Up Into The Lupines
There's nothing like driving aimlessly 'round the north country, just to look around. But if you're near Sugar Hill in the petal-popping days of early summer, you're in for a treat.
Let's turn in Franconia, past the Gale River and the lovely dilapidated old buildings along it. Up we go into the lupines.
Lupines come out for only a few weeks a year, but the spindly beauties really put on a show. Even we seemed to just miss it. Whether a week early or a week late, I'm not sure. But there was enough action to justify the drive. Purple, pink, white, their bushy pointed leaves propping them up, almost as high as the mountains across the notch.
Let's take the slightly cheeky, but perfectly appropriate Inspirational Walk. There's this whole network of paths through the flowers. Staked around the paths are old white signs with quotes and verse painted on them. "Be the change you want to see in the world," was my favorite. It's very "New Hampshire" to sneak some new agey-ness in there. It's just right. And there was Longfellow:
Like it was written for this very spot. There were plenty of people milling about, but it was nothing like down in the tourist centers of Conway and Lincoln. Mounts Lafayette, Lincoln, Cannon, the Kinsmans, Cherry were all dripping with cloud, but that brought Longfellow right into the field with us. An early morning rain broke just as we arrived and the meadows were a warm, sweet wet that feels just right on a summer morning.
The lupines draw people into the Sugar Sampler, a barn-sized shop filled with antiques and collectables and confections. There was a vintage cooler filled with local cheeses and fudge, which has a way of cleaning out our wallets and getting our fingers sticky. But that's just added value.