Harvey-the-RV  - Roadtrip 2009

 Visiting Bruce and Kimberley, New Hampshire, USA

16th - 22nd August 2009

Treasure-hunting at the "Transfer Station"

"Welcome to New Hampshire, let's go to the dump!" was our greeting from our hosts Bruce and Kimberly, sailing buddies we'd met in the Bahamas!    Visiting the local dump was a favourite hobby of this pair.   Their local "transfer station" had a special section where people who had perfectly good things they didn't want could leave them for "transfer" to somebody who did.    Apparently many excellent items of Bruce and Kimberley's inventory had been salvaged here, including our lovely welcome present, a much needed deckchair.    We were delighted, we'd almost bought one a few days earlier but Walmart hadn't had any in stock which weren't large enough to seat an elephant in comfort!

Next we headed to the campsite Bruce and Kimberley had arranged for us for our stay.    We found ourselves camped right on the shore of a small lake, in the garden of their German friends' holiday cabin.    It was a beautiful spot, ideal for Phil's favourite hobby!    It was very generous of the Hahn family to allow us to enjoy their little piece of paradise.

Next morning our friends had an appointment in lovely New London and we tagged along to see the sights.   Alongside all the pretty homes and gardens, stood a collection of artistically decorated gnus.    Apparently there was to be an auction of gnus to raise money for "Gnu" London.    The town tour didn't take long, we checked out the college and theatre, the coffee shop, the bead store and still there was no sign of our friends returning.    We decided to pass the time at a farm store with pick-your-own raspberries. 

Our beautiful campsite

John Lennon Gnu of Gnu London

Phil working on tomorrow's porridge

Of course it wasn't long before we had our canoe inflated and tried our luck fishing the lake.    Armed with local knowledge from Bruce and Kimberley's friend David and his son Harold, we set out in search of bass.....

Bruce supervising the fishing preparations

In search of the elusive bass

Our friends had a full itinerary lined up for us on Wednesday.    First we had to visit a local farm for their CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture, weekly vegetable pick-up.    The concept of the CSA was that the local community paid a fee at the start of the growing season to help fund the farmer and in return received a weekly selection of whatever vegetables were being harvested.   The principle seemed good and our chums had been keen to assist the local agricultural community, however they had been far from impressed with their weekly selection of fresh veggies, supposedly a week's supply each time, plus the fact that the poor farmers seemed to own an impressive collection of expensive vehicles.    

A teeny-weeny bird's nest Christine spotted close to the ground after everybody else stepped over it without noticing (good excuse for dawdling!)

Flippin' tree-huggers get everywhere!

A small picnic to fortify ourselves and we were off on one of our buddies' favourite hikes.      The hike became more of a bush-whack, little or no trail maintenance having been carried out since the last big storm by the looks of things!     It was a lovely walk and we almost managed to keep up with Bruce's grueling pace through the forest!

Pretty weary after the walk, we debated what to do about dinner, couldn't be bothered to go out, didn't want to make a lot of effort, what was to be done.    Then we remembered the wonderful eggs given to us by David, fresh from his hens.    On Phil's return from fishing (somebody still had energy) he was volunteered to put on his chef's hat and we enjoyed a lovely Spanish Omelette. 

No fish in there is there?

Next morning we were busy amusing ourselves, canoeing around the lake when we spotted our friends waiting on the dock.   Another itinerary had been arranged.    First a stop at their favourite pizza restaurant and then a visit to the wind farm on land belonging to their friends.     We called at the friends' house first but unfortunately they were away.   However, we did get to meet their two rescued orphaned baby deer, which were being raised until old and well enough to return to the wild.   It was amazing to have the chance to spend time close to these skittish animals.

After our close encounter of the ungulate kind we were off to hike up to the farthest wind turbine.   As we set off, we passed a huge truck bearing a new blade for one of the turbines, which gave us a true appreciation of the size of these monsters.   It put the problems of changing blades on our boat's wind generator into context!   At the end of the hike we enjoyed a beautiful view of the New Hampshire countryside.

Glad I don't have to change this blade!

The next day, which as it happened was wet, was allocated for completion of chores.    After picking up supplies at the farmer's market and getting the laundry finished, the guys decided we should give their favourite pizza restaurant another chance to impress.     The day before they had been disappointed, apparently a first at this establishment.    Wasn't it always the case that a favourite, reliable restaurant only ever disappointed when you had raved about it to friends who you'd brought along.     On this occasion, however nobody was disappointed and we waddled home full and happy.

Our friends were busy next day and we entertained ourselves on the lake, where it seemed that it was all go.    If we weren't distracted by the seaplane taking off and landing, we were enjoying the local sailing regatta.    The regatta was all the more entertaining for the lack of wind, which allowed the comments of the frustrated dinghy crews to carry easily over the lake.    One crew even burst into song to amuse themselves. 

Next day it was time to hit the road, we'd had a great time with our friends and were looking forward to meeting up again in the Bahamas.

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