There’s a somewhat alarming sign that greets you as you approach the western end of the Kancamagus (pronounced “Kan-kuh-MOG-us” if you were wondering) Highway in Lincoln, New Hampshire. It reads “No gas for the next 32 miles”. As you pass the sign, you drive along a narrow stretch of road that winds itself through the White Mountains and through some extremely beautiful scenery. It’s a real treat in the fall, when the foliage is popping – but it can be a wonderful experience in the summer as well.
Driving the Kancamagus in the fall is like rolling through a kaleidoscope of autumnal color. You lose yourself momentarily as hills give way to stoic mountains covered with shocks of reds, yellows, browns, and even the snow-capped whiteness of Mount Washington in the distance. Clouds drift lazily through the valleys, and chains of tourist-laden vehicles park in scenic overlooks. People with cameras smile and gesture at the grand majesty of the scenery before them, and you can’t help but be swept up in the beauty right along with them.
My wife and I recently drove the Kancamagus on a whim, just the two of us, chatting and taking photos. It was a pleasant drive, and we were both in high spirits as we gasped at the amazing vistas and drank in the sights. She snapped photos and video for Instagram with her iPhone, and I snapped photos with my Canon Powershot. We were sometimes completely silent as we worked to find the best photo opportunities.
There were times where we held each other. There were times where we interacted with other tourists and leaf peepers. There were times where she stayed in the car or vice versa. It was all enjoyable, however, even when it started getting darker. The moon joined us and gave us one more thing to include in our photos.
So, please – do yourself a favor and travel the Kancamagus. There is still a little bit of time left this season before the Highway becomes a bit more scary to travel in the colder weather, and there are still lots of sights to see and photos to take. Soon, it will become a vast, still, winter wonderland but for now it’s still a land of color and beauty. If you need more convincing on traveling the Kancamagus – here are a couple more photos.