Sunday, February 28, 2010

Road trip (returning from) Congdon's Doughnuts

The drive north to Congdon's in Wells, Maine is simple and a bit over an hour from our home.  But this is all highway miles.  Laurie and I much prefer driving along the ocean roads, so after breakfast we headed east to the coastal route's main artery, the old Route 1.

By taking little side loops off of Route 1 you can easily visit the Wells Beach area and Ogunquit.  Perkins Cove in Ogunquit and the Marginal Way walking path are great areas to explore. 

After taking a nice long walk in Ogunquit, it was time for a doughnut break.  Yup, a few of those Congdon's Doughnuts never made it back to Massachusetts.  That's almost entirely my fault.

York Beach is also a nice place to visit.  Neddick Lighthouse is perhaps the most photographed lighthouse in America!  And of course, being a crystal clear day, I had to take the obligatory photo. This is where we saw a seal, though he/she was very far away.

A few photos below, with 21 images here:

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Road trip to Congdon's Doughnuts

Laurie and I took a road trip last Sunday morning, to Congdon's Doughnuts in Wells, Maine.  Breakfast there was excellent, and the doughnut selection was the best we've ever seen.  Even though it was off-season the parking lot was quite full.  They're only open Thursday through Sunday during the winter, and from 6am to 3pm.  It is located just a few minutes from the Wells exit off the Maine Turnpike.

Just in case you were wondering, in addition to having breakfast, we picked up a half dozen doughnuts "for the road" (the last picture).

Friday, February 26, 2010

Richard and me skiing Sunapee

I reported in a post the other day about how much fun it was to ski Sunapee with Richard, with whom I had not skied since meeting with him in Colorado (with Dad, too) in 1980 and with whom I had not skied Sunapee since about 1973.  In chronological order and with a slight doughnut theme, I have about a dozen images here:

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Windblown XC Ski Center: owners' home in the center of the trail system.

The owners of Windblown Cross Country Ski Center live in this beautiful location basically in the middle of their trail system. In fact, this image was taken while I was standing on the ski trail.

In winter, they park their cars in one of the parking lots and take snowmobiles to get to the house.  When I have skied there in the spring, I've seen that there is a dirt road which I would guess they use in the off-season.

To the left of  the house, and in a westerly direction, you can see the snow-capped summit of Mt. Monadnock.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Cross country skiing at Windblown in New Ipswich, NH

I have really come to enjoy this great resource of 25 miles of groomed trails.  Windblown is only 40-45 minutes from home, yet seems to be in some sort of snow belt.  It is quite obvious during the last 15 minutes of the drive that the roads are climbing rapidly and the snow cover is much thicker. 

Last season was a difficult time for the owner (who is about my age) because of the December (2008) ice storm that felled trees everywhere on his land.  I recall an email newsletter saying that if you took all the storm damage they've received since opening up in 1972 and then multiplied that my some large number (I don't recall, but maybe even as high a 10x) then you would get close to the amount of damage they received in that one storm.  Last year the owner put Windblown up for sale.  Nothing has yet happened, but I am happy that they nevertheless decided to reopen.

Here are a few images.  The green house is the new lodge and the old warming hut is the small cabin.  The full portfolio with bigger images is at

Monday, February 22, 2010

Lots of activity this past week

I am posting just three pictures.  I will have a few pictures to post later this week.  I got in a few hours of cross-country skiing at Windblown in New Ipswich, NH during each of the past two Saturdays.  New Ipswich is only 40 minutes away and snow levels are always surprisingly deep.  Just drive out to Townscend via route 119 (basically that's route 2A) and then north on route 31.  It is very close to Mt. Monadnock.

I also had a nice day of downhill skiing last Wednesday at Mt. Sunapee with my brother.  Richard and I last skied together in 1980, during what at the time was my February vacation as a teacher in Franklin, Mass.  We met each other, along with my dad, in Vail and skied a week.  It was during that week in 1980 that the American hockey team beat the Soviet Union for the first time, to win Olympic gold.  Rich and I also figured out that the last time we skied Sunapee together was 1973-ish.  We, along with a group of other families from Concord and Lexington, rented a big house each season, bought season tickets, and skied from about 1963 through about 1973, sometimes 30 days per year.

I also have some pictures from yesterday (Sunday) when Laurie and I drove to Wells, Maine for breakfast.  Yes, that's a long way for breakfast.  But I had heard about Congdon's Doughnuts from the "TV Diner" on NECN, and we thought we'd take the 1 1/4 hour drive up the turnpike to Wells and then drive back via the coast route, traveling though Ogunquit and York.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Comedy night at PCA

We've attended quite a number of comedy nights at Westford's Parish Center of the Arts.  It's a lot of fun to reserve a table with a few friends.  The performance starts at 8:30, and most often groups bring food and drinks at 7:30 when the doors open and enjoy some social time together. 

For last night performance (two separate comedians), we decided to do things a bit differently.  We invited our friends the Steffero's and the Gustin's to dinner at our house and then drove to the PCA with desert, drinks and other goodies.  Last night's performances were hysterical.  We were in constant laughter.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A day not seeing eagles and owls

Laurie and I took off Friday and drove up to the Newburyport, MA to Portsmouth, NH area. I wanted to see and photograph bald eagles along the Merrimac River near Newburyport and Amesbury, and perhaps see and photograph owls in their known locations in Portsmouth and Salisbury Beach.

One of the best areas for viewing eagles is Deer Island, which sits in the middle of the Merrimac River and is connected to the northern shore (Amesbury) and the southern shore (Newburyport) by separate bridges.  Unfortunately, there were no eagles to be seen while we were there.  We did, however see several serious photographers so we knew we were in one of the normal viewing areas.

We also struck out in the owl department, though we saw some beautiful ocean scenes along Salisbury Beach.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

A visit with Reed

Friday I drove out to see Reed and to give him a birthday gift.  We went to lunch in Northampton at a excellent restaurant that specializes in pasta.  Reed drove so I had a chance to ride in his Jeep (the gold one in the picture). 

I wish I could remember the name of the restaurant.  The food was terrific.  At Reed's recommendation I had the wild mushroom and walnut ravioli topped with the house sauce called Romesco and Almonds.  Reed ordered Chicken Marsela.... It was superb.  A couple of baskets of warm French bread was a nice touch.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Went skiing with Tyler on Thursday: Cannon Mt. in Franconia Notch

What a great day of skiing Tyler and I had at Cannon on Thursday.  The fact that it was 2-for-1 day (2 tickets for $66) was a bonus.  It has been about 10 years since I skied there.  The drive is shorter than I recall.  It took us about 2 1/4 hours.

We probably took two dozen runs on the Zoomer chair.  Even Avalanche was superb.  And we also skied quite a number of runs on the main mountain, especially the trials off the upper chairlift.

I told Tyler about driving up to Canon in about 1966 or 1967 with my friend Dave Bott to watch a World Cup Downhill which started at the top of the tramway and ended with a straight schush down Avalance.  I saw Jean Claude Killy ski that day!  As I recall, speeds of 80mph were reached at the bottom of the run.

I have a few pictures of Thursday's trip below and full set of 19 pictures here:

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I think I got spotted!

I shot these out the second floor bathroom window.  Woodpeckers especially (like this male Downy Woodpecker) like our suet feeder.  They hang out in the maple tree outside the bathroom windows, so I have taken down the window screen to give me access to what I hope will be some good bird pictures.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Jaimie and other teachers climb Baldpate Mountain

Jaimie did some winter camping a couple of weekends ago with a few other teachers from Gould.  She let me copy this image from her facebook page.  (She's third from the left.)