Sunday, November 02, 2014

Do you know the way to... um.... Montreal?!

My DH (darling husband) had long suggested a weekend trip to someplace as a means to celebrate the completion of radiation treatment.  When he suggested Montreal, I said "Yes!"  of course.  It is about a 4 1/2 hour drive from our corner of New Hampshire... and with a couple of stops, I think we made it in 6.

There was still considerable Fall Color, though perhaps past its prime.  One good thing about being on a major highway is that the vistas are bigger, grander; more sweeping.  I took a LOT of photographs from the car.

You'll probably see some of them in future paintings!
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This isn't the Woodstock from the 1960's... but it sure was picturesque.

The Highway narrows to a single lane through Franconia Notch and passes by what used to be the Old Man  of the Mountain... a rock formation that looked like a craggy old New Englander.  We saw it on an earlier visit (and it is still on every NH highway sign), but the rocks crashed down in 2003.
 We stopped at a "welcome to Vermont" center in order to walk and stretch a bit. There was such a gorgeous photograph of Newport, Vermont, that we decided to make a detour to see it for ourselves.
 I think roads through mountains make interesting paths for your eyes to follow.  Again:  thinking like a painter.
This is just about the best looking trailer park I've ever seen!  Perhaps I can channel Grandma Moses for a painting.

 And, it being Vermont, there is a syncopated alternation between forest and farmland, peopled and plain.

 I'm not sure we ever made it to "modern" Newport, but after the highway turn off, there was a "T" intersection at  Lake Memphremagog.   We turned left!

According to Wikipedia, Poulin Grain makes feed for farm animals 24/7.  Animals in upstate New York and New England eat slow food and local just like the foodies do.
 All the lakes in Texas (except one) are man made.  So where they are doesn't necessarily make sense.  But in New England, lakes are where there are mountains that hold the water in... I don't know how much water is from springs or rainwater trapped in glacier-formed kettles and gouges.  Regardless, I loved the view from the high ground toward the water.
 Newport apparently has about the same population as our new home town, but it has been plagued by high unemployment since the timber industry declined and since border issues have become more complex between Vermont and Canada. Publications claim it can be a 4-season resort and destination town again.   Down Town is waiting for a federally funded Renaissance project to begin construction.  In the meantime, I  enjoyed these kitties
I might have enjoyed Newport more if I'd have come in the 1940's.  Its International Club reputedly had the biggest dance floor in New England and ALL the big bands played there:   Louis Armstrong, Charlie Barnet, Les Brown, Cab Calloway, Rosemary Clooney, the Dorsey Brothers, Jimmy and Tommy; Stan Kenton, Kay Kyser, Gene Krupa, Glenn Miller, Tony Pastor, and Louis Prima.  Thinking of my Dad and Uncle and how much they loved that music makes me miss them, too.

The State Office Building (with the granite Salmon in Front) was part of a redevelopment project.  The Newport Renaissance group has more plans, grant writers and pretty good momentum.  There's interesting information about what Newport may become (again )here.

Photo featuring the good sport, DH.
Photo featuring the Big Salmon.  (There is also a fish on the weather vane).
 Along with being a Trailroad stop between Boston and Montreal, Newport was famous for its salmon runs in the Clyde River.  It seems like greed and wildlife mis-management doomed them.  I really hope somebody can figure out how to revive the river, the lake and the fishing.
 Andrea Wasserman, Elizabeth Billings, Jeffrey Sass, Eric Oberg, Carl Bielenberg, and Glen Gardner are given credit for the scupture

 We can vouch for the Sugar Mountain candy shop.  DH liked the peanut butter malt balls, I thought their mint fudge was heavenly.

There were informational signs around town explaining how it used to be, and how they hope it will be again.  I hope it is a big success. 

As one might expect, there's a BIG Catholic Church on the top of a hill.  Probably has the best view in town!  While wending our way there, we saw several interesting Victorian (?) houses, many advertising Bed and Breakfast


We could see that the sun was going to set, so we returned to the road and headed to "The City of Saints,""La ville au cent clochers" ("The City of a Hundred Steeples"),"Sin City" or MONTREAL, depending on who you ask, and when.   

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