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17 July 2005

Arethusa Falls

Arethusa_Falls_NH

Boy oh boy! What a terrific day we had. We decided to check out Arethusa Falls in Crawford Notch Park, NH. It was a wonderful hike. We started at the trailhead parking lot off Rt. 302 and drenched ourselves in DEET. The trail was a roots and rocks trail with a pretty steady incline through a gorgeous old growth forest. It took about 45 minutes to reach the waterfall, and once there, we sat with the dogs for about an hour, and dipped our feet in the rushing water. It was terrific. But do you know what the really cool part was? Among our fellow hikers was a party of Hasidic jews. A grandfather and grandmother, 2 men in their thirties with their YOUNG wives (seriously, one looked about 17 or 18), and six children aging from an infant to about a 7 year old. The kids all had on matching outfits: the girls wore peach colored striped tops with black skirts and the boys wore dark capri-length pants and blue shirts. The boys had the trademark Hasidic curls and yamakas, just like the older men, who all wore white starched shirts and dark trousers. It was very interesting to see. They were very friendly when we passed them on the trail. Unfortunately, the kids were deathly afraid of dogs, so we didn't get to talk to them, but there were 2 minivans with NY plates in the parking lot, so we're thinking that they were theirs. We were going to continue onto the Frankestein Cliff trail, but we were getting hungry, so we head back to the car, saying "next time!"

After our hike, we checked out the Crawford Notch campground because that's where we think we'll stay next time we go up, which unfortunately can't be this coming weekend as we have a party we have to go to Saturday night. After walking through the campground and picking the site we like best along the Saco River, we ate dinner at the Scarecrow, where we went last time, and then we stopped at Zeb's for some licorice and kettle corn! Next to Zeb's there is a bar and restaurant where Jason Ricci was playing. We saw Jason Ricci in Hoboken in February with Hans and Tatiana, so we were pretty excited to see him again, but he was just finishing a set when we got inside, and then he was going on break, so we head back to the car, as it was already 7:30.

On the way home, R made the astute observation that New Englanders tend to place their cemeteries near places young people inhabit, such as schools and daycares (I guess it's the other way around!). She pointed this out on Saturday when we took the dogs to the park in Falmouth, but I thought it was a fluke. Today she pointed out 2 more occurrences on the drive home, and I think she's onto something. Are they giving kids a reality check? I'll keep you posted on this phenomenon.

We like New Hampshire. We love New Hampshire. It reminds us more of Alaska than Maine does. It's not so touristy, and it actually is more accessible to us from Portland than the beautiful part of Maine. We were on the trail within 2 hrs of leaving our apartment, and 2 hours north in Maine just gets us to some little seaside towns where we can't afford to eat lunch even if we could find a parking place. To really get away in Maine (I'm not talking Sebago Lake), one needs to drive about 4 hours, methinks. The signs call Maine "vacationland," but we think that New Hampshire fits the bill much better. Also, the people that we met along the way (our waitress at the Scarecrow, for example) were very friendly. People in Maine don't say much to us. After all, we've only been here for over 1 1/2 years. We're still too new to trust, or something.

I will find out this week whether or not I got the SMCC job. I don't feel real confident about it since I haven't heard yet, but after hiking today, I feel much less stressed out about it. Being outside with the dogs is the kind of stuff I really love to do. And it only cost the gas we put into the car. The mountains are free. No matter what happens job-wise, we can always afford the mountains!

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