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Gorham and Berlin, NH

August 2, 2013
July 2013 ~On the way to the Maine Coast
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Here’s the view out our front window at Timberlands Camping Area.  This is a very wooded campground, and the view out the windows was beautiful.  Somewhere within hiking distance was the Androscoggin River, but we decided within minutes after we arrived that we probably wouldn’t spend much time outside here.  It was really humid after all the rain they’d had, and the mosquitos began biting as soon as we stepped outside.  The drive through Vermont and New Hampshire had been absolutely beautiful, but grueling at times with some long uphill climbs, steep downhills, and really winding secondary highways.  I didn’t plan this one very well.  What google maps calls a 4 1/2 hour trip is actually 5 1/2 in a motorhome, and with stops it becomes 6 1/2 hours.
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Even when we have a destination (on this trip it was the coast of Maine), we occasionally plug in a two-night stay in places.  We spend the off day roaming in the car, exploring the surroundings.  We’ve discovered some nice little local museums, seen some beautiful off-the-beaten-path sights, and learned a little history.  In this case, the next day was gray and occasionally drizzly, with heavy rain in the forecast, but we couldn’t just sit inside.  We drove into Gorham (4.5 miles) and had lunch at a really nice pizza restaurant called Mr. Pizza while watching the river flow by.
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Stuffed peppers and spaghetti with garlic toast hit the spot on a rainy day.
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blog photo Ron at walmart gorham NH
We had never replaced the old flag that we had when we lived in a house, so we bought one at Walmart (yes, there is a Walmart between Gorham and Berlin, NH).  I needed a piece of pvc pipe to make an extended flagpole that I can put in the ground at campsites.  That’s how we met Ron.  He was a really nice guy who had moved from Massachusetts to New Hampshire four years ago, and said the pace of life was much slower in New Hampshire.  Ron directed us to the nearby Tractor Supply for pvc pipe.
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A couple of blocks off the main drag in Gorham we found the old train station.  At the other end is a collection of train cars, and an attempt to create a little railroad museum.
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blog photo trains at gorham NH station
 The collection included a wonderful old engine, Boston & Maine RR’s No. 4265, built in Canada in 1949.  Unfortunately, everything was closed up, so we didn’t get to look inside the engines, or the great old caboose that was sitting in line.
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About five miles up the road was the town of Berlin, NH.  Berlin is one of those little towns that has two main streets, each of them one-way, running through downtown.
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It’s an old paper mill town, sitting on the edge of the Androscoggin River at the foot of the White Mountains.  The mills are apparently all closed now, and the area’s biggest employer is a local correctional facility.  According to Wikipedia, one of Berlin’s little-known claims to fame is that in 1866, a schoolteacher named Elmire Jolicoeur invented the dish now known as a “casserole” and served it to her students and travelers.  (You never know when that might come up in a game of Trivial Pursuit.)
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This is one of those places where the buildings and the mountains are close neighbors.
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The little town of Gorham was once a hub for travelers taking the trains from Boston to the White Mountain area.  Gorham House was one of several establishments that provided accommodations.  Today it’s home to a florist and gardening store.
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It rained the second night, and the next morning we watched for a break in the weather.  Around 10 am, we pulled out onto US 2 and headed toward the state line and Rockport, Maine.
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One Comment leave one →
  1. August 3, 2013 3:15 pm

    A bit of my family lives in a small town called Mont Vernon, I do not believe too far from where you are. They live on a rod called Mont Vernon Drive and have a small natural farm. They sell good cheese, eggs and poultry. Look in if you get a chance-Julies Happy Hens. Syd Harper

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