Friday, October 2, 2009

Not Exactly Swimming Weather

Loaded and hooked up, we maneuvered our way through Montpelier and launched down I-89 toward New Hampshire. It always takes me a while to get used to the effort the haul the Airstream -- the movement tugging at the truck, the extra power needed, the need for careful turns. Vermont and New Hampshire interstates have some pretty serious climbs on them so the Ford works pretty hard. The override for the overdrive helps even out the effort and after fifteen minutes or so, I’m back in the hauling attitude. I ease the speed up to about 60 and watch others whiz by us.

The traffic is light in the middle of the day, and week, but the colors are peaking fast and the leaf-peepers will clog things up for the next several weeks. As we head into New Hampshire, the trees seem even further along with some brilliant patches from the maples. We stop outside Lebanon to walk the dog and check the trailer -- the bearings I packed, the newly-mounted tires, the connections. Everything looks good.

Salisbury Beach State Reservation
is a gem tucked into the over-developed Atlantic coast. With 484 camping sites, it is fully booked all summer. With an immense day use area for the beach and an active boat launching facility, it is a busy spot. This time of year it’s about 20% full -- it that. I’ve reserved a site online that was near the water and as I check in, the young woman says, “That’s a neat site by the river. At low tide the seals should be coming in.”

As we drive to the site, past scores of empty pads, we’re amazed at how closely they are spaced -- “cheek to jowl” as Vermonters say. Our site requires a 45 degree back-in, which I manage fairly easily (I’m getting better finally) and we’re set up in no time flat. First time on a paved pad with 30 amp power and park water. We’re in “ high cotton” as they say south of here. The only snag is our 50’ of water hose is too short but we’ll remedy that later.

It’s time for a beach walk with the Vizsla who has been a good passenger once she knew she was going along. There are trails through rugosa roses and beach grass to the Merrimack River which runs into the Atlantic right here. Gulls and terns excite Penny who strains at her long leash. Sport fishing boats zoom up the channel (red right returning) as we walked down the wet hard sand filled with smells and tracks.

Merrimack, where Jen, Ben, & Mac live, is about a half-hour away and we pack up, go over for a nice visit and supper, and make plans for the days ahead. Returning to Salisbury, we spot two skunks crossing the roadway and make a note to walk carefully with the dog at night. Hooking up the water with our new hose, we marvel at the ease -- no noisy water pump -- pressure and quality like home. The temperature is dropping outside but the Airstream heater cranks things up nicely.

After a good night, and morning coffee and NPR news, Penny and I take an early morning walk on the beach. It’s in the 40’s with a north wind but we’re dressed for it. No one is around -- we’ve got the whole river beach to ourselves as the fishing boats head out before sunrise. We walk the long Salisbury beach with the sun just coming up over the eastern clouds.
Today calls for a breakfast at the Hampton airport, and then some wandering around looking at airplanes tucked into the open hangars. Tough work but somebody’s got to do it.

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