Covered bridges, UFO’s and more

Driving around the White Mountains I came across covered bridges time and again. It seems like they were everywhere.

 For some reason I usually think of Vermont when it comes to covered bridges and maple syrup but I was finding plenty of both here in New Hampshire.

Some observations or musings about covered bridges come to mind.

  • They provide shelter from New England weather which can certainly be harsh in the winter and hot in the summer.
  • Historically bridges were covered to protect the floorboards from exposure to the weather as the floorboards were the most expensive part of the bridge.
  • Sometime covered bridges are affectionately called “Kissing bridges”. That’s easy enough to understand. 🙂
  • At one time more than 10,000 covered bridges existed in the US.  Today only about 750 remain and are carefully protected and maintained . Over 50 of these exist in New Hampshire.
  • Some say that wagon teams are calmer being driven over a covered bridge than over an open bridge where the team can see the rushing waters below. What they can’t see can’t hurt them or so they think, like putting on blinders.

There are driving tours to visit the various bridges and these are very popular during the fall foliage season when covered bridges are especially picturesque.

Speaking of picturesque, The Mount Washington Hotel is gorgeous in brilliant white and red against the blue and green of the mountains behind it.

 Located in Bretton Woods at the base of Mount Washington, the Mount Washington Hotel was built during the era of the Grand Hotels and is one of the few remaining today. It opened in 1902 as one of the most luxurious, modern hotels of its time.

It is still operating today under the stewardship of the Omni Hotel Management. It has been featured on SYFI Channels Ghost Hunters when the TAPS team investigated it for paranormal activity.

In 1986 The Mount Washington Hotel, as one of the only Grand Hotels remaining in the White Mountains, was granted landmark status.

 An speaking of the paranormal, it’s just a short leap to discussing aliens and UFO’s. The White Mountains has some of that too . Maybe not an Area 51 but just as important to the UFO community is the alleged  abduction  of Betty and Barney Hill in 1961. Their story started the abduction phase in UFO investigations.

The Hill’s story has been told in books and movies but is certainly too long to post here in any detail. But This is the story in a nut shell.

The Hills were traveling home to Portsmouth on RT 3 around 10:30 pm.  Near Indian Head a UFO forced them to stop their car. They then reported a period of missing time.They reported the incident to the authorities and this has been widely investigated.

Today there is a State historical Marker near Indian Head  to identify the spot where the Hills were said to have been abducted. I will admit to getting chills when I saw the marker. I don’t know if they were abducted or not or if there’s anything such thing as aliens, but I do believe that something happened there that night that’s never been explained.

Back when I vacationed in South Dakota we found ourselves on a dirt road that I jokingly refer to as “the longest dirt road in the world”. As I chatted with the Moose Tour folks one of them told me I should use the short cut from Waterville Valley to Lincoln. He told me to take Triple E Rd and it would bring me out right near the Valley Inn where I was staying.

It wasn’t Triple E Rd it was Tripoli Rd and the sign said it was closed from November to May. Since this was July I wouldn’t have a problem, at least I hoped I wouldn’t. The first part of the road on either end, Lincoln or Waterville, was paved.

 It wasn’t in very good shape with many pot holes and crumbling  shoulders but it wasn’t long before that was past and I was on a dirt road through thick trees and forest. The dirt road was actually easier to drive on than the pavement.

It was well graded and maintained and packed enough that there wasn’t a great deal of dust. There were a few cars and some campsites along the way. I don’t think it saved me any time but it was shorter in distance and it soon became my favorite route between the two towns.

I saw a large rabbit and a big bird. I think the bird was an owl of some kind by the way it flew through the woods. I kept hoping that I’d see more wildlife but even though I didn’t, it was still a pretty drive.

My vacation is winding down. It won’t be long before I’ll be back to the “real world” but I still have a few more things to share with you including the pictures I intend to submit to the various photo contests. I have to check the web  site,  but if there’s a link for you to vote, I’ll post that too.

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