North Conway in the Fall

January 15, 2010
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My friend, her family and I speed cleanly down the interstate in New Hampshire. The trees are just beginning to change and the day is sun-swept and lovely. The blue heavens hug the mountains like a mother in the distance and the cool shining water next to us reflects the clouds in the sky above our heads.
The trees framing a lake are doubled by their red and orange counterparts in the water as I gaze out of my window. We have been driving a while on our way home to Massachusetts. I am reflecting on the week-end I have just enjoyed as I drift in an out of listening to the radio.
My friend, Amy, her mom, and her brother invited me up this week-end to enjoy looking at the changing leaves, shopping, and hunting for pumpkin-people. Pumpkin-people are an amazing tradition up in that part of New Hampshire where many shopkeepers and business owners make fake people with pumpkin heads to draw tourists. This week-end alone, we saw Harry Potter pumpkin-people, Blue Man Group pumpkin-people, Star Wars pumpkin-people and many more. The dedication and detail orientation of those pumpkin-people artists is rather fantastic when one sees the final products of their work. They are the Leonardo De Vinci’s of New Hampshire’s pumpkin-people art.
As we rode around in the car trying to spot them, Amy and I had fun in the backseat taking pictures of ourselves and picking out the music from my iPod for her brother to play. We stopped a number of times to get out and take goofy pictures of ourselves with the pumpkin-people. Amy and I took a great one with the flying Harry Potter when we could finally stop laughing. We also stopped to get out and look at two mind-numbing beautiful waterfalls. On both occasions Amy’s brother came fairly close to falling in because he was trying to either make a bridge or overflow a pool of water in the falls. Still he managed to come out with only the seat of his pants soaking wet.
I know it shouldn’t, but it still amazes me how nice some people can be when they don’t have to be. For instance, this nice man at the first waterfall came over to us with the woman he was with and offered to take our picture without any prompting. He also might have stuck out in my mind because he had an awesome Hugh Jackman Australian accent. His impromptu kindness really made that visit to the falls for me and I’m not sure why, lots of people do nice stuff everyday but I guess it’s different when they do it for you.
On the ride to the next fall I was foolishly confused because I thought we were going shopping next. The waterfall we were going to was called Diane’s Baths and I guess I wasn’t paying attention because I was thinking more along the line of Bed, Bath, & Beyond. I got awfully surprised when I found out that we were actually going to visit a much beloved waterfall that was a regular family destination. I was even more surprised that we had to walk for a while in the woods to get there. However, it was a good surprise because it was so much fun to hike up there and look at the spectacular water display. The water was crystalline blue jumping over and over and over the rock ledges as if racing the other droplets. One could stand on giant rocks in the middle of the water and see out far into the distance where the other magnificent mountains crowned themselves in their gold leaves. This waterfall is where Amy’s brother, Jake, soaked the seat of his pants. It was funny because he almost got left there as well because he wouldn’t leave. Poor Jake, he just couldn’t tear himself away.
I am remembering all this and more as we cruise down the highway for home today. It was a magical week-end; full of local tradition, waterfalls, and a weird and wacky little brother. North Conway has definitely earned a place in my heart.

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