50 States in 50 Weeks, Day 144 Tilton to Manchester, 66 Miles
The storm abated and we took off on dry pavement, the rain and wind a distant memory, save the puddle in the bottom of the basement. Ethyl got her feet wet. Translation: The sewing machine box picked up a bit of water.
With an early start (relatively) and light schedule, we headed to the capitol on the blue roads, winding from town to town, with a stop to do a bit of shopping. More on that in future blogs. Lots of granite outcroppings and cliffs to see; no wonder they call it The Granite State.
Manchester carries many memories, being born in the eighteenth century. Since New Hampshire is a rather small state and Manchester a small city, the gold leaf rotunda shows above other buildings. Other cities can dwarf their capitols with high rise buildings. And the eagle on the top was a nice touch.
This capitol stands proud above so many others because it was built in 1819 and didn't burn to the ground while the bucket brigade stood by, overwhelmed. Most capitols are the second or third attempt, and built in the 1860-1890 times. This one currently utilizes its House and Senate within its walls as well, a bit of an anomaly.
We walked right in the front door, treated like citizens, and no strip search. Score two for NH.
What the building lacks in grandeur, it compensates with history. 206 portraits line the halls, with past governors and people of note such as Daniel Webster, Alan Shepherd and President Franklin Pierce. Revolutionary, 1812, Civil War and twentieth century war heroes adorn the walls as well.
Because of its small stature, tours were only for parties of ten or more, or we were welcome to fall in with an army of second graders. Thanks, we'll struggle through without them. In addition to portraits of heroes, three columns of historic flags line the foyer. Man! Many of them were torn up and battle scarred. Others were tattered from poor storage. They sit behind special glass to protect them while giving us a dim view of them. Better than wrapped in tissue paper.
A class sat in the Senate and their teacher held court. The kids sat pretty still as she regaled stories of what goes on there. She did a great job with them and has my respect.
The House sat empty as the members were out on the stump buying-I mean rallying for votes. Interesting, the House has 400 members, the largest in 50 states. And those members make bank; $200 for biennium plus mileage for up to 45 days. They must do it for the money. Each one represents 3,000 people. Wow. In Pennsylvania, they represent 230,000. Senators receive the same, and the Gov makes 102 grand. Plus he gets to use the mansion.
A mural graces the wall and looks familiar. Sure enough, it's Pickett's Charge, a depiction of Gettysburg, day three. We saw it in Gettysburg in the cyclorama. Nice job, Manchester and New Hampshire!
Behind the capitol sits a huge church, the first Church of Christ, Scientist. Seems Mary Baker Eddy suffered from a malady and got healed so she started a church. That's the Twitter version of the story anyway.
We rode off to do some more business. Seems like we do a lot of business. Well, we just do. Headed toward the airport to score a motel in the vicinity to accommodate our flight to San Diego tomorrow. Good luck finding a room, as (PP!) NASCAR comes to Loudon. We bled on the lady at the (PP!) Holiday Inn Express and she hooked us up, not only a room, but storage for the bike and trailer and a shuttle to and from the airport. And of course continental breakfast and a Manager's complimentary Wednesday dinner. Plus free laundry, the hits just keep coming! Their horrible carpet in the room offset a few perks.
We took care of even more business and finally settled in for the night. I watched a video on how to replace the headlights on the Gold Wing. Isn't it amazing what you can find online? So tomorrow I will screw up my courage, hit (PP!) AutoZone, buy some bulbs and give it a try. What's the worst that could happen? Hmm. Better go with, what's the best that could happen?
This next portion of the blog is graphic, so if you're thirteen or under DON'T READ IT! Or if you can't handle graphic images, stop reading.
There. We suffered a wild animal attack. I didn't take photos of the most graphic parts of the event, but that animal-well, it tore it up pretty bad. I did however, get it patched up and it doesn't look too awful so I posted the picture below. If you get queasy, you may not want to look.
I warned you! Yes, a squirrel decided to bore through our cover to build a nest as it laid underneath our tent. He should have listened to his mother and stuck with trees. Stupid squirrel. I imagine he was pretty disappointed when we drove off with his partially completed domicile. We weren't too happy either! And God bless duct tape.
Tomorrow, a bit of local touring and off to San Diego, California as we put the adventure on hold for a family wedding and a baby shower. Actually, it will still be an adventure. I'll keep blogging.
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