Days 10 & 11: Nashua, NH, Lowell, MA and Lake Winnipesaukee.
21 September, 2009 § Leave a comment
Yesterday my dear friend Benet drove down from Portland
to meet up with me in M——-, New Hampshire, where I am
parked (in the proverbial sense) for the weekend. She has
been so gracious as to keep me company for the past two days.
Seriously, this whole meeting up with friends along the way
is becoming addicting. Perhaps that is the final element that
has been missing which is needed to make fall travel a completely
wonderful experience from start to finish…
Any takers for being a three-month long travel companion?
We can even go halvsies on meals!
Anyways, Benet and I spent the greater portion
of the afternoon yesterday
in the hopping town of Nashua, encamped at a small table
in a richly lit, bookshelf-filled Barnes and Noble with
cup of joe close at hand. Delightful.
My stack of finds included a long-anticipated copy
of “Under the Banner of Heaven” by Jon Krakauer
which we have both alternately been voraciously
digging into; as promised by reviewers,
the book has in fact proven to be both
“gripping” (NY Times)
and “compelling” (Reed).
It has already provoked a good deal
of discussion regarding radical faith,
extremism versus relativism,
scholarly intellect versus
the various roles of messianic figures
throughout history and other such curious topics.
We also had the good fortune so as to be sitting across
from an older set of people, probably in their mid-to-late forties,
who were clearly meeting up for the first time on a
blind date, probably after meeting on an Internet dating cafe.
The conversation, heavily punctuated with the rolling
manner in which all true New Englanders drop their “r”s,
could truly only be described as awkward at best
and downright painful at worst.
Sure enough, it didn’t take long for the woman to pull out her
“phone-a-friend” card: relying upon a
clearly pre-arranged signal,
she answered the prompt ringing of her cell which came around
fifteen minutes into their meeting and then
proceeded to regretfully but firmly excuse
herself from the eager clutches of the
Classic maneuver if I ever saw it.
(And I’ve seen it).
The rest of our lazy Saturday was spent
driving around in some confusion through
the gloriously cobblestoned streets of Lowell, Massachusetts,
lined with rather industrial-looking brick buildings,
in search of a promised park on the river.
That particular green patch of earth never materialized
but we did stumble instead
across a delightful Italian restaurant by the romantic name
of Fortunato’s instead which, let’s be honest,
was just as satisfying – – if not more so.
Today’s highlight? Pilgrimaging – –
yes, making a veritable hajj – – to the hallowed
grounds of Lake Winnipesaukee,
home to Wolfeboro (supposed location of the
oldest summer resort in the country), many a vacation home
and, last but not least, the filming location of that great
film immortalizing Bill Murray.
I am tempted to break out into full dialogue
(On Monday, we’ll eat Gil and on Tuesday, we’ll eat Bob;
o wait, that’s going too far!)
but for the sake of all else involved,
I shall refrain. At least this time.
Either way, it was an afternoon of epic proportions.
And I am happy to say to Lake Winnipesaukee:
you did not let me down, whether you be known as
“The Smile of the Great Spirit,” “Beautiful Water in a High Place,”
or “Good Smooth Water at Outlet.”
Photo of the Day
A sweeping view of Lake Winnipesaukee from the
golden expanses in Ellacoy State Park, New Hampshire.
… tomorrow? It’s back to the grind
and I will be hitting the ground running
with three high school visits, two college fairs and
one individual meeting by 9 p.m.
Hopefully I will also
have the time to squeeze in
some office management from afar,
including responding to neglected voicemails
and catching up on delayed correspondence.