Lonesome Mondate

My guy has worked way too many hours in the last few weeks, including this past weekend, so today we ran away. Well, he went for a run early this morning while I dilly dallied around the house. And then we ran away.

plly 1

Our destination was our favorite breakfast place, though we went for lunch today–Polly’s Pancake Parlor in Sugar Hill, New Hampshire. As we walked toward the door, we noticed a family standing outside chatting and laughing. Hello neighbors! Yup, we were almost two hours from home and our neighbors from down the road had just finished breakfast. “We passed you on your run,” they said to my guy–equally surprised to see us there.

Lunch was the combo sampler–three small pancakes with sausage for him and thick, crispy bacon for me, followed by three more pancakes and full bellies. Good thing we only make this a once-a-year habit. I’d planned to only order the plain batter with blueberries because of all the choices that’s my favorite, but I have to say that the gingerbread and chocolate chip was also yummy.

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And then we moved on to the lupine fields. Actually, lupines bless the fields throughout town, but the Sugar Hill Sampler Lupine Fields feature trails with poetry along the way.

lupine sign

Such simple words of wisdom ring true

lupine 7

amid the beauty.

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The actual lupine festival occurred two weeks ago,

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but our timing wasn’t so off.

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Color and structure wrote their own verses.


A few more miles down the road, we started up a trail that appeared relatively flat in the land of giant yellow birch trees.


One of the brook crossings danced to the beat of its own song

xylo 2

interpreted by my guy who channeled his inner Tom Hanks as he moved across the xylophone to the beat of  “Heart and Soul” featured in the 1988 movie “Big.” So be it.

maple 2

A few months ago when I presented a workshop on tree bark, a colleague asked me about mountain maple, which I didn’t know existed. Since then, I’ve been paying attention–at least to the leaves, which I found today. Please don’t ask me what the bark looks like. That’s for a future lesson.


And though most have gone by, we found one painted trillium to add to my collection of a trillion trillium photos.

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After a steady climb among rocks and roots, we reached level land and bog walkways–thanks to the AMC employees and volunteers who worked on new passageways. Talk about getting into your work–check out the mud on this guy and he wasn’t the only one. We met others who had worked for the AMC 30 years ago and were volunteering their time and expertise to complete the trails that we all may enjoy. I hope there was a chilled beer at the end of their day because they were all muddy and sweaty, but smiled as they worked and suggested ways for us to bypass the mud.


We slipped off the trail (not literally) and found today’s special find–Eastern newts in a couple of stages.

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Growing older, the eft began to resemble adults. Don’t we all! Eventually.

lake view 1

Cannon Mountain formed part of the backdrop. For me, Cannon has always evoked a childhood memory. About 50 or more years ago, as my family traveled up the tram to the summit we looked toward Canada and my parents mentioned that our next-door neighbors, the Mansfields, were on their way to Canada, which we could see. I saw the Mansfields’ station wagon. I swear. And every time I pass this way, that memory jumps to the forefront. Once I mentioned it today, my guy and I started sharing past memories as we made our own.

ph Lonesome Lake hut (1)

At last we reached the  Taj Mahal and paused to use the bathroom.

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We were beside Lonesome Lake and had a splendid view of Mt Lafayette and Franconia Ridge as spring came to a close for 2016.

bog trail

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Our journey continued around the lake before we headed back down the trail–for scent and sound think balsam pillows and the banjo plunks of green frogs.

We were hardly lonesome on this trail that is described as tranquil and heavily travelled. We will attest that it is both and loved the hike to Lonesome Lake on today’s Mondate.



Sweet Treat Mondate

My guy and I have been overdue for our favorite kind of Mondate, so today we rose to the task. Our intention had been to depart at 7:30, but it was closer to 8am before we were out the door.


Following Route 302 through Crawford Notch, the clouds were rather ominous.


But that didn’t matter because our first stop was Polly’s Pancake Parlor in Sugar Hill, New Hampshire, where we each enjoyed the sampler combo–six three-inch pancakes and we split our servings of sausage and bacon. I tried buckwheat with walnuts, oatmeal buttermilk with chocolate chips and plain with blueberries. The latter were my favorite. Topped with butter and their own maple syrup, of course. By pancake number 4, I had to force myself to continue . . . and I did.

trot trot

When at Polly’s, one must say hello to Trot Trot, or in this case, Trot Trot III.

lupine 1

Because our timing was near perfect, the lupines were in bloom. You may want to skip down a few photos–I got carried away as usual.

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lupine field

lupines forever

lupine purplelupine white

lupine looking down

oh  beautiful

emerson quote

Yes, indeed!


For me, no visit to Sugar Hill is complete without pausing at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church. My guy knows that my dream had been to get married there and have the invitations read “First Sunday in September.” So, that didn’t happen, but we still like to stop by.

iron furnace 2

Another quick stop was at the stone iron furnace built after the Revolutionary War for smelting local iron ore. It’s in Franconia–think Franconia Stoves.

Coppermine Trail

Finally, we reached the trail head.

bridal veil sign

Our destination–Bridal Veil Falls on the back side of Cannon Mountain.


So, this photo is a bit fuzzy, but do you see what I see? Maybe it’s both. Maybe it doesn’t matter.


For much of the trail, we walked beside Coppermine Brook or could hear it coursing over the rocks. At times, we walked on rocks–reminded me of climbing on jettys in Connecticut when I was a kid.

lemonade stand

I’m pretty sure this must have been the former site of a lemonade stand. What?

sign on rock

So, you may be wondering if he was heading into the water–a tad bit chilly. Actually, he found the plaque Bette Davis, yes, THE Bette Davis, had placed on a rock in memory of Arthur Farnsworth, a local man she married. Here’s the story according to White Mountains Map Book:  “The great actress BETTE DAVIS summered in this area. In a famous 1939 episode, she lost her way on what is now Coppermine Trail and was rescued by local worker Arthur Farnsworth. Romance blossomed and the couple married in 1940. Farnsworth died tragically in 1943. Davis had a memorial plaque placed on a rock in the brook near where she was rescued.” As my guy can attest, the plaque has Farnsworth’s name and is dedicated to the “Keeper of Stray Ladies.”

foam flower

Foamflower or Tiarella was beginning to bloom.

wood sorrel

And the wood sorrel. I love its candy-striped petals.

stack of mushrooms

The lush woods are loaded with mushrooms, including these hemlock varnish shelves–stacked up like pancakes.

rock island 2

There are many rock islands like this one beside the path. Yellow Clintonia or Bluebead Lily is one of the inhabitants. I was thinking as I walked about all of the spring ephemerals and how they have to flower before the trees leaf out. They are abundant along the trail. And their fruits will be equally beautiful. But their timing must be amazing. Their challenges include not only the leaves of the canopy closing out the sun, but also the timing of the snow melt and subsequent run-off. No wonder they are so quick.


Just before reaching the falls, we came upon the shelter filled with the stories of many who have spent a moment or night here.

the falls 2

Bridal Veil Falls. Bridle Veil Falls. Whatever your pleasure. Certainly, beauty in motion.

Before we drove home via the Kanc, we stopped in Lincoln for ice cream. An extra sweet Mondate topped with hot fudge sauce.