USA 2016

USA 2016: New England in the fall (part 2)

As we headed further into the north east, the weather improved and the fall foliage colours really reached their peak. (For part 1, see here).

Fall colours reflected in lake

New England fall foliage closeup
Close to, the colours really are this amazing — vivid reds, pinks and oranges.
Conway Scenic Railroad Station
Conway Scenic Railroad — Conway Station, New Hampshire
Vintage American diesel locomotive
One for the train buffs
Covered bridge, Jackson New Hampshire
This covered bridge at Jackson, NH was built c.1876. It is a rare surviving example of the ‘Paddleford Truss’ style — a continuous wooden arch on each side of the bridge spans the entire length of the bridge and supports its weight. See next pic for inside shot.
Showing the 'Paddleford Truss'
The ‘Paddleford Truss’ design used a continuous wooden arch running the length of the bridge — this arch continues through the deck of the bridge and runs down into the stone foundations at each end of the bridge.
Mt Washington Auto Road
Driving up the Mt Washington Auto Road, a privately run toll road to the top of New Hampshire’s highest mountain. It’s steeper than it looks. At the bottom, you’re given strict instructions to put your car’s auto ‘box into manual mode and to stay in first gear for the duration of the climb.
Mt Washington summit view
The view from the top of Mount Washington (1,917m above sea level) is amazing, but we were lucky — the weather is famously bad up here. The highest wind ever recorded in the Northern Hemisphere and Western Hemisphere was recorded here — 234mph in April 1934.
Mt Washington, NH train
If you don’t fancy driving up, you can take the train. Yes, it really is that steep.
Mt Washington old building
The main building at the summit is a bombproof concrete blockhouse construction. But this older building is equipped with chains to help keep it in one piece when it gets windy…
Cold morning autumn Maine
As we headed into Maine, the mornings became a little colder.
Lake with trees in fall, Maine
…but the scenery and weather was resolutely stunning.
Rangeley Overlook, Maine
Rangeley Overlook in Maine is justifiably famous for the views it offers. But when we arrived they were somewhat obscured. An English gentleman who was also waiting wondered over and told me that locals had told him to expect it to clear between 10am and 11am. We had a tight schedule that day. Should we wait?
Rangeley Overlook, Maine
…when I told my wife what the gentleman had said, she was — to be honest — quite disdainful. But we waited, and as you can see our mystery helper was correct. It cleared, and was stunning. So if you’re reading this, a gentlemen in a black sweater who was there in October, we thank you. We might not have waited otherwise. Lots of other people who passed didn’t wait, and missed out.
Empty road in Maine
Traffic wasn’t really a problem.
Entering Moosehead Lake
Entering Moosehead Lake — but will we see any moose? Err… no. It turns out that while a collision with a moose is to be avoided, they are considerably more elusive than you might think.
American woodpecker
We did see an American variety of woodpecker…the Hairy Woodpecker
…some beavers…
…and even some loons, a duck-like bird that makes a fantastic sound. But moose, there were none.
Moosehead Lake
But the views were still stunning, in case you were wondering.
Road sign for Canada, in Maine USA
Heading east from Greenville, Maine towards the coast, we saw this sign for Canada. We were sorely tempted, so maybe next time.
Bald eagle at Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge
A bald eagle at Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge. This was a great place that we’d love to have been able to spend more time exploring. Apologies for the picture quality — this bird was a long way away. The picture was handheld with 420mm of magnification.

We eventually made it to the east coast. Here’s a picture of Quoddy Head Lighthouse, the USA’s most easterly point. In part 3, I’ll cover the drive down to New York, and the Big Apple itself.

Quoddy Head Lighthouse, Maine, USA
Quoddy Head Lighthouse, Maine, USA — the most easterly point of the continental USA.