Angie in New Hampshire
The Northeastern States - Part 3
Weekend Six - New Hampshire
Or as everyone else in New England calls it, New Hamster.
The drive was fairly boring until we got our first glimpse of Franconia Notch, a classic, glacially carved, U-shaped valley. We drove through the park to Twin Mountains. The foliage was stunning.
Orange orange, raspberry red, lemon yellow! Truly awesome. We had our eyes peeled for moose, as the signs warned us that 170 were hit by cars last year!
On Saturday, we climbed Mt Canon. It took us 2 hours to climb the 1.7 miles and 2000 feet of elevation. At the top, we broke out of pine trees into a clearing. Just as we arrived, snow started falling, our first snow of the season.
We found a spot that gave us a stunning view of the valley. We sat in the shelter of some large rocks, ate our granola, and watched the clouds stir over us and enclose the surrounding peaks. As we ate, the sun broke through the clouds and illuminated portions of the mountains. First a peak, then a lake, then a side, then the multi-colored trees. Quite a show.
We spent the afternoon visiting the many gorges of the area.
The Basin. The Flume. Sabbaday Falls. Vodka-clear mountain streams, running over waterfalls and through rocks in a style not unlike the Utah slot canyons, though in an environment far more lush.
On Sunday, we drove to the general store to buy maple syrup. Mount Washington and the Presidentals looked dramatic, as they each had received snow overnight. We drove toward them, enjoying the foliage and scouting for moose. Finally, Angie spotted one, walking down a dirt road. We hung a U-turn and got back to the moose in time to get a few photos.
We then drove to the top of Mt. Washington, and enjoyed the 100 mile visibility, though it came at the price of 19 degree temperatures (Fahrenheit).
Day Trips - Boston, Walden PondWalden Pond:
Of course, we found time to explore the Boston Area, as well.
Here are some thoughts:
It's considerably larger than I had expected.
My personal definition of a pond is that you can hit a golf ball across it. A lake you cannot. Walden, you cannot (no, not even Tiger can).
We walked around the edge of the lake to Thoreaus' cabin site. The cabin is no longer there, but the spot where his chimney was based is marked. Next to the site of the cabin is a pile of rocks. In the 1940's, an old friend of Thoreau's had stacked rocks to pinpoint the location of the cabin. Over the past years, others have placed rocks on the pile as a tribute.
Angie and I placed our rocks on the pile and moved on. Harvard:
We walked up Massachusetts Ave towards Harvard University and saw about every race, creed, color, and intelligence level of the human species.
The street is very colorful, which is a polite way of saying rundown, decayed, ugly, and maybe even dangerous. In spite of all this (partially because of it) it's an interesting place to be.
We passed restaurants, stores, bums, and students. When we crossed one street, the buildings got suddenly better. The people were the same, though.
We had entered the Harvard area. We passed a few bookstores and wandered up to Harvard Square. Across the street was a gate that read, "Enter here to achieve wisdom". It was obvious that many of the people here had been avoiding that gate.
Suddenly, a guy came up and asked, "Are you from around here?" No.
"Where are you from?" California.
"Well, all visitors get a free copy of our book."
I looked at the cover. 'Mysteries of Ramagamadelphi' or something like that. There was a picture of an Eastern Indian Guru with lightning behind him.
No thanks, I said. I'm from California. If I wanted a half-assed, goofy religion, I wouldn't come all the way to Boston for it.
We finally decided to get our wisdom. We crossed back over the street and entered Harvard Yard.
Within a few hundred feet, we lost the confusion and chaos of the outside world.
Maybe that's why Harvard-types are able to screw up our whole world. They get numb to all the stuff outside their gate, and start thinking that that it has nothing to do with them. And that they can keep it outside the gate.
The Museum of Fine Arts:
It was free on this night, so the price was right. We first went to the Asian wing. They have a great display of wood block paintings by Japanese artist Ando Hiroshige called 'One Hundred views of Edo', from 1856-8. I liked the subjects and the colors.
We were also impressed by the Temple room full of Buddha sculptures. The lights were low, creating a very moody feel.
Vajrabheirava and his Consort is another particularly impressive sculpture. It was from Tibet in the 17th century. He represented 'Skilled Means', his consort is 'Wisdom'. Only through their union, would enlightenment be found. The two members of the sculpture were engaged in love-making. They were separable and anatomically correct.
I thought to myself, "now here's a piece you could rightfully call a great fucking sculpture."
And who told museum employees that it's a good idea to wear hard-soled shoes in a gallery?
All the employees walked around click, click, click. One guard actually whistled! It echoed through room after room as we looked at classic Chinese art. What a moron!
After dinner, we went into a special exhibit. Picasso and Matisse were featured.
As I was looking at these paintings, a girl in her mid-twenties entered the room. She was wearing a short white mini skirt and had a perfect derriere. I watched the light and shadows play on her behind as she glided through the room. I studied the lines and contours created by her underwear.
The paintings on the walls just couldn't compare to her. I turned from the walls and started studying the other 'objects d'art'.
I heard young French girls talking. I studied a woman with perfect lips. I watched Angie's hair fall on her shoulders, as she studied the art.
These are the true works of art. Nature in her many guises. The form of a woman, the howl of a coyote, the smell of pine, the lines of a mountain, the sound of waves.
Anything else is explanation or elaboration.