I got up a little earlier than Bob today. Auggie slept in too. It was only 44 degrees this morning outside, but nice and toasty inside. The weather forecast was for rain later this afternoon, so we decided what we wanted to do. We decided to save some hiking to the waterfalls for Tuesday, when the forecast was for drier weather. We thought that checking out some of the covered bridges in the area would be the way to go and if it did rain, it really wouldn’t affect our plans much. We all got ready and by 11:00 we were on the road. With Bob at the wheel and Mike as the co-pilot, Patti used her phone to hunt for the nearest covered bridges. Our first bridge was the Bump Bridge in Campton on the Mad River.
It was built in 1877 and rebuilt in 1972. We all got out and walked across this 68′ bridge.
It was a single lane bridge with no walkway on the side. Luckily, there wasn’t any traffic. The river seemed pretty calm as it passed under the bridge.
Patti found the next bridge in the area and gave Bob directions on how to find it. It was the Blair Bridge also in Campton on the Pemigewasset River. It was 292 ft. long.
It was built in 1870 to replace a span of bridge that was burned by an arsonist. Covered bridge expert, Milton S. Graton, restored the structure in 1977.
A sign on the bridge said there was a five dollar fine for riding or driving on this bridge faster than a walk. It was also a one-lane bridge and we could have collected quite a bit of money from the people who did not heed the warning on that sign. We walked across the bridge and back to get a view the river.
Our next stop was Turkey Jim’s Bridge, a 60 ft. span near Campton. It was in an unusual location inside a campground. The road at the far end was closed off and we could not drive across it. There was a lot of flood damage in this area from hurricane Irene.
Turkey Jim’s Bridge was built in 1883 and restored in 1958 by Milton Graton. His son, Stan, restored it again in 2013. Milton Graton and Sons has restored most of the covered bridges in this area.
The fourth covered bridge in the area that Patti found was the Smith Millenium Bridge near Plymouth. It was 171′ built in 2001.
It was a very pretty bridge with a walkway on the side.
It was named after a local farmer, Jacob Smith. The first bridge on this site was built in 1786 and is 171 ft long. In 1850, a contractor built a new bridge. After an arsonist burned the 143-year old span in 1993, the state constructed this new 2-lane bridge. The new span was designed to bear the same loads as interstate highway bridges and dedicated in 2001 and is the strongest covered bridge in the world.
By this time, we were getting a little hungry so we decided to stop in Plymouth for a bite to eat. We found a place called the Phat Fish right in town. There wasn’t much open on a Monday. We all decided that we would have a bowl of chowder and a beer and go out for dinner later. The hot chowder hit the spot on this cool, windy day.
We left there to look for our next bridge in Ashland, the Squam River Bridge. This one was located on the Squam River that flows into Little Squam Lake. There was a marina there with lots of covered boat houses.
This one was built in 1990 by Milton Graton. It had a beautiful open crisscross pattern on its sides.
We walked across the 61 foot bridge along the walkway to get a better look at the lake and the marina area.
Patti did a fabulous job of finding the bridges. It was fun hunting for the bridges and not knowing what kind of bridge we would find. The dark clouds came and went all afternoon with the sun playing hide and seek. There are 58 covered bridges in the White Mountains and we can’t see them all, but we decided that the other bridges were too far to away to search for today. We went back to the campground and sat around the fire.
Auggie enjoyed being outside to search out the chipmunks and squirrels. He didn’t seem to mind the cooler temps.
The thermometer in the truck said it was 63 outside, but it felt a little colder than that. It must have been the cool wind that made the difference. As we sat outside by the fire, it started to raining lightly. We didn’t realize it at first because we were sitting under the trees. Around 5:00, it started to rain harder, so we decided to go inside our campers and go out to dinner at 6:00. I worked on my blog and Bob watched a little TV while Auggie had his dinner. It continued to rain harder. At 6:00, we hopped in Mike’s truck and tried to find someplace to eat in the area that was open on a Monday. It wasn’t easy. We drove in to the Waterville Valley Ski Area to check out a couple of restaurants located there. All but one were closed on Monday, and the Mexican Restaurant that was open was way too expensive. So we asked at the reception desk in the Waterville Lodge if the girl there had any recommendations for a place to have dinner. She suggested one that was only a few miles away, so we hopped in the truck and checked it out. It was expensive and didn’t have much that appealed to any of us, so we searched our phones for another place to eat. We found a pizza place back in Campton on the way back towards the campground. At this point, we were desperate for any place to eat and we were HUNGRY. Patti spotted Exit 28 Pizza. It was open!
We pulled in and were so happy to find it. Each couple ordered a pizza and a soda. We didn’t even care that they didn’t serve beer. The pizza was very good and everyone was ravenous. We headed back to the campground in the dark and in the rain. We retired to our own campers for the evening. Bob and I watched a little football and I worked on my blog. I had two days to catch up on. The Internet service is not very good here. It continued to rain most of the evening. When there was a break in the rain, Auggie got to go out one last time for a quick pottie break. Tomorrow Patti and Mike will be heading back home. We had 3 great days with them. They have been great hosts for this area while we’ve been in the White Mountains. We’ve had an amazing time! Thanks Patti and Mike! We’ll see them in December when they’re back in Tropic Isles!