State: New Hampshire
As I walked down the dusty dirt road where a massive amount of construction was going on, I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it to America’s Stonehenge before it closed. My legs, knees, and back are constantly yelling at me to take it easy.
After nearly 6 months on the road, you’d think I would learn to take my time to get to where I’m going. However, I think the excitement of seeing one of the places the state is famous for does play a role in me doing more miles than I should.
When I was just about to the driveway to check and see if it was open, a little girl from the house right across from America’s Stonehenge came up to me and gave me a bottle of water.
“Here, want some water?” she asked accompanied by her parents and brother.
“Sure, thank you!”
“We saw you earlier, hiking up the road, but missed what your sign said. But on the way back we saw it and when the dogs were barking, we figured where you were headed,” the mom said.
“So what is it you’re doing?” the dad asked.
I told them my usual spiel about how I’m backpacking all 50 states, introducing myself, and ending with “…yeah, I was headed to America’s Stonehenge, not sure if they’re open or not.”
“Looks like the gates are closed. Think you just missed closing time. You staying around here and going to go to it tomorrow?” David the father asked.
“Shoot! Yeah, think I’ll have to find some woods to camp in.”
David shared a look with Kerri his wife and said “You can pitch your tent in our backyard if you want.”
“Really? Wow, thank you! This’ll make a great story,” I said.
Nick their son and Kaitlyn their youngest daughter showed me to where in the backyard I could set up my camp.
I learned that Nick wants to go into woodworking and one day wants to have his own shop. He showed me some of the beautiful wooden rings he made and I could see his natural talent and passion would take him far.
After I got my hammock set up, I went over to thank Kerri and Dave again. I shared some more stories from my adventures and we lost track of time. The family was going to go to Kerri’s parents for dinner, but it got to be later and later with each story I told.
Kerri told me not to worry because they were all having a lot of fun and that they could reschedule and go over to her parents any time.
After sharing a lot of stories, I went to my hammock to relax and grab something to eat, but after a few minutes Nick came out of the house and invited me to dinner.
I sat down and thanked my hosts again. David served us all some delicious pasta and gave me some Chaga tea.
Chaga is a fungus that grows on birches that is very high in anti-oxidents. My friend Christine had recently told me about it and how people make tea out of it.
“You came all the way to New Hampshire to get maple syrup from Michigan and Chaga from Massachusetts,” David joked as he poured some maple syrup into my Chaga tea.
It was really good.
I learned that Kerri is a preschool teacher and David works at the power plant in Portsmouth. He mentioned that he saw me also when I was in Portsmouth, a little while ago.
“You know what’s funny. We’ve lived here like 16 or 17 years and we’ve never been over there,” Nick said referring to America’s Stonehenge.
“What?!” I said and we all laughed
“Yeah, we keep telling ourselves, this winter we’ll do the snowshoe trail through it or this summer we’ll go walk the trail. But we keep forgetting,” Kerri said laughing.
“Maybe that’s something you all can do tomorrow,” David said.
After eating, we all went outside and cooked some s’mores around a campfire. We tried non-traditional s’mores with Reese’s cups, peppermint patties, and caramel chocolates.
Then it got late and Kerri took Kaitlyn to bed. Nick went inside to get something and me and Jess (the eldest daughter) were sitting by the fire. Jess told me how she plays soccer at college and still isn’t sure what she wants to get her degree in, but that she likes Horticulture.
Nick came back out with something awesome!
He had made an entire hammock out of paracord and decided to camp out with me. I also noticed that he had made the dog’s collars out of paracord as well.
I helped him set up the hammock that looked professionally made and then settled in myself for the night.
In the morning, we woke to the rooster calling and I was invited in for breakfast. After scarfing the eggs, English biscuits, strawberries, blueberries, orange juice, and more Chaga tea, Nick gave me a new paracord bracelet as a gift from Kaitlyn. She had gotten a box of paracord as a birthday present from Nick and using the paracord Nick made me the bracelet.
After I packed up camp, I had them all sign my journal and then Kerri had to head to work. However, me, Jess, Nick, and Kaitlyn went over to:
As I explored the gift shop, Nick went up and got tickets for everyone. When I went up to get my ticket, I found out Nick had gotten mine too. I thanked him and we headed in.
We had a lot of fun and learned that they are still not sure if it was European settlers or ancient Indians that built it.
It was really cool learning about how the stones are all set in a certain way and correlate to an astronomical 18.61 year calendar.
We made guesses as to what the stone formations were for:
And had fun just exploring the different stone huts and trails:
When we left America’s Stonehenge, I said goodbye to the kids and thanked them again for having me.
I walked a little while down the road and heard some footsteps coming up quick behind me. It was Nick and he wanted to give me one of the wooden rings he made.
“No problem. I’m looking forward to “following” you and seeing where your journey takes you,” Nick said.
We said goodbye again and I continued up the uphill stretch of road David and Kerri told me about. My knee began yelling at me again and my legs and back weren’t too happy either.
I arrived at the Robert Frost Farm that David and Kerri told me about early enough, but I was in no condition to enjoy it. I settled into some nearby woods, set up my hammock, and crashed into an exhausted sleep.
The next morning I reorganized and formed a plan. I would head to the post office and once again send some stuff back home that I didn’t need. This time being reducing the amount of clothes I have. I decided to get it down to having two pairs of clothes total. Also I’d send my souvenirs from the states I collected so far back home as well. Less is more on the road.
I then flipped my sign over to show “Hard Worker! Looking for a Temp Job!” because having less than a hundred bucks to my name, I knew it was time to get a job so that I could continue my journey. A little initiative goes a long way, as I proved in my previous post Initiative and faith.
As I walked, I got a message from my new friend Deb Cram from the Portsmouth Herald. She said that I was on the front page today! (June 15th, 2016). I had originally thought that the article was just going to be online. She said she’d send me some copies and I thanked her again for getting my good side in the pictures she took for the article.
Here is the link to the article if you want to check it out: http://www.seacoastonline.com/article/20160614/NEWS/160619702
So not a bad week. Made a lot of new friends, made the front page of the Portsmouth Herald, and got to see one of the major sites New Hampshire is famous for.
Happiness is exploration and having your lack of subtlety pay off.
Forever your friend,