Thursday, 4 October 2012

Autumn in New England: Part 7

A covered railway bridge

An uncovered road bridge
Another day and another breakfast with a touch of the Mrs Cropley's. A blueberry (and bran?) muffin is very nice with a cup of coffee mid-morning and a mixed vegetable frittata, accompanied by a rocket salad with a sharp dressing, makes for a wonderful light lunch. But both for breakfast? Well cooked but weird.

Our guides turned up (Mary-Lou with one of her arms in a sling) and we planned the day. It was raining so we decided against walking in the morning and left it as an option for the afternoon. Off we went and soon made a detour to see our fifth covered bridge: this one being a covered railway bridge. It was actually in a very tranquil spot and I found it unexpectedly pleasant. Pleasure can be found in the least expected places.

We then drove to the hamlet of Plymouth Notch to visit the home of the xth president of the USA, Calvin Coolidge. He was nicknamed Silent Cal and in deference to his memory, ..........................

From Plymouth Notch we took a 4-ish mile walk along a steep country road past the graveyard in which many of the Coolidge family are buried and up through the trees. At the midpoint we saw a chipmunk that had the grace to stay still for me to take its photograph. Was it Alvin? I think so.

THE chipmunk
 After this we made our way through the countryside (lots of foliage colours) to our next, and final B & B, the October Inn, just 8 miles out of Woodstock. And what another nice place to stay it is too. We took the opportunity to pop into Woodstock for a nose around. A charming place with a discernibly relaxed atmosphere and, joy of joys, a Farmer's Market in full swing. Lots of fresh produce and lots of free tasters.

Back to the October Inn, where the hostess, Edie (Edith) pointed out an extremely interesting tree in her yard. After years of experimentation and much hybridisation, they had come up with an apple/pumpkin chimeric tree. In the early summer, it bears small apples (apparently with a Cox flavour) and in the early autumn they are able to pick small pumpkins from its branches. I wouldn't have believed it if I had not seen it with my own eyes. Prunus pumpkinensis is what to look for in your local garden centre.

The October Inn
Prunus Pumpkinensis bearing its autumn fruit
And after all that, an Italian themed dinner with no sign of Signora Cropley in the kitchen! Hooray, a result! I went to bed happy, snuggling up to my jelly weiner (but that's a story for another day).

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