Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Thursday, 17 July 2008

First in the Nation

Dixville Notch, New Hampshire

We've been camping for three nights in the White Mountains. It's cool in the mornings and evenings. You can understand why people like to vacation here in the summer. When the leaves change color in the fall it's a spectacular place.

There's a place here called Dixville Notch. During every election the 20 or so registered voters gather at midnight and cast their votes. By a few minutes after midnight the polls close and the results are announced around the nation as election news.

The results are always heavily tilted. This is the most "red" of all states. You see results like "Reagan 17...Carter 3". We drive up to the notch expecting a quaint little town. We are surprised to find a very posh resort with pools, clay tennis courts and a fabulous golf course.

The doorman invites us to go take pictures of the "ballot room" in the hotel and suggests lunch up on the mountain at the golf club. Many famous people show up here on election day. My own guy, Ralph Nader, has been here. Both Bush I and Bush II visited the room on election day.

We spent a day driving the road up to the top of Mt. Washington. The road is eight miles with an average grade of 12%. You have to use 1st gear all the time both ways. They recorded a wind up there of 231 MPH in 1934. People like to set records on the road. One guy was the first to push a wheelbarrow with 100 pounds of sugar up to the top (he was also the first to walk up backwards). Another was the first to ride a water buffalo to the top...lot's of firsts. I snap a few shots of the old cogwheel coal powered steam train. We rode it two years ago. When it pulls in about 60 old men make a dash for the three urinals, so you want to be finished with your business before the train arrives...

Lunch in the golf club is very good...we have a sandwich and leek and potato soup, white wine and finish by sharing a mixed berry pie with a "dollop" of vanilla ice cream. This morning we move on to the Coast of Maine.

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