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Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Celebration of Lupines

During the month of June, it is a good time to visit Sugar Hill, New Hampshire and its surrounding communities. After days of cold and rainy weather, the sun actually came out last Wednesday (June 7) and we headed north, traveling beyond the White Mountains. It is a pleasant drive up Route 93 from Concord, New Hampshire and in a few hours, we found ourselves in the community of Sugar Hill just in time for the "Celebration of Lupines."

Lupines growing near Pearl Lake in Sugar Hill, NH - photo by James Cummings


First we stopped at the famous "Polly's Pancake Parlor," known for milling all of their own grains (except for white flour which they purchase from King Arthur); and for making their own sweet Maple syrup and Maple sugar. The menu has a memorable selection of different gourmet pancakes one can order. The dining room is spacious and was not too crowded on a weekday. The food was delicious. In fact, it was so good, we bought some pancake mix to bring home, along with some bacon! Good thing we remembered to bring the cooler!

The Sugar Hill Sampler - photo by James Cummings


After that late breakfast, we traveled a little distance away on the same road to the "Sugar Hill Sampler," a gift shop, and a museum of artifacts that have been in the care of the Aldrich family who settled the acreage 7 generations ago! I always enjoy looking in the gift shop, even when I am not enticed to open my wallet. Actually, I did purchase a couple of little things that struck my fancy.

Just up the road from there is Harman's Country Store. Jim went in and bought some cheddar cheese (which we had planned to do beforehand and which is why we had brought the cooler in the first place). There is a small post office next to Harman's should anyone want to mail home a postcard or two to friends or family.

Bird on a Lupine plant - photo by James Cummings


Of course, the main draw this time of year are the Lupines of Sugar Hill. The flowers can be seen in four hues:  pink, white, lavender, and deep purple. They grow wild along the roadsides, in yards, and in meadows. In fact, the Sampler sells seeds for the flowers. They do not bloom the first year. It is only in the  second year that blossoms appear. They also do not grow well in hot climates, preferring the cool mountain air. We planted some seeds one year and the plants did not withstand the heat of central New Hampshire.

Someone has written a poem to "Lady Lupine"


Sugar Hill is the postcard-perfect setting with views of the White Mountains. At the Sampler, there is a field of Lupines which features a walking trail that has poetry and inspirational thoughts on markers along the way. A day in the mountains was just what we needed to feel refreshed. If you are looking for quiet entertainment, Sugar Hill is the place to head during the week. If you wait until the weekends, there are concerts, talks, and wagon rides through the Sampler's field.



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