Blueberries and the Beach

Just like last year when I picked blueberries at Steve and Alison’s field, I got the chance to do so again this past Friday.  It was pretty crazy hot on Friday and all I did was bike to work, bike home, then biked to Steve and Alison’s field, picked blueberries for about an hour and then biked home.  It was a nice way to get in a casual “workout” but not have any real structure to the exercise.

First thing  I see upon arriving is the smallest porcupine I have ever laid eyes on.  he had to be a  baby.  I think he was scrounging for blueberries too.

Little tiny porcupine getting all puffed up

It’s been relatively hot and dry for the past few weeks here and the blueberries seemed to be reflecting that.  Some were already shriveled up and cooked on the bush while many of them were really tiny.

my Salsa Fargo doing the work again.
About 2lbs this year
Sunday’s breakfast from my pickings.

The other plan forming all week was to head to the beach.  Since we were  headed for at least 5-6 days of 90+ degrees temps, it seemed like the most logical thing to do.  Head to the coast to keep cool in the ocean.

Saturday morning started out pretty cloudy, but humid and the low 60’s.  The forecast was for eventual clearing and some afternoon sun.  So I left the house at 7:30AM to try a new route to the beach.  Mia was driving out with Martha (her sister) and James (our nephew) and I would meet them at Hampton State Beach.

I rode out through Bow, down to Manchester and by Massabesic.  Instead of heading over to route 27 though, I decided to stick on Route 121 through Chester and then onto 121-A and this would take me through Danville, Kingston, East Kingston, Kensington, Seabrook, and then Salisbury, MA and back to Seabrook and over the draw bridge to the Hampton State Park.  It turned out to be a pretty decent little ride.  It’s been a long time since I have ridden into Main Street Chester, and there are a lot of nice old farmhouses and colonial designs in this part of NH.  I made pretty good time and stopped for one water bottle refill and a quick snack in Kingston.

Nice country store. Nice customer service.
Nice cool treat 2/3 of the way through the ride.

One of the oddest route related signs was also on my ride.  I was on route 107 South, which happens to also be Route 108 North.  How is it possible to go North and South at the same time?

I’m so confused!

The only sketchy part of the whole ride was the brief few miles on route 1 through Hampton.  This isn’t the scenic route 1-A, but Route 1, which is a multitude of strip malls and stop lights.  Luckily it did not take long to get through.

It was still cloudy when I got to the beach.  It was comfortable though.  The humidity was low, the breeze was a bit cool and the sun wasn’t baking you alive.

Eventually the sun did make an appearance.  It was relatively brief.  It came out for maybe 3 hours before clouds started to slowly creep back in.  It was long enough to enjoy and really bring the temps up though.

My beautiful sun goddess
not very crowded today

The ocean was COLD.  It felt really good on my legs after 65 miles of riding though.  It was almost like an ice bath.  After spending a few hours hanging on the sand we packed up the car and headed for a walk to one of our guilty pleasures when so near to the Hampton Boardwalk…..Blink’s Fry Doe.

It’s probably more nostalgia and childhood memories that makes this place so special to Mia, Martha and myself, but I like to hit them up when I get the chance (usually once a year the past couple years).

Yum….empty calories!
Strawberry for Pete, Cinnamon Sugar for Mia
Mia wants me to stop annoying her while she eats her fry doe

Walking over from the  beach parking area to the boardwalk we pass by the cottage that Mia & Martha’s grandparents used to own.  It is a crying shame they sold it back in the day.  This location would be awesome for a week at the beach.

The old Grampy Duke Cottage

It was a very good day of riding, hanging with Mia, James, Martha, and Martha’s co-worker Kim and her two daughters and their friend.  We did the whole “beach experience” for Hampton.  Sun, surf, boardwalk.

Martha suggested perhaps Brown’s Lobster Pound for dinner.  We figured what the heck!
If you have never experienced Brown’s Lobster Pound, it’s quite interesting.  Basically the parking lot is miniscule, you stand in line for like 30 minutes, order at a window, go inside and wait for you number to  be called and try to find some place to sit.

We of course got there right at prime dinner hour.  I think from parking all the way to getting served, it must have taken close an hour.  It is an experience though.  I have to admit I was a little bummed with my meal this time.  I hardly ever get fried food.  I think the last time was almost 2 years ago.  Well, this time I figured what the heck.  Let’s complete the full beach experience and I got fried clams and scallops.  Unfortunately I think the fry-guy left them in a tad too long and they came out a bit over cooked.

I have had good meals here before, but if this had been my first experience, it was not an overly positive one.  It wasn’t horrible, but the meal just wasn’t up to the standards they had previously set.

So after leaving the house at 7:30 AM, we finally were dropping Martha and James off at their house at 9:30 PM.  It was a nice long day, and thank goodness they only live about 2 minutes from our house!  I got to watch the end of the Tour stage on NBCSports and then it was off to bed after a great day.

Thanks for reading.

-Pete

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