What’s a trip to New England without covered bridges? I love covered bridges, so, of course, it was mandated that we look for bridges. We didn’t have to look far as there were two right in the area where we were staying. One was old and for walking only. The other was a bridge that was actually in use. Cars could drive on it, so we drove across and then stopped on the other side to make the required photographs of other tourists making pictures.
Later we found yet another covered bridge, this one with both traffic and walking, which made for an interesting combination since there were no sidewalks. For the most part, the cars watched out better for wandering tourists than the tourists watched out for traffic, enabling many disasters to be narrowly avoided.
When we got home, someone asked if we met Meryl Streep or Clint Eastwood. Sorry, that was a different movie. Our movie was more like one made for television featuring senior citizens by the busload. The only things missing were children, who had used up summer vacation and were back in school. Some of the adults were worse than kids, however, walking thoughtlessly in front of you while you were taking pictures and rushing from one place to another as if a waterfall might be turned off before they could see it.
In addition to covered bridges, there were other wooden bridges built over scenic places, such as river cascades. These bridges seemed to have no particular purpose except to allow tourists to get a better look and a better picture to post on Facebook. We walked across one suspended bridge that bounced and swayed slightly as you walked. I was okay with walking across bridges as long as I didn’t look down through the cracks in the floor and see the water rushing below.
We saw scenic overlook after scenic overlook and hiking trail after hiking trail. My sister wanted to walk every trail we found. Remembering the long, long hike from our previous experience and my bad back, I decided to opt out on some of these. My adventures in parking lots were more interesting than the trails anyhow. At one trail, I waited outside at a picnic table in woods that grew colder and damper by the minute. I thought I would freeze to death or be eaten by bears before they returned.
The next time, I found out what happens when everyone goes for a hike and I stay behind in the car. It pours rains and everyone gets soaking wet except me. I also found out that when a car is locked, the alarm is on and if you open the door to take pictures, the alarm goes off loudly. Once again, the car keys had gone on the hike and I just had to wait for the horn to stop honking and reset itself regardless of annoyed stares from other people.
After a while, all the scenic overlooks seemed to melt together and look the same. At one stop, however, there was an old cracker-box style house that had once belonged to a woman whose husband abandoned her. According to legend, she put a light in the window in case he decided to come home, every night for 37 years. After she died, guess who returned and tried to lay claim to the estate?
Further along, we stopped at a restaurant with a giant wooden lobster on the outside porch. We whipped out the cameras to take pictures. The hostess told us how someone had tried to steal the lobster by cutting the bolts and dragging it down the handicap ramp to the parking lot. Eventually, they abandoned their efforts in a foot of snow. Unfortunately, one claw was broken off during the escapade, but it was later repaired. Like a brass moose, I had to wonder what thieves would do with a giant wooden lobster.
The waitress didn’t know and neither did I.
Copyright 2012 Sheila Moss