We were not more than eight minutes into the
trip when we had our first photo stop in East Clarendon.
Ice Cream and Hamburger stand.
And then a short time later
we found one more covered bridge in Windsor County, Vermont.
The Downers or Upper Falls Covered Bridge is a 120 foot long Town
Lattice Truss . It carries a Upper Falls Road over the Black River
in Amsden. This bridge was built in about 1840.
About a hour into our trip we
crossed over the Connecticut River. The Connecticut River serves
as the border between New Hampshire and Vermont. It is the
longest river in New England, flowing roughly north-south for
410 miles from near the Quebec border to Long Island Sound at
Saybrook, Connecticut. Historian Edwin Bacon called the
Connecticut River the Mississippi of New England. Its valley
drains a watershed area of over 11,000 square miles. Every major
city in Western New England sits on the banks of the Connecticut
or one of its major tributaries.
Crossing over the Connecticut River.
New Hampshire was named
after the southern English county of Hampshire, a unique
situation since it was the first colony to break away from
Great Britain in January 1776, and six months later was
one of the original 13 states that founded the United
States of America. New Hampshire was the ninth state to
ratify the Constitution and the first state to have its
own state constitution. Today, the state motto is "Live
Free or Die" and its nickname is "The Granite State" due
to its extensive formations and quarries. Concord is the
state capital, supported by no state sales tax or personal
income tax. New Hampshire is the 5th smallest state, and
the 9th least populated.
Our first covered bridge in New
Sugar River Trail - Pier Railroad Covered Bridge,
One of two remaining Railroad covered bridges in the
vicinity over the Sugar River. Built in 1907 to replaced
an earlier bridge.
And just a few miles away was this
great covered bridge.
Corbin Covered Bridge.This beautiful bridge in Newport, NH
was built in 1835 and rebuilt in 1994 by the master bridge
wright Arnold Groton.
We then made a stop to
check out this old Newport station.
Great adaptive reuse.
Cilleyville Covered Bridge, Andover, Merrimack County.
Located at the intersection of N.H. Route 11 and NH
Potter Place Station, Andover, NH.
Boston and Maine freight house.
Laconia Passenger Station
Leaving Andover, we
head east on Rte 11 to Webster Lake so named because
this is the area of Daniel Webster's birthplace.
Covered bridge at Webster Lake.
Our next stop
is a place with two names, Tilton and Northfield.
Name on one side of the building.
One of many cabooses we found at this
The other side of the building.
A plethora of refurbished cabooses.
They appear to be seasonal living quarters, like a
summer cabin in the woods.
There were as many as two dozen cabooses parked here
to make a small community.
We then drove a few miles to our next stop.
is a historic railroad
built for the Boston and Maine
in 1892. Bradford
Gilbert, the station's architect, is best known for
designing the first steel-framed curtain wall building,
the Tower Building in New York, but also designed a
number of railroad stations, at least five of which are
on the National Register.
At its dedication in August 1892, the Laconia
Democrat described it as follows
- The main features of the building are the
porte-cochere at the entrance and the large
general waiting room or rotunda, open to the
roof, with clerestory windows on all sides. The
floor of this room is of tile, and the wall to a
height of ten feet are finished in quartered
oak, and above that plastered and tinted in two
shades of chrome.
It was added to the National Register of Historic
Places in 1982.
Leaving Laconia it was a short five mile hop to the next
Our train to Weirs Beach.
The Hobo Railroad is the operator of Winnipesaukee RR.
This weekend was part of the Laconia Motorcycle Week and
today motorcycles only would be allowed at Weirs Beach
so a way to the beach was by train.
June seems to be the month to travel the countryside of
New England by motorcycle as we saw riders in Rutland
staying at our motel.
Views of Meredith Bay and Lake Winnipesaukee, the
largest lake in the state and a major resort center.
The 72-square-mile lake is dotted with islands and
surrounded by mountains.
The many bays and deep coves create a 263-mile
Our turn around point on our train trip.
Weirs Beach lies on the shore of Lake Winnipesaukee. Its
name is thought to mean "Smile of the Great Spirit."
This is New Hampshire's inland version of a
Click here for
info on Laconia Bike Week train rides. Click back
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The car free street of Weirs Beach.
Cab car for our return trip to Meredith.
Then it was another short drive to our next stop.
Looking across the road to the freight house.
From here we drove about 30 miles north to Lincoln, NH
This weekend there were no train rides offered.
Still early in the season for daily operation
but Chris had received permission for us to look around on their
Hobo Railroad offers 15-mile excursions in vintage, restored
coaches along the Pemigewasset River.
Mysterious car under wraps.
Click here for train ride info.
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A big thank you to the Hobo Railroad for allowing us to visit and
Our next stop was near by.
Clark's Trading Post
We boarded for a train ride.
New Water Coaster ride under construction.
Into the White Mountain National Forest.
Entering Wolfman country.
The Wolfman finds trains and
terrorizes the passengers. Two littlest passengers were very
terrorized. They were 5 or 6 years old and one wanted to go back
to the motel now and the other was ready to jump from
the train. Chris went over to calm them and said he would
protect them and they quieted down.
I really like this buggy that he drove around. It was noisy and
The Wolfman was wired for sound so he could talk to the train
That was very effective in terrorizing the passengers.
We have just passed the smoke bombs the Wolfman set off. Not a
very nice dude.
Once through the tunnel we would leave Wolfman country.
Arriving back at the station. We then walked around park.
Old Mill Pond Water Blaster Boats.
The Old Man of Mountain Climbing Tower
White Mountain Wheelin' Segway Park.
Rider getting one on one instruction on operating the Segway.
Watch my video of train.
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Lurking in the background, the Wolfman stalks a fresh crowd of
passengers to terrorize.
The folks at Clark's Trading Post were very helpful with this
story and many thanks to them.
Click for more info on
Clark's Trading Post. Click back button on your browser to
return to this page.
After we finished exploring Clark's Trading Post, it was a short
drive to our motel for the night.
Chris picked Parker's Motel on US Route 3 in Lincoln, NH for it's
convenient location for today's and tomorrow's activities.
Our early check in gave us a few hours to relax and get ready for
tonight's extra special repast.
Cafe Lafayette Dinner Train
When we were discussing and planing our trip, Chris asked if I
had been on a dinner train. I replied that I was a virgin on
that point. He said it was a great experience and I should try
it. He had done a couple so far but said that there are only
about a dozen in our country. Rare mileage, indeed. As he was
going through several tourist books he found a dinner train in
New Hampshire. As it was near where we were going to be
traveling, why not check this one out. And so it was decided,
tonight I was to lose my virginity on the Cafe Lafayette Dinner
Cafe Lafayette Dinner Train, 3 Crossing at River Place (Rt 112),
North Woodstock, NH
As it was a short drive from our motel to tonight's venue, we
arrived early and were able to take our pictures. I knew for my
big night that it would be with dressy attire and as a traveler I
thought a collared shirt and nice slacks would work and travel
well. As I was waiting with fellow diners, I noticed that we were
a nice, well dressed group.
The Cafe Lafayette Dinner Train has been operating as a
fine dining dinner train excursion since the spring of 1989.
There are only 12 moving dinner trains in all of North America,
making The Cafe Lafayette a very unique attraction. Running on
original timber line rails, the 20 mile trip brings us south
along the Pemigewasset River Valley, towards Thornton. Being one
of only a handful of Dinner Trains worldwide with a complete
kitchen car cooking fresh food to order while underway has
earned us a spot in the Wall Street Journal’s feature of only
four fine dining Dinner Trains worldwide "Dinner Trains Around the World".
The "Granite Eagle". Originally built for the Missouri-Pacific
Railroad, operating from St. Louis Missouri to San Antonio Texas
in the mid 1950's, she was soon acquired by the Illinois Central
RR and run on train #1; "The City of New Orleans". The retired
and unusual dome car was found sitting idle in Pittsburgh,
Kansas in the late fall of 1995 and quickly purchased by the
Café Lafayette. It was brought across the United States by rail
and refurbished in the engine house of the Hobo Railroad during
the winter of 1996, put into service for the spring season, and
remains our flagship car. Only two of these original dome cars
are known to have avoided the scrap yard and remain today.
Chris waiting to ride the dinner train.
We were seated in the Granite Eagle,
an unusual tri-level
car that features an upper observation dome with surround windows
and a sunken lounge.
Our table was on the middle level and near the kitchen car.
Soft jazz played on the sound system.
The door to the kitchen from our seat.
White table cloth dining.
Author waiting with great anticipation.
Fan is part of table centerpiece
Normally this two hour, 20 mile round trip will take you on a spur
of the historic Boston and Maine Railroad, which was laid in the
1880's, but not tonight.
Due to past storms, a bridge was washed out and parts of the track
were out of service. So we were only going about five miles out
but the ride would still take the two hours to complete. Our Hobo
Railroad engineer held steady at 4.5 mph. The dinner train uses
the Hobo locos for power.
Chefs getting ready for tonight's dinner service.
And then they started serving a wonderful meal.
We started out with crab-meat appetizers and was told everything
on the plate was edible on this and every plate tonight.
So all my plates went to the clean plate club.
Next came the mix greens with a fresh baked large roll.
We noticed a lot of fern plants along this route.
The blueberry sorbet. Took couple of bites before I could take the
And now the protein part of the meal.
One of the best ever top sirloin. Excellent.
Best part last. Key Lime Pie. Yum Yum.
For my first dinner train, this was a great feast to celebrate my
virginity loss and I certainly will remember this first time
After dinner service, all the guests were invited to tour and
visit all the cars in the train.
Looking toward the kitchen car.
The "Indian Waters". This beautifully restored 1924 Pullman
dining car was originally built as a lunch and lounge car for
the New York Central RR. This car, the first in the Café
Lafayette’s history, was rebuilt from the trucks up in the
Winnipesaukee Rail Yard by skilled craftsman and the original
owner in the mid 1980's. It operated for two years on the
Winnipesaukee Railroad before being moved to Lincoln in the
summer of 1988, where it then operated for one year on the Hobo
Railroad. The following year it was purchased and put into
service for the Café Lafayette. We continue to operate the
Indian Waters car through foliage season utilizing the original
kitchen and bar for a truly unique dining experience.
The "Algonquin". A 1954 Canadian National RR Cafe Coach, this
car was purchased in 1995 from the Canadian Government.
Refurbishment began in the summer of 1999, and now its spacious
and open interior makes it perfect for private parties,
corporate outings, and weddings
Many thanks to the Cafe Layette Dinner Train for their great
hospitality and making my first dinner train experience a lasting
Dinner Train info. Click back button on your browser to return
to this page.
After we left the parking lot and heading to the motel, we made
one more, our last stop.
Chris had found this site on Google Earth at home and hoped to
find it. Good Golly, he did just that.
At the motel, we were ending our first post-convention day. I
don't think you could squeeze any more daylight out of the day
than we did. Tomorrow will start early with a trip up to the
windiest place in the world.
Coming: New Hampshire - Mount Washington
Cog RR: Maine - Sandy River & Rangeley Lake RR
Text and Photos by Author
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allowed without the author's consent.