I don't usually channel W.C. Fields, but it doesn't get more appropriate than this.
We did our annual fall foliage trip this year, but we wanted to try out New Hampshire instead. By the time we booked it, the best we could do was the third week in October. A little late by New England standards, but hey, we weren't in it solely for the leaves, we do it to chill out and take little day trips to tourist traps in the area. Besides, it was a nice roomy place at an off-season ski lodge...our favorite situation.
Well, apparently, as soon as the leaves hit the ground, the local businesses shack up for the winter. I should have warned of the bad path this trip was going to take by the foreboding signs we received on day one. After we arrived it started pouring. When we woke up, it stopped pouring. When I noticed the odd silence, I looked out the window to find out that the rain was now snow. Big flakes coming down hard. We were probably the only people to ever stay at a ski lodge to complain about snow. We checked the weather report for Lincoln, NH...more rain today, snow and rain Tuesday, more of the same on Wednesday, mostly cloudy on Thursday, then more precipitation on Friday and Saturday. Greeeeaaaaat.
But we soldiered on. Hey, I wasn't going to sit around and mope all day. Besides, have you ever tried to contain a 2-year old inside who's been deprived of 15/16th of his toys for a whole week? On with the heavy coats and off we went. But then we started to find that almost everything that was on that local cartoony-style map that shows all the tourist attractions was closed for the season. Clark's Trading Post with a railroad and trained bears? Closed. The Flume Gorge? Closed. Not only that, the Old Man of the Mountain crumbled three years ago, so we couldn't even see that. Christ, even the towns themselves seemed devoid of people like a bad horror movie.
Our only possible redemption was a moose sighting, so we asked the person working at the front desk who gave us a good spot which supposedly had a 90% success rate if we went at dusk or dawn. Well, despite following all the direction and using our unique moose calls (Heeeeeeere moosey moosey moosey!), we fell into the tenth percentile who came up empty on moose sightings. Maybe the moose left for the season too.
Since our next planned destination was Kittery, Maine, instead of going 2.5 hours south only to have to retrace our steps north before eventually doing it all again on the way home, we decided to cut bait on New Hampshire. We found a hotel outside of Salem, Massachusetts (45 minutes away from Kittery) and decided to stay there for the night, hitting Salem the next day (during Halloween season!) before heading home. It turns out Kittery and Salem were the best parts of the trip.
So in summation, New Hampshire sucks. It may be a nice place to stay in the summer, but don't bother going there after September. If you want to do the leaf thing in the fall, go to the Berkshires area instead (including southern Vermont) where everything is still open.