Fall Perfect For A Trip To New England
The fall colors are at their peak in this New Hampshire village by the shores of Lake Winnepesauke, and although the day was grey and the temperature in its 40s here today, my hosts and I went out on a two and a half hour cruise on the lake, saw the resplendent summer mansions along the coastlines and ate bowls of hot chili for lunch on the ship, the Mount Washington. Then we went to a country market to buy corn and other ingredients for a dinner tonight at their home.
This is definitely the time to come to New England, even if you do have to bundle up some against the ever changing weather. Snow is maybe two weeks off here, but fall products, the cider, the great piles of pumpkins, the colored corn, the pies and preserves, are at their peak, sold in the country markets one sees in most villages.
I've been staying with my friend, Sydney Stewart, and her housemate, Diane Potter, both now retired. Sydney is housing me in her boathouse cabin on Lake Kanasatka, divided by only a mile from Lake Winnepesauke. From my well-heated cabin, you can look out through bay windows on the water and the red and yellow-leaved trees all around. Only an occasional boat breaks the calm of the lake.
Normally, during the summer months, Stewart has two cabins down by the water for rent to guests, either $850 or $550 a week, boats included. Given what you get, this is a bargain, and I'm lucky that Sydney is an old girl friend, from nearly 50 years ago, and invites me year after year, following my mini-reunion at Dartmouth College, over in Hanover. For inquiries about the rentals, you can write her at P.O. Box 869, Center Harbor, N.H. 03226.
It's a joy to see the bustling Dartmouth campus also at this time of year. Last Friday, the college had a huge bonfire and a series of parties to mark its homecoming weekend.
We, in the Class of 1960, have been greeting the class of 2010, the class just entered as first year students (they are no longer called "freshmen"), 50 years after we showed up on campus in 1956. Now, Dartmouth is coeducational and larger than it was when we came in to town.
Some 1,080 in the new class marched in the homecoming parade and then ran wildly around the bonfire, as the songs were sung and cheers were heard, the ever-renewing cycle of classes at a college that is the farthest north in the Ivy League. The earliest class to actually appear in the parade was the class of 1942, which means its members are 86 years old for the most part.
About 45 of my class of 813 (715 or so survive), were at the campus over the weekend for a cocktail party, a class meeting, a tailgate party, the football game with Holy Cross, a hike for those who don't like football, and then a class dinner. A month before, two dozen of us had gathered to present lanyards and pins to the 2010s just after convocation.
Hanover is a little further inland than Center Harbor and the color was a little past peak, but still individual trees stood out splendidly, their leaves a panoply of colors. On Saturday, it was chilly and a little windy. I confess I skipped the game and went back with my hosts, Tony and Lois Roisman, to their farm house in nearby Lyme, N.H.
There was a little talk over the weekend of Iraq, North Korea and the impending Mid Term elections, and it was clear that most classmates are expecting a Democratic victory. President Bush is not very popular in the class.
But the focus was on having a good time, and Monday morning, when I drove across northern New Hampshire and the White Mountains to Center Harbor, was a sparkling, sunny, but cold day. The temperature when I started out, through the covered bridge down by the Connecticut River on the way to Orford, was 35 degrees.
It's all pretty tantalizing to a Californian, but thank goodness I won't still be
here when the snow starts falling and everything turns to a deep freeze.