A Wonderful Spot in the Northeast: New Hampshire

What did I know about New Hampshire before I went there?  Well, an uncle was born there. A high school friend (and NH resident) boasted about the natural beauty.  A place where folks have an independent spirit.  Somewhere crunched in New England.  No, I had never heard of the old man rock (sorry) nor of its recent demise (double sorry).  I also did not know how sensitive a topic this was!  After hanging on to an invitation from my friend for a few years, the opportunity materialized to actually go for more than a 3 day weekend so I went for it.

Getting to Intervale, New Hampshire

Getting to my friend’s place in Intervale would require a bit of coordination and a few different means of transportation. However, it was easy and quite comfortable.  (Perhaps my recent trip down under from Atlanta would make any other trip seem easy…)  At Logan airport in Boston, I was able to catch a very comfortable coach that would take me north to Portsmouth, NH where my friend would pick me up and then drive close to another 2 hrs to get to their place.  (If you do take the coach, buy the ticket online as you cannot buy it from the driver and will have to stand in line when you get to the destination as they take your driver’s license away to ensure you pay!  Now this could be dated info but check before you go.)


While the plan was not to go sightseeing in Portsmouth, it was after lunch and neither of us had had lunch.  After grabbing a quick bite to eat, we walked around the downtown area of Portsmouth.  It was a charming town and perhaps because of the beautiful day the town was teeming with people walking about and soaking up the sun.

Portsmouth, New Hampshire on a beautiful summer day

A Mountain Biking Marathon?  That Is Nuts!  But Fun

My friend’s husband and oldest son were to participate in what I consider a mountain biking marathon called the 24 Hours of Great Glen (right by Mt. Washington) where individuals and teams bike -in theory- for 24 hours solid with the individual and team making the most laps winning.  The other son served as the videographer and my friend and I acted as groupies, I suppose.  It was definitely something I had not seen before and I greatly enjoyed the atmosphere at the event and seeing folks come down the intimidating “Chute” where I think I would even worry if I had to WALK it down!  My friend’s son and his team did awesome and won their category – way to go Slow and Steady Gets Eaten by a Bear!  (I think the team name itself guaranteed their success.)

24 Hours of Great Glen mountain biking race in New Hampshire

Nature:  Rivers, Waterfalls, and Mountains

So, for all these years, my friend kept telling me to go around July or August so I could get in the river.  Well, it was not just one river nor were they just rivers.  The rivers had all sorts of rock formations and waterfalls which means you not only got in and got wet but you got to climb around rocks and even throw yourself down “natural water slides” letting the current take you down whether with an inner tube or without one.  I tried the latter though I admit it took me a little bit to summon of the courage.  But before any of that were possible I had to accept and tolerate the FRIGID waters!   Wow, the water was so cold my feet hurt!  But, of course, nature takes its course so as soon as my feet were sufficiently cold, I no longer felt anything which facilitated continuing my entry into the waters.  My friend managed to take some rather unflattering pix of me in the process of getting in and jumping in which I will most certainly not be loading here 🙂

New Hampshire nature - river and rocks

New Hampshire nature (outdoors) - river and rocks

New Hampshire nature - river and rocks

New Hampshire nature - river and rocks

We also drove to the Mt. Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods (famous for being where the IMF was created) – a very impressive structure in an even more impressive natural setting!  The drive there though was just as impressive and we even saw a moose roadside minding its business, whatever moose business is about.

Mt. Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire

Mt. Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire

In all, I have to admit being very impressed at the natural beauty and the amount of places to see and explore in New Hampshire.  Places to hike, places to get wet, places to swim, places to sit and soak nature in.  How did I never hear about this (friend aside)??  Is someone trying to keep this a secret?  I think there is likely a conspiracy here somewhere…

Echinacea flowers in New Hampshire, purple color

Old Friends, New Friends and a Discovery

Topping the weekend off was meeting some of my friends’ friends and going to one of their places to eat a wonderful lobster paella.  Good food, good setting (a house by a river), and great folks.  I also discovered a place of wonder called Patch’s.  A gas station-cum-small-diner-cum-post-office – a veritable all in one.

Getting to hang out with old friends, getting to know their kids much older than last time I saw them (2000!), and enjoying the natural beauty of NH made for a perfect 5 day trip and great memories.  I wonder what the rest of NH is like – perhaps I will get to find out in a future trip to the granite state!

Visiting the granite state:  New Hampshire

New Hampshire waterfall - nature outdoors

A happy ilivetotravel!


  1. You really captured the Mount Washington Valley’s spirit!

  2. beautiful photos! is it just us or does bretton woods look like the set of dirty dancing? no? just us?
    thelazytravelers recently posted..brewed in brooklyn: a winter’s taleMy Profile

  3. I want to go to New Hampshire!! Those river photos are amazing and that inn is gorgeous, too! (Is it an Omni Hotels property?)
    Francesca recently posted..As 39 approachesMy Profile

  4. What a picturesque corner of the US! Have been reading a lot about the north east lately and really intrigued to see more now 🙂
    Fiona recently posted..A History of Prague via INXSMy Profile

  5. Great stuff Raul…A portion of lineage is from New Hampshire. They manned a couple lighthouses on the coast. Sadly, I have never been there.
    D.J. – The World of Deej recently posted..The Queen Victoria Room at Victoria & Albert’s – The Best Meal of My LifeMy Profile

  6. The nature alone is enough for me to want to explore this part of the country.. I just realized I need to get out more and see a bit of the States. Starting with this place.. 🙂
    Kieu ~ GQ trippin recently posted..Beautiful Lake BledMy Profile

  7. I’ve never been to New Hampshire. I bet it would be fabulous in the fall or even summer to escape the Texas heat. The Mt. Washington Hotel looks like a wonderful place to stay, too.
    Leah Travels recently posted..Another Bite out of the Bittersweet Big AppleMy Profile

  8. I can see why they call it the Granite State. Beautiful pictures of rivers and granite cliffs. I did not know it was so pretty there, but not surprised since the Appalachian Trail goes through the state.
    Traveling Ted recently posted..Winter wonderland in southern WisconsinMy Profile

  9. That hotel looks impressive!!! I really must explore more of New England. I’ve got a taste so far: Boston, Salem, Portland. Hopefully NH one day too!
    Pola (@jettingaround) recently posted..Photo of the Week: On the trail in Boulder, ColoradoMy Profile

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