Tuesday, August 15, 2006
White Mountain Weekend
Cadmium Yellow Field, 2005, Oil on Panel, 16x20
Doug and I had an excellent time on our little weekend excursion, our days were carefree, did not involve laundry, cooking meals or pet care and the only bickering we heard was our own (I think he tailgates and he thinks I am too defensive when he is telling me which way to go). There were also a few moments of terror (mine) and physical injury (his) just to round out the weekend.
We got a very late start on Friday. No good reason other than that there was a lot to do around the house, as well as a few errands. Although Doug usually drives, his car is in the shop and we took mine, so I decided to drive on Friday and we alternated the rest of the time. I don't like his car. It is much bigger than mine and I am always running over curbs with it and stressing about the fact that I can't seem to see the end of the hood very well because it so dang big. Our first stop was at the Harrison Gallery to drop off a few paintings. and then we decided to meander through Vermont rather than drive up 91. After meandering way too long, we hit the highway and by the time we got to our exit it was raining and it was dark by the time we reached The Wilderness Inn in North Woodstock, NH. We stayed in a little cottage, separate from the main house and it had a fireplace, a two person jacuzzi tub and much privacy. The breakfasts were excellent and the proprietors. Rosanna and Charlie were so nice and helpful.
Saturday morning we set out to take photographs starting along the Kancamagus Highway and looping around and through the White Mountain Forest. Mostly we took shots from the areas designated as scenic locations and I have to say that the area is really stunning. I can see why the place was crowded with tourists, hikers and kyakers. Many of the views took my breath away. We stopped at one spot which was a pull out on the side of the road, with a guardrail and a steep decline on the other side of it. There were several cars parked there and I walked all the way to the far end to take some photos. When I got back to the car I couldn't see Doug anywhere. I sat in the car for a few minutes and started to get worried when I realized there where only two options (three if you believe in alien abduction) that would explain where he was: he could have been kidnapped, unlikely however, given the others in the area, but I definitely ran through that whole scenario, or over the edge. Just as I decided to go and take a look, he crawled up over the guardrail. He looked ok, so I was relieved but I didn't notice the blood at that point. He had headed down the side of the road, into the foliage and had fallen, hurting his hip and scraping up his legs, ankle and feet. He cleaned up, and assessed the damage. I offered little sympathy, and despite being very happy that he hadn't been seriously hurt, the rest of the day was filled with jokes about the intelligence of a nearly fifty year old, kind of out of shape guy climbing over boulders, down into a ravine, wearing sandals.
The moments of terror revolved around my insistence that we ride a ski gondola up to the top of Wildcat Mountain so that we could get some good aerial shots of the surrounding area. I am not exactly afraid of heights but I do have my moments (for instance coming over the top of a ferris wheel is terrifying to me) and as soon as we got in and the gondola started up the mountain, I realized that this would be one of those moments. To make it worse, it was a really windy day, so the lift moved very slowly and near the top the gondola was really swinging back and forth. The views at the top were amazing however and we walked a bit along the portion of the Appalachian Trail that crosses over the mountain. We would have spent more time up there but it was so windy and it was only 42 degrees! The trip back down wasn't quite so bad. I sat so I could look up the hill and I couldn't really see where we were going. We passed the time debating about whether the gondola would break open or if it would just roll if the cable broke and we plunged to the ground. We also decided that we probably wouldn't die right away, but would soon after. heh.
On our way back to North Woodstock, we took a lot of photos of little cabins like these. There were tons of these kinds of places along Route 3.
We had a very nice dinner at the Gypsy Cafe and all day we had tried to buy ourselves an anniversary gift, stopping at a number of antique shops. When we do actually remember the anniversary, we have often bought some quirky little thing for the house or yard. Unfortunately, this time we didn't find anything that we both liked, but it was a good change of pace for us to actually be aware of our anniversary, you know, on the actual day.
On Sunday we took a long time getting home, still stopping often to take photos. We also stopped in Brattleboro, Vermont which I will tell you about tomorrow because what we saw there was amazing and inspiring, not to mention lovely, perfect timing.
I took 317 pictures. Many, many of them were mountain shots like this one:
More than enough for my White Mountain project for Anderson-Soule Gallery as well as plenty of inspiration for new work. Good thing because I have to get right back to work and have to finish what seems like 487 paintings in the coming weeks. heh.