My Couchsurfing host, Alyssa, took me on her favorite hike to start the morning. It was this narrow hidden trail up Iron Mountain. It’s mostly rocky and relatively steep, but we managed to climb up to the first overlook in about a half hour. We stayed there chatting and enjoying the view for another half hour.
Alyssa had to go to work, but really wanted to introduce me to a pumpkin steamer first. For dessert the night before, Alyssa had given me a pumpkin, carrot, coconut whoopie pie with marshmallow cream cheese filling she had made at the bakery. It was insanely good. Easily the best desert I’ve had all year, so I knew the steamer would probably be awesome too. We had time, so we climbed back down and went to Backcountry Bakery & Cafe where Alyssa works so I could try a pumpkin steamer, which is basically pumpkin pie filling steamed with milk. The pumpkin steamer is wonderful! It’s like a frothy, warm, liquid pumpkin pie. So far I was two for two at the bakery so once Alyssa went to work I decided to hang out and ordered an egg and cheese bagel and spent the morning catching up on my blog posts. While I’ve only had a few things from Backcountry Bakery & Cafe, all of them were amazing, so if you’re in the neighborhood, you should definitely go try something.
Once I finished working for the morning, if visibility was good, I was planning on driving up Mount Washington. The Mount Washington Auto Road costs $28.00 for one car/person, so there was no way I was going if I wasn’t going to be able to see all the way to the Atlantic. Unfortunately, it was pretty cloudy for most of the day. I kept checking the Mount Washington Observatory website every half hour or so and the visibility ranged from 1/16 of a mile to 200 miles. I didn’t want to risk getting to the top and not being able to see anything, so I decided to save my money and the drive up Mount Washington for a different trip.
Instead, I decided to take the long way, via the Kancamagus Highway, to Littleton, VT to check out Chutter’s, the candy store with the world’s longest candy counter. Wow. Just wow. The Kancamagus Highway cuts through the White Mountain National Forest, and it’s freaking AWESOME! At first I was a little disappointed there weren’t more fall colors, but as I continued my drive I realized if the entire road was completely lined with those brilliant reds, oranges, and yellows, I might actually have cried and then crashed my car and died. And that wouldn’t have been good.
Seriously though, even with the leaves just beginning to change the drive along the Kancamagus was amazing! I started stopping along the side of the road trying to get a good picture of the colorful leaves. Eventually I realized there were a number of designated pull-off spots and stopped at most of them.
I wish I could describe what the colors looked like since the pictures don’t really do them justice. The reds were almost pink at times with maybe a hint of orange? I’ve never seen a color quite like it, so it’s hard to explain because I can’t compare it to anything. The drive was neat because it looked like the green forest had been polka dotted with the red trees. There was a point in the drive where I thought there were a bunch of plastic bags stuck in the trees. I was super mad, until I looked closer and realized that what I thought were plastic bags were actually just insanely thick spider webs! The completely undisturbed spiderwebs created a nearly solid wall of white which, when blowing in the wind, looked like plastic bags from the highway. How cool is that?!
To finish the drive to Littleton I had to get on I-93. I saw an exit for “The Basin” so, curious, I took the exit to see what the Basin was. So. Glad. I. Did. The area around the Basin is probably one of the coolest natural wonders I have seen to date. Basically, the Basin is a huge rock, like hundreds of thousands of pounds probably, that has been carved out by the Pemigewasset River into this cave like shape. They have a huge fence around it to keep people out, so the only pictures I got don’t really show much. I continued walking around the trail and found other cool carvings done by the river and they were easier to photograph. Here’s my favorite:
After wandering around to more of the river rock carvings I finished the drive to Chutter’s. The candy store was definitely a sight. I didn’t know how long I expected the “world’s longest candy counter” to be, but it was SO. LONG.
As I marveled at how many different types of candy had to make up all those jars I looked down and found these gems:
I guess you have to be creative if you’re going to fill the world’s largest candy counter. Though toward the end of the counter it’s just regular candy bars in jars, which I totally thought was cheating. I suppose you have to do whatever it takes to get the title of the “world’s longest candy counter.” Chutter’s is still pretty cool though.