with us, so no cooking out.  We enjoyed a sandwich and had a restful evening.

Franconia Notch State Park

The sun was up late in the morning and we went out to tour the Franconia State Park.  What a fantastic time.  We drove around and saw most of the sites  ending up at The Flume.

The Flume is a natural gorge extending 800 feet at the base of Mount Liberty. The walls of Conway granite rise to a height of 70 to 90 feet and are 12 to 20 feet apart. We paid the entrance fee at the Flume Visitor’s Center and took the bus to the base of the gorge.

We then walked up a lot of stairs and along the boardwalk allowing a close view of the growth of flowers, ferns and mosses found there. The water was flowing nicely for a summer day because of the heavy rainfall the previous few days.

A little history:
The Flume was discovered in 1808 by 93-year-old  “Aunt” Jess Guernsey when she accidently came upon it while fishing. She had trouble convincing her family of the marvelous discovery, but eventually persuaded others to come and see for themselves. At that time, a huge egg-shaped boulder hung suspended between the walls. The rock was 10 feet (3m) high and 12 feet (3.6m) long. A heavy rainstorm in June of 1883 started a landslide that swept the boulder from its place. It has never been found. The same storm deepened the gorge and formed Avalanche Falls.

How the Flume Was Formed

Nearly 200 million years ago in Jurassic times, the Conway granite that forms the walls of the Flume was deeply buried molten rock. As it cooled, the granite was broken by closely spaced vertical fractures which lay nearly parallel in a northeasterly direction.Sometime after the fractures were formed, small dikes of basalt were forced up along the fractures. The basalt came from deep within the earth as a fluid material, and because of pressure, was able to force the Conway granite aside. The basalt crystallized quickly against the relatively cold granite. Because of this quick cooling, the basalt is a fine- grained rock. Had this material ever reached the surface, it would have become lava flows.

Erosion gradually lowered the earth’s surface and exposed the dikes. As the overlying rock was worn away, pressure was relieved and horizontal cracks developed, allowing water to get into the rock layers. The basalt dikes eroded faster than the surrounding Conway granite, creating a deepening valley where the gorge is now.

The gorge was covered by glaciers during the Ice Age, but the ice sheet did not greatly change the surface.  It partially filled the valley with glacial debris and removed soil and weathered rock from the vicinity. After the Ice Age, Flume Brook began to flow through the valley again.

The highly fractured granite and basalt have been eroded by frost action as well as by the brook’s water. As you walk through the Flume, look at the floor of the Gorge and you many notice remnants of the main basalt dike, and on the walls of the gorge, small trees are growing. Erosion is still occurring. Franconia State Park websiite.

What a wonderful experience, the walk was great exercise on top of the beauty of the gorge.

Mount Washington Hotel

We were off in the morning to play golf at the Mount Washington Hotel about 30 miles away.  We had played golf several years ago with Janice’s brother Brian.  The Omni Hotel chain had taken over the hotel and course, renovating both.  As you can see the hotel is beautiful.  One of our historically significant events took place at the hotel in 1944.

The Bretton Woods Conference, 1944

The Bretton Woods Conference, officially known as the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference, was a gathering of delegates from 44 nations that met from July 1 to 22, 1944 in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, to agree upon a series of new rules for the post-WWII international monetary system. The two major accomplishments of the conference were the creation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD).

In July 1945, Congress passed the Bretton Woods Agreements Act, authorizing U.S. entry into the IMF and IBRD. The two organizations officially came into existence on December 27, 1945. The fixed exchange rate regime established at Bretton Woods endured for the better part of three decades; only after the dollar exchange crises of August 1971 (when President Richard Nixon suspended the dollar’s convertibility into gold) and February/March 1973 did floating exchange rates become the norm for the currencies of the major industrialized nations.

The golf course with its views was a joy to play.  We had a great morning of golf.  We packed the clubs back up and fixed some lunch enjoying the view up to the grand hotel.

Brian Otis

We missed Janice’s cousin Brian at Uncle Bill and Aunt Margaret’s on the cape, so the plan was to spend the night at Brian’s house in Intervale, NH.  The home was very unique, it had been designed by a San Francisco architect and built by a local builder. It appeared in Architecture Digest magazine when it was built. Brian has expanded the deck and removed the built in beds. It is surrounded by forest much national forest so it feels secluded but warm and full of light.

We had a wonderful dinner of steak and chicken with Brian and his lady Donna Cormier, along with two year old Sky, a rescue puppy. Sky guards the house from the occasional bear, chasing them away with his barking.  Conversation was of course about family and it was a delight.  It was such a pleasure to meet and get to know Donna.  She has run 18 marathons, so is quite a match for Brian!

After a wonderful night with Brian and Donna, we departed to town  to have a few things fixed on the Roadtrek at Campers World.  We have always laughed that an RV is like a boat, every time you take it out, something needs to be fixed.  Camping World in Conway, NH did us great, water pump, fixed and a few other minor items, under $300.  Anything under $1,000 is considered a home run!  Two hours later, we were on our way to Maine.


We stopped at the Maine Information Center and were given maps, brochures and advice on what to do.  Of course we wanted “off highway” routes and a target for the evening, which was Belfast so we could visit the Blue Hill Peninsula in the morning.  The visitors bureau highly recommended we visit Deer Isle and Stonington, the largest Lobster port in Maine.

We left Belfast around 8:30 and headed to Castine, founded in 1613, before the Pilgrims founded Plymoth.  There was a nine hole golf course that was over 100 years old, sounded like fun, we arrived and unfortunately, a cow pasture!  The four-year engineering college, Maine Maritime Academy, is situated in Castine – as well is should be, as it’s the deepest harbor in Maine.  The town is quiet and beautiful.  With no golf and it was off to Deer Isle.  It was a pretty drive and the town was nice, Stonington was a few miles farther and had a beautiful harbor.

We fixed some lunch and headed back out to the main highway.

We had made reservations at the Sunset Point Campground.  As we drove off the highway towards it, we wondered where we were going, finally arriving we were pleased at what it was like.  Each parking spot had a picnic table with a shelter top.

The best part; we wanted to go to the local fish market and get lobster for dinner, so we asked the gentleman that runs the park.  He simply asked how large, live or cooked?  He prepared them and served us at 6PM with two two pounders cooked!  Delivered lobster at your campsite for $27.00! Wow, life doesn’t get much better.

We headed out in the morning to cross the border into Canada   We hope the weather is great!


  1. Linda McHenry

    Hey you two!!! Sounds like a wonderful trip so far. Any chance you got to see Mark Haltof in Maine. Art was just up there and they got together. Be safe. Hugs, Linda

    1. John and Janice

      Thanks for the note, hope you two are doing well. We breezed through Maine and didn’t get a chance to see Mark. We did see Bob Bitner the last time we wer in Maine.

      Best to you and Bob,

      John and Janice

  2. Russ and Pat

    Hi Janice and John, Great reading – wish we were there! Love to travel to Maine and New Hampshire in October – will get there one day!
    Home again from our European/Scandinavian/Russian holiday. Great weather and really enjoyed revisiting Scandinavia – it hasn’t changed, but millions more people, which we found everywhere, especially Prague, which kind of spoilt it for us (couldn’t believe the graffiti on everything and everywhere). Riga, Tallin and St Petersburg were spectacular with their magnificent buildings and palaces (the latter – full of glitz and glitter) Loved both the Riverboat along the Rhine and Danube and the ship life in the Baltic.
    Now we are getting ready for another busy season ahead with lovely B&B guests!
    Happy and safe travelling and good golfing!!
    Love, Russ and Pat from Taupo, NZ xx

    1. John and Janice

      Russ and Pat:

      Glad the trip went well. We were amazed about the graffitti as well whe we visited last summer. The crowds were big everwhere we went as well. The restorations in SaintPetersberg are amazing, two of the best days of our trip.

      We are in Novia Scocia, outside Sydney. We leave Saturday morning for Nerwfoundland and Janice’s play in the SR Women’s AM Championship. Should be a fun time and then we will start working our way back to Florida. Two months in this 22 foot van is a long time!!

      I am sure you will have a good time with all your new guests as the season begins to pick up.

      Our best wishes to the two of you,

      John and Janice

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