Monday, July 9th: We started the day by driving to the Pondicherry National Wildlife Refuge near Jefferson. The refuge has a nice mix of habitats, and we walked through quite a bit of it, a total of 4-5 miles. As we walked down the trail from the parking lot, we noticed a bird in the road. Binoculars quickly revealed a robin, but then Ann wondered what a horse was doing there. She quickly corrected the ID to American Moose! Finally, we got our moose!
New birds at the refuge included a family of Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers and an Olive-sided Flycatcher. After viewing both ponds, we cut our walk a bit short as we wanted to get back to Conway around 2pm.
We took the time on the way back to go through the Jackson Covered Bridge, and checked out a duck pond, but otherwise drove straight to North Conway and the Conway Scenic Railroad station. We got first-class tickets on the train to Bartlett and back.
It was a delightful hour and 3/4 ride to Bartlett and back. At Bartlett, the engine was moved from one end to the other (the train wasn't turned around), and we got outside to watch. Now that the engine was no longer in the way, we paid the extra $5 so we could sit outside at the back of the train on the return to N. Conway. We got a good view of how the train switch operates. It's a wonder of simplicity! Sitting at the end gave us quite a different view. It reminded us of politicans on trains, and we almost felt we should be waving to the crowds.
The car we rode in was a Pullman Parlor-Observation car known as the “Gertrude Emma”, after the wife of the Conway Scenic Railroads first president. It was built in 1898 as the “Libertas” for the Pennsylvannia Railroad, which used it as part of the Pennsylvannia Limited (New York-Chicago). It was renamed the “Marysville” in 1910 when the Western Pacific used it on the Feather River Route (Salt Lake City-San Francisco). It became the “Aroostook” in 1922, and was used by the Bangor and Aroostook Railroad on its Bangor-Van Buren route. It was then converted to a bunk car for workers in 1938, and served in that role until 1975. The Conway Scenic Railroad then bought it and restored it. It returned to service as the “Gertrude Emma” in 1987. It could use a bit of spiffing up, but is still an elegant old car. It originally had wicker seating in the observation area, and has that today.
|Narrator and Bartender||Observation Area||View from the Back|
Ann skipped dinner, planning to go for a walk, but mostly dealing with turtle issues instead. I had dinner at Shalimar, a good Indian restaurant a short distance away.
We found 41 species today. Our current total for the trip is 118 species of bird, and 11 species of mammal.
Golden Gables Inn, North Conway, New Hampshire