Jeff and Cheryl New England Trip travel blog

Today we are checking out of the hotel in Bethlehem. Before we did, we walked through the main building. There were sitting areas, a working fireplace, a reading room and more. It really was charming. Note to self...if I am ever back there, get into the main building. We had our breakfast, once again very good, and checked out the grounds. Off to the side of the hotel we found an old bridge called the Pierce Bridge. It was an old structure kind of like a metal covered bridge using just the superstructure. The interesting thing was, there was an official looking sign in front which said BRIDGE CLOSED. The odd thing was there were no roads leading up to the bridge. In fact, there were trees growing where the road should have been. Into the car and we were off.

Our first stop was planned for the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish New Hampshire. Augustus Saint-Gaudens was an Irish born American sculptor who worked during the mid to late 1800s. He was considered the most successful sculptor of his time, and possibly the best American sculptor of all time. Among other things, he was responsible for a number of sculptures in various cities including the statue of General Sherman in Central Park NYC. He also was responsible for the statue of Diana that was on top of the one of the early Madison Square Garden buildings. He was also responsible for the designs of Shaw's regiment in Boston as well as a number of gold coins used in the U.S. The site was very interesting. This was Cheryl's attempt to get me some cultcha! This was a site administered by the National Parks Department, so I was able to purchase my seniors lifetime pass to national parks. Not a bad deal.

We had intended to make the next part of the day driving to the site of the longest covered bridge in New Hampshire, but as luck would have it, Miss Neverlost took us across that bridge on the way to Cornish. So, we crossed that bridge when we came to it.

Leaving Cornish we had hoped to visit the boyhood home of Franklin Pierce, but since it closed at 4 and we left Cornish at 2, we decided to do that another day. We drove toward our final stop for the day, Exeter NH which is just a few miles outside of Portsmouth. We arrived at about 5:30. We asked Miss Neverlost to avoid highways and take us on the scenic route. Took about an hour longer, but was much more interesting. We had dinner and decided to walk around the historic district of the city. It was wonderful. The downtown area is about four winding blocks long. There are numerous locally owned shops of various types, a number of good looking restaurants, and at the center of the town, in the middle of the intersection in front of the City Hall, there was a round bandstand. Really takes you back to the early 1900s. Some of the buildings in the area date back to the mid 1800s or earlier, while others were much newer, but built to blend in with the older ones. According to flyers we saw, there were concerts in the bandstand every Monday evening during the summer. We walked the area until about 8:00, then returned to the hotel.

Rain is forecast for tomorrow, so we will see what happens. Maybe a quiet day of reading and laundry.

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