Well, I left the Mountain View Grand in Whitefield, NH at 10:30 this morning with no plans, no intentions of telling you more about this excursion, and here I want to share more.
I traveled down Route 142 from Bethlehem towards Franconia not having been on that route before, and all of a sudden on a side road saw with the street name sign “Scenic Road” – “Ray can handle that,” I said to self, and quickly did a u-turn. Fantastic views, seen by few I am sure, and this one field of Lupines – now in bloom, is so serene.
Once in Franconia I headed towards Sugar Hill, a favorite spot, but at the corner for the turn up the hill to Sugar Hill is the site of an Iron Furnace which sadly I had never stopped at. Well, following my recent quick time at the Saugus Iron Works I had to stop, and did. Great history and well interpreted. Here is a gallery of views that you may wish to peruse(remember to click on an image for a slide show) .
Arriving in Sugar Hill, I stopped at the Sugar Hill Sampler, an institution for this area that I have always visited. And, on this visit I purchased some Christmas decorations that I am thrilled about and two candle holders in their “Lost and Found” antique department that are “used” and were too cheap having come originally from a NH League of Artisans show and are made of carved granite? As I am “keyboarding” music is playing, and candles romantically burning in them, along with “candle followers” that I got. Again, I need nothing, but if something “grabs me” it is mine.
But, the reason for this post – I had a wonderful reception and tour by Leslie at “Café Lafayette Dinner Train in North Woodstock, NH.
By now you should realize that I am “hooked” on classic train travel – overnight with dining. Well, I just happened to see their sign as I was driving on Route 112 in North Woodstock after exiting the HOBO RAILROAD (closed until 22 June – but seemed “hokey” – and for kids) and I turned in and parked. The station office and gift shop was open but no one was there. Soon a gentleman came in and graciously greeted me and began answering my questions. Soon his wife, Leslie, came in and took over. In no time at all she enthusiastically toured me through their collection of train cars explaining where they were purchased and the restorations/renovations they had undertaken. Obviously a true “labor of love.” Their dinner excursions of two plus hours run on the same tracks as the Hobo Railroad, and the “Hobo” locomotive pulls their consists – but at the same time, the Hobo Railroad has no food facilities, so on their excursions they stop and get vittles from Leslie – “too cool.”
Leslie had no problems with me taking some images, and here they are:
I cannot believe how nice she was, and treated me when I obviously was just passing through at the moment. My dear Cathy and I always said that we can “vote with our dollars” so, hey friends, lets plan an evening (and maybe an overnight) to experience dining by rail without having to book a long distance train trip.
That is it until I “hit the road” again, and it could be in days, who knows? Thanks, as always, yours, RAY
RAY RECOMMENDS: Book an evening on “Café Lafayette Dinner Train”
Postscript Monday 17 June:
Last evening I sent Leslie an email thanking her for her hospitality, and this morning she sent this nice reply.