The adventures of a not-so-young married couple moving from the urban sprawl of central New Jersey to a rugged mountain slope in New Hampshire. Land secured; our house now exists in our imaginations and on paper. Check in regularly as that is soon to change.
Thursday, July 9, 2015
Waiting in Paradise
I have allowed myself get annoyed over all the recent waiting (not idle waiting
but active waiting, as in doing everything needed and depending on someone else
to do something) for the next phase of excavation and concrete for “the barn”
construction to proceed. Mud season has departed (mostly) and all the big guys
who move logs are busy. So we wait to move up the list so we can get some space
cleared that wasn’t first envisioned in the first go-around of the logging.
(It’s pretty hard to discern subtle differences in gradients when you are in
thick forest.) It took me just a little rearrangement of my attitude to
remember I am waiting in such a beautiful place. Blame it on the paint fumes
and too much heavy lifting of boxes.
View looking north to Mount Cardigan. All photos by author.
D and I have
been official New Hampshire residents (driver’s license, car tags, PO box, the
whole shebang) more than one month now. But it wasn’t until Sunday that we got
out to test the waters nearby in a canoe. D popped the green Bell Chestnut
Prospector tandem on top of the car, we grabbed a few paddles and PFDs, and we
were off. After 20 minutes on a gravel road, we arrived at Grafton Pond, which
encompasses 319 acres with depths up to 60 feet. (I’m not sure why it is called
a pond; apparently it is a regional thing. For example, in New Jersey, Lake
Carnegie, home to Princeton Crew, covers 262 acres. D tells me the area of majestic,
fjord-like Western Brook Pond in Newfoundland measures 5,683 acres.)
One of many small islands.
Pond, no gas-powered boats are allowed. People (and dogs) in canoes and kayaks,
and on the occasional paddle board quickly disperse from the state-run boat
launch and modest parking area to begin exploring the numerous bays and uninhabited
islands. We brought a lunch and after an hour found a large isolated rock on
which to perch and enjoy a break from paddling.
attraction of Grafton Pond is that it is so wild and so pristine. Only a few
houses are visible, and those are near the put-in. The seven miles of shoreline
and surrounding land (owned by Grafton Pond Land Trust) are under the
stewardship of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests and
Friends of Grafton Pond.
Chicks getting a ride.
Grafton Pond take seriously the prohibitions and don’t leave behind as much as
a gum wrapper. In an isolated cove we spied a large snapping turtle were able to
follow quietly for a bit. Kingfishers flew back and forth across the water. We spotted
a loon family (one of several who make the pond their nesting home). The female
had two chicks so close to her they were almost imperceptible from the required
viewing distance of 300 feet. (I took a discrete picture but would have needed
more serious camera power to get anything better.) The male was nearby and made
some protective yodels. For two hours on what must have been the busiest leisure
weekend (July 4th), we enjoyed what we came to New Hampshire for—nature,
mother to all.