New Hampshire – Day 5: North Conway, Cathedral Cliffs, and the Mount Washington Hotel

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it lately, but I love the Roadtrippers website! Love it! The other day I was looking for places to add to my New Hampshire trip and I discovered an old school 5¢ and 10¢ store near North Conway, NH where I’d already planned to be. Score!

North Conway 5¢ and 10¢ Store, the oldest continually running store in America.

North Conway 5¢ and 10¢ Store, the “oldest continually operating retail store” in America.

Of course, now I can’t find where I read that this was an authentic 5¢ and 10¢ store, but I swear I did. So I went in with the expectation that everything was going to be, well 5¢ and 10¢. Now, I know with inflation this would be CRAZY and probably totally unsustainable, but I fully intended to buy everything since it was going to be so cheap. Needless to say, I was horribly disappointed when the store turned out to be pretty much the same as every other tourist-y gift shop. I mean, sure, they had a few things for 5¢ and 10¢ which did make me smile inside, but seeing them right next to the 25¢ pieces just made me nostalgic for a time I didn’t even live through. (Yes, I realize 25¢ isn’t that bad, I was just disappointed on principle – it’s called a 5¢ and 10¢ store!)

Candy in the North Conway 5¢ and 10¢ Store; North Conway, NH.

Candy in the North Conway 5¢ and 10¢ Store; North Conway, NH.

As I mentioned yesterday, my lovely host Mary, mother of my friend Molly, gave me an awesome two page list of things to check out in New Hampshire while I was here. Obviously, I didn’t have time to do everything on the list, but I did want to try to see as many of them as I could. I decided to continue on my journey to Jackson, NH with a stop at Cathedral Cliffs, because it sounded cool. I’m glad I did. I wandered about ten or fifteen minutes up the trail trying to find a good, clear place to take a picture of the cliffs, before realizing I was probably just on a trail to the top. I could hear rock climbers just out of sight and really wanted to see them climb, but I couldn’t figure out where exactly they were. I was in a maxi skirt, so it didn’t seem like the best idea to keep climbing. Finally I resolved to drive to the top and enjoy the view from there. What a solid choice. I found a quiet place to eat lunch and enjoy the view:

View from atop Cathedral Cliffs in North Conway, NH.

View from atop Cathedral Cliffs in North Conway, NH.

Even though I wasn’t really hungry I stopped at the White Mountain Cider Company Store next. (Apparently, they have the best chicken salad ever.) Upon entering I was smacked full in the face with the delicious smell of their cider donuts. It was like walking into a factory that produces fall smells. Unfortunately, they were out of donuts when I got there and it’d be another forty-five minutes until the next batch was ready. :(. I decided to trust the universe and just enjoy the smell and move on.

My first covered bridge in Jackson, NH!

My first covered bridge in Jackson, NH!

Driving into Jackson, NH, I finally came across, and crossed, my first covered bridge. Just on the other side I stopped at the Ravenwood Currio Shoppe  and checked out the cool lawn ornaments/art they had. They even had some jewelry from an Arkansas artist! My final stop of the day was the Mount Washington Hotel. Mary told me it was impressive. I don’t know what I was expecting. Not the Grand Budapest Hotel, that’s for sure. This was the view as I drove up:

Drive up view of Mount Washington Hotel, Bretton Woods, NH.

Wow…just wow…Drive up view of Mount Washington Hotel, Bretton Woods, NH.

I wandered into the lobby, noting the distinct smell of fancy old lady perfume, as well as the moose head mounted on the wall, and the impressive chandeliers. Then I found my way on to the porch and walked around to the overlook so I could take this picture:

View from back porch of Mount Washington Hotel, Bretton Woods, NH.

Quite the view from the back porch of the Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, NH.

I sulked here for about ten minutes. Lamenting the fact that I’d never get to stay in a place like this, and probably wouldn’t even if I had the money, because it would be so wasteful. (I looked it up and the cheap room I found was $279/night!) I sort of started to hate the people around me for being so privileged. Then I checked myself, and said, hey, you never know, maybe they’re only here for one night and they saved up all year for this, don’t judge. Anyway, I had to get away from all the people because I was getting depressed, so I wandered down to a lower level.

I realized the other day I haven’t been taking enough “me time” on the trip so far, I’ve been all go-go-GO and it’s starting to take a toll. I woke up this morning with a sore throat, so I decided to take it easy today. I hunkered down in a rocking chair on the lower level and picked up reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban where I’d left off, periodically looking up to enjoy the view. It was incredibly refreshing and just the break I needed to relax and wind down my day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *