We went to New England and brought Randy Moss back to Minnesota, and he was fired by the Vikings in less than a month… all the work for nothing.
This year, we decided to visit New England because it is dubbed the world’s best place for fall foliage, and we are certainly not disappointed. That said, we are afraid that any fall foliage that we may see elsewhere in the future may not match our great experience and expectation in New England, except, perhaps Kyoto in Japan. This time, we visited 3 states: Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. These are the states we always talk about visiting, but never weigh much on our minds because we weren’t sure what to see there. So, our objectives of this trip are simple: 1) to see fall colors and 2) to eat whole lot of lobsters.
When we arrived in Boston, we were greeted with rain and gloomy weather. Our drive to Vermont was rather disappointing because the trees were fairly green. It was raining hard and by the time we arrived at our vacation home in the evening, it was too dark to see anything. The weather on the next day was just beautiful. We drove along the country roads and we stopped at a few small town stores to stretch our legs and to try out some local products. The following day, we did the Ben & Jerry’s factory tour in the morning. It really wasn’t the best tour ever because the factory is fairly small and we only sampled one ice cream flavor. We visited the Trapp Family Lodge, the inspiration for the classic musical and movie “The Sound of Music”. Our drive through Smugglers’ Notch was probably the best drive in Vermont with colorful leaves on both sides of the road. We ended our day with a visit to the Vermont Teddy Bear Company Factory Tour. Okay, this company is pretty darn serious in making good Teddy Bears and there are so many type of bears with different outfits that it is almost comical… yea, only rich folks can afford stuff like this.
During our drive to New Hampshire, we visited the Cabot Visitor Center to do the factory tour, partly because we bought a big block of sharp cheddar back in Minnesota… so, we decided to learn more about this company. What we initially thought would be an half hour visit ended up to be a more than an hour visit because we spent a long time trying out different type of cheese again and again, pretty darn awesome considering the fact we only had light breakfast that morning. Then, we spent most of our day in Franconia Notch State Park, covering all the attractions in the park. We took the tram to the summit of Cannon Mountain and we could see beautiful fall foliage for miles and miles away, just unbelievable! The next day, we drove to the summit of Mount Washington, the highest peak in the Northeastern United States at 6288 ft… way to abuse the rental car. It is also the home of the highest wind gust directly measured at the Earth’s surface at 231 mph on the afternoon of April 12, 1934. In the afternoon, we visited some attractions along the Kancamagus Scenic Byway, often referred to as the best fall foliage trip in the United States. Our third day in New Hampshire was greeted with cold shower the whole day, but we proceeded with our hikes in Crawford Notch State Park.
From New Hampshire, we drove a few good hours to Acadia National Park in Maine. Although it is one of the smallest national parks in the United States, it is also one of the most visited national parks in the United States. We hiked up the Precipice Trail, the most challenging trail in the park. In fact, we were told this trail is considered the most difficult trail in the east of the United States. We essentially scrambled and climbed for 1000 feet to the summit of Champlain Mountain. This trail is so incredibly difficult and dangerous that we decided to take a longer but safer route down the mountain. In fact, this trail makes the Angels Landing in Zion National Park look way easy. We also did the Beehive Trail, which was equally challenging with the climb at half the height of the Precipice Trail. Acadia National Park is a very different national park compared to other national parks we have been to. Although it encompasses just 47K acres, but the land includes tidal pools, rocky shoreline, tall mountains and pockets of deciduous forest. We woke up at 5 AM Eastern time to make it to the summit of Cadillac Mountain to watch the sunrise. It is the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard and it is the first place to view sunrise in the United States from October 7 to March 6. The Mount Desert Ocenarium turned out to be one of the most surprising and interesting visits throughout the trip. It is the only lobster hatchery in the United States. Even though the place looks run down, the staffs were incredibly knowledgeable about lobsters. We were told October is a good time to eat lobsters in Maine because the lobsters shed their shells every August. Thus, the lobsters weigh less because the shell is softer, taste sweeter and much cheaper per pound wise. We would highly recommend this place to anyone visiting Maine next time.
We spent a night in Portland to cut down our driving time to Boston on the following day. It was said that Portland in Oregon was named after Portland in Maine. We spent most of our time visiting the lighthouses while waiting for our dinner time to eat the lobsters.
We were grateful the weather held up, for most of the days. This was one trip that we were unsure what to expect, but it turned out to be a rather awesome experience. 11 days, a very memorable trip, and we are almost sure that we will be back someday… to eat more lobsters.