Right. Lots of cold weather. But like most of the New England states, autumn foliage is supposed to be breath-taking. Too short-lived, maybe, but beautiful, with brilliant colors and clean crisp air. (Which all too soon turns to clean crisp snow.) And there's lots of scenic places, lots of covered wooden bridges and lots of beautiful old homes. The Cornish-Windsor Bridge over the Connecticut River stretches 460 feet, making it the second-longest covered wooden bridge in the country. (Spoilsport Ohio stole the title when it built a longer one in 2006.) Plus, you can go whale watching in New Hampshire. That's GOTTA be cool. (Okay ... COLD.)
A couple very quick tidbits before moving on to look at some pictures: New Hampshire is the only state that ever played host for the formal conclusion of a foreign war. In 1905, a treaty ending the Russo-Japanese War was signed in Portsmouth. If you ever want someone to blame when your alarm clock oh-so-rudely tears you away from a delightful dream, blame it on Levi Hutchins of Concord, who invented that heartless instrument back in 1787.
The building in this picture is the Mt. Washington Hotel, and in the background is Mt. Washington itself, the site of the highest wind velocity ever recorded in North America. Would you believe 231 MPH, with gusts even HIGHER? That was back in 1934. During a typical winter, Mt. Washington often claims the coldest temperature of the day.
Ya gotta love a place with its own Trojan horse. This one, ten feet tall, is located in Gossville.
But that isn't the only kind of horse you'll find in New Hampshire. Merrimack, a Bavarian-style hamlet, is home to the famous Anheiser-Busch Clydesdale training team. They may not be as tall as the Trojan horse, but they ARE six feet tall to the shoulder.
The Memorial Bell Tower at the Cathedral of the Pines in Rindge has four bronze bas-reliefs that were designed by Norman Rockwell, and sculpted by his son Peter. The bell tower is specifically dedicated to women -- military and civilian -- who died while serving their country.
The Old Man of the Mountain was one of New Hampshire's iconic symbols. This natural formation was carved by receding glaciers ten thousand years ago, and gazed out from twelve hundred feet above Echo Lake. It measured forty feet from the chin to the forehead, and was made up of five ledges. Notice all the past tense verbs? That's because the old man collapsed in 2003.
The McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center, located in Concord, includes interactive exhibits on aviation, astronomy, earth and space sciences, as well as a state-of-the-art planetarium. The Christa McAuliffe Planetarium is named in honor of, and dedicated to, the New Hampshire teacher who died in the space shuttle Challenger explosion. As you may have guessed, astronaut Alan Shepard was also a New Hampshire native.
Daniel Webster's boyhood home.
Okay, time to leave the pictures and take a look at some of the laws.
- You may not tap your feet, nod your head, or in any way keep time to the music in a tavern, restaurant, or cafe. (Must be some pretty lousy music.)
- You cannot sell the clothes you are wearing to pay off a gambling debt. (Guess no one's allowed to lose his shirt from gambling.)
- It's against the law to check into a hotel under an assumed name. (What if your names really ARE John and Mary Doe?)
- It's illegal to pick up seaweed on the beach.
- Any cattle that cross state roads must be fitted with a device to gather their feces. (I don't wanta change those diapers!)
- You may not run any machinery on Sundays.
- It's also against the law for citizens to look up while relieving themselves on a Sunday. (Pious peeing only.)
- In Claremont, it's illegal to get drunk or picnic in a cemetery, or to enter at night, or for children under ten to enter unattended.
- In White Mountain National, any person caught raking the beaches, picking up litter, hauling away trash, building a bench for the park, or many other kind things better have a permit. Otherwise, the do-gooder can be slapped with a $150 fine for (ready?) maintaining the national park without a permit.
Okay, here we go, boys and girls, the moment you've all been waiting for. (Right?) Time for (ta-DA!)
The Weirdest News Stories of the Week
*** When I was a young girl, my favorite aunt would draw a hula dancer on my knee, and then I'd make it "dance" by jiggling my knee. I forgot all about that until I saw an article the other day about a new vibrating tattoo. How cool is that? A hula dancer who could really jiggle her hips? Nah. Nothing quite that moving. But Nokia has come up with a technology where ferromagnetic inks, coupled with a newly patented substance, would actually vibrate in response to a cellphone or text message signal. I suppose that would be less distracting than a ringtone, but I don't know about that shades of bionic man vibrating skin stuff. Unless, of course, the tattoo were a hula dancer.
Not much else happening this week in the realm of weird news stories, unless you count the clueless cocaine smuggler nabbed in Washington state while riding in an SUV bearing a vanity license plate reading SMUGLER, while heading to the Smuggler's Inn to make the deal. (I kid you not.)
In addition to the high temperatures and high pollen counts already experienced this year, we've also had some pretty windy days. Not nearly as windy as Mt. Washington, but almost windy enough to blow me down. Yep, windy enough ... about as windy as this:
[A one and a two, all together now: All we are is ducks in the wind ...]
Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.