We got out of town for the day yesterday. I had a poetry reading in Portsmouth and we stayed overnight because driving up route 23 late at night is not my idea of a good time anymore. As it was we drove down in sun snow and heavy flurries, which was not pleasant. I think my car knows a replacement is coming, it got over 35 MPG this trip.
The reading went well. It was good to help Zach Hannah and Hastings House try and establish a poetry night in an area that is lacking in a lot of things. Driving through there was sobering. A lot of empty storefronts in downtown, some of them were even gutted out.
We stayed about 15 miles from town in a state park lodge in the middle of nowhere. Shawnee Lodge is a fine place to get away from it all, and there is not much to get to that is in the area around it. My Wife was my nature spotter the whole time, shouting out "Cow", "Pig", or "Turkeys" as necessary.
If we had more time and if the weather was warmer we definitely would have taken a walk. Very scenic area. The Lodge itself was decent. Clean if not a little run down. The whole place could use a bit of a refresh, especially in food amenities. There was a bar/lounge that did not seem to be open our entire stay. Maybe it's only open seasonally? Wifi was spotty, which is not good if you're calling the place a conference center. The walls were paper thin. I do not want to hear anyone else's business, and I'm sure no one wants to hear mine. The staff were very friendly. It was our first time in a state park lodge and probably not out last.