day 5
mt. washington, new hampshire

"113 or 113a will bring you to the sandwiches." -a.
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New Hampshire:
Nickname: Granite State
Population: 1,179,100
Land Area: 8,969 sq. mi.
Highest Pt.: Mt. Washington
Height: 6,288 ft
Capital: Concord
Largest City: Manchester

Claim to Fame:

Creepy Junk Yard Item of the Day

Campgrounds That Were Full for Labour Day Weekend:
1. Cold Brook Campground
2. Autumn Hills Campground
3. Silver Sands
4. Sandy Beach Campground
5. Mile Away Campground
6. Field and Stream Park
7. Old Stage Campground
8. The Exeter Elms Campground
9. Country Shore Camping Area
10. Angle Pond Grove Camping Area
10. Shir-roy Camping Area
Super Fun Contest!
We've been seeing globey things like this all over the place. What are they?

I Thought I Could,
I Thought I Could

Aug 31 - To set the records straight, this car did not climb Mt. Washington. Yes, yes, I know we have the bumper sticker that says we did, but we didn't. We just wanted to get that off our collective chests.

But it was for good reason that we didn't. Better than that road sign, even. You see, the drive from our campground to Mt. Washington was about 15 minutes. It was a little hazy, a little chilly, but overall still a good day. I even commented on how clear it was.

However, when we arrived at the base, there were two dominant factors which hampered our ascent: 1) A park ranger asking for the $22 entry fee, and 2) the tremendous grey cloud hovering over the peak of Mt. Washington and Mt. Washington alone. Now, chances are if you can't see it, it can't see you, and if you can't see it when you're standing at its foot, then is the $22 better spent elsewhere? The answer is yes.

We asked the ranger anyway, and he said, "Visibility is about a hundred feet. Not much to see up there." When a mountain is 6,288 feet, you expect some sort of reward when you reach the top. Just for a frame of reference, imagine yourself up to bat, but unable to see the second baseman. Heck, even the pitcher is blurry. We would have reached the top and been unable to see the fudge shop from the parking lot, let alone any of the Appalachians.

Would you pass this up?
If I may go slightly off topic for a moment... The point of this trip is to find the weird, the obscure, the quirky that makes America America. It is to encounter every tourist trap and claim to fame in the United States, from the Grand Canyon to the Spam Museum, from Graceland to the Odor-Eaters Annual Smelly Sneaker Competition, from the Grassy Knoll to the Ben & Jerry's Factory Tour. This means that when we're in an area, and we say to someone, "What's unique about this area?" or "What should I see around here?" we'd hope for an answer like, "Are you going to be around for the weekend? Because the Miss Lukewarmington Potato Queen ceremony is tomorrow."

But no. More often than not, you will be parked at the base of a place like Mt. Washington, and you'll ask them, "What's unique around here?" and they'll say, "Well, Mt. Washington." To which your internal response is, "Well, duh." but you'll probably end up saying, "I mean what else besides Mt. Washington?" and then add, "dumbass." (again, internally.)

The usual answer to this question is, "Oh, you know, hiking, biking, there's some nice trails, oh, there's a nice little town with gift shops..." blah blah blah. I can get that anywhere. Honestly, there are only so many trees you can stand next to and say oh it's so beautiful here. If you keep pressing a person, they'll eventually get to a local happening coming up, or let you know of a fair, or an event, or at least the best place to eat, but it usually takes a while.

So we went looking. We stared at the map for a while, and circled the highlights that looked to have the most to offer. Here's what we found:

Storyland: 35 acres of fairly sad looking rides, play areas and animatronics. For a couple of twentysomethings, it didn't look like enough to keep our attention for very long, especially at $18/adult. It might have been cool if I was eight, though.
North Conway: Home of the annual Mudbowl, and the only city in the country with a stadium dedicated to Mud Football. 8 teams from around the state show up the weekend after Labour Day to compete for filthy fortune and grimy glory.
North Sandwich, Center Sandwich, and Sandwich: We were looking to stop for lunch, and thought hey, if anywhere. We either missed the turnoff somewhere, or Sandwich was only upheld by a few farmhouses.
Castle in the Clouds: Sounds intriguing, no? It's actually the bottling plant for the Castle Springs water and brewery. Rather than take the tour, we found it much more entertaining to watch a lady in an obscenely short skirt and stilettos to get out of her "boyfriend's" truck and teeter across the gravel to the porta-potty. Onward!
Meredith: Never a good place to eat.
Fantasy Farm: Circled it on the map, but didn't actually make it there. Sigh. I'll always be dreaming.

Again I ask, would you pass this up?
Funspot: We saw Funspot on the map, and decided it deserved a much higher priority than the Fantasy Farm. If a road atlas has a label that says Funspot, it's a sure stop for us (more so than the Birthplace of Daniel Webster anyway). Though I hate to ruin the intrigue behind the name, I'll let you in on what it is... IT'S A SUPER MEGA-PLEX ARCADE AND GAME CENTRE FOR KIDS OF ALL AGES!!! It had every video game known to humankind inside, plus a bunch of kiddie rides and bumper cars, little token gamblers, Skee ball... the works. Aimee and I got 4 tokens each, and played Ms. Pacman, Rampage, Dr. Mario, Offroad and Spy Hunter! It was way cool!

And they thought the only thing to do around here was Mount Washington. Shake your head, New Hampshirites, shake your head.

the fun never spots...

Pay at the Crooked House

Wax on, Wax off

The Elusive Pretzel

Whuttup, Homes?
more photos in the archive...

We've got mail...

it is a gazing ball - new garden fad that will fade when the new flavor of the month comes along.
- Amy, Unknown Origin

Drop us a note!

Current Location
(get out your push pins)

Mt. Washington

Next Stop: The Hamptons

see the full map...

Today's Weather:
Visibility: 100ft.

Daily Stats
Spent at Funspot:75c

Towns Named...

Sleeping Quarters
Monadnock State Park

Great place until the vicious thunderstorm hit and we got soaked. Looks like it's time to waterproof the tent.

Cost: $12.00

Moose Brook S. P.
K's Order:Froot Loops
Really Bad Coffee
A's Order:Supreme Muesli
Really Bad Coffee
George's Diner
Meredith, NH
K's Order:Philly Cheese Steak w/ Chips
A's Order:Grilled Cheese w/ Chips
Monadnock S. P.
K's Order:Baby Carrots
Ice Tea
A's Order:Rice
Baby Carrots

© 2001. Kevin Beimers and Aimee Lingman. D-oh! Now you can't go, to the boat show.