Mountains, Beaches, & Cheers: MA, NH, & ME Three-State Weekend Adventure

Odometer (S2000):  44,444

Trip Distance:  500 Miles

This past weekend, I got my Rocky Mountain High!  Err, I mean Appalachian Mountain High.  I guess I need to re-write a version of John Denver’s 1975 catchy song to apply more appropriately to region that I visited.  Either way.  In a matter of a short 48-hour summer vacation, I checked off a lot of boxes:  Three new states, some roadside destinations, a spirited cruise in a Honda S2000, a quick dip into the Atlantic Ocean, and a crash course in U.S. history at one of the most iconic cities in the nation.  I’d say it was a success.

The trip was all made possible to my friend Conor, who recently bought a beautiful home in Boston’s “South End,” just minutes away from all sorts of attractions and entertainment.  I traveled via American Airlines – both ways at 5 hours each in a middle seat, mind you – but still got to spend some time behind the wheel during a 500-mile tour of New England in Conor’s beautiful Silverstone Honda S2000 6-speed.

Our main destination for Saturday was New Hampshire’s famous “Mount Washington Auto Road,” a 7.6-mile, 11% graded, mostly-paved two-laner that snakes its way up to a summit at 6,145 feet in elevation.

The S2000 wagged its energetic tail at the opportunity to exercise VTEC and completed a 44,444 mile odometer reading as we approached the Toll House via New Hampshire’s Highway 93 as well as the Kancamagus Route 112.  Conor let me take the wheel for the ascent, and I gripped the wheel tightly – much like during the Pikes Peak drive at NALM in Colorado last July.  Pikes, by the way, was 14,000 feet.  The Rockies don’t mess around.

While locals lamented the apparent heat wave, I was enjoying the temperatures and they got even better once we reached the summit, a full 20 degrees cooler than at the base of the road.  We got the chance to wander around and admire the view.  Oddly, when I signed in to the guest book, the entry just before mine was that of a tourist visiting from my hometown in Utah.  The world is way too small.

After a quick fill-up in Conway, we took to the backroads and car-swapped with other friends who had joined for the ride.  I got to row the gears of a BMW 340i xDrive for about 70 miles as we made our way toward the small southern Maine town of Ogunquit.  It’s a seaside destination popular for summer homes and weekenders who come up from the big city for a bit of fresh air.  We dined at Rose Cove right in the heart of town, then walked down Beach Street to catch the view of the Atlantic right at sunset.  Fittingly, we went to a little bar called “Maine Street” to cap off the night.

Sunday I got my dose of U.S. history as Conor introduced me to sights like Boston Common, Faneuil Hall, Fenway Park, and the Old State House (built in 1713, and still standing today although it’s dwarfed by skyscrapers on all sides).  But perhaps the most exciting destination for me was the set location for the filming of the TV series “Cheers” which starred Ted Danson and Kirstie Alley and ran from 1982 through 1993.  Cheers had over 200 episodes and became one of America’s favorite TV series.

The location where was filmed, in Beacon Hill, was formerly known as a bar called Bull & Finch.  Today, it’s renamed Cheers Bar and has two different attractions:  The downstairs bar which served as the set for most exterior shots, and the upstairs bar which was the interior set.  I passed on ordering a “Norm’s Pilsner,” but enjoyed wandering through the gift shop and pulling up images from the TV show to try and figure out if I could place their modern-day settings.

All-too quickly, it was time to make my way to the airport for the long haul back across the country.  I’m pleased to report that I aced the crossword puzzle in one of the back pages of the American Way Magazine while aboard the Airbus 321 that brought me home.  Maybe I’m ready for a run at being a Jeopardy contestant after all.

Here are a short video and a few more pics from the adventure.

Arrival at Boston airport on Friday night

Getting one of Conor’s babies out of storage.

Conor’s parents have great taste in automobiles.  I can see where he gets it.  The TL pictured here has over 270,000 miles on it.

Approaching the Toll House at Mount Washington.

Claim to fame from atop the summit:  A 231-mph wind reading.  Which I guess is the highest ever recorded, if you don’t count hurricanes?  I’m not sure where the logic is here but I’ll take it.

Group shot from atop Mount Washington.

Despite multiple warnings about brake temperatures, the Volkswagen Atlas driver ahead of us was roasting his brakes because we could smell them the whole way down.

Hehe, this Legend didn’t really go to MW, but it can pretend.

First time in Maine!

Night life in Ogunquit at Front Porch Piano Bar.

The light fixtures were inverted microphones.

Conor’s street in Boston, with, you guessed it.  A TSX.

Sunday brunch spot.  The “hash” was amazing.

Tyson, Patrick, Brendan, and Conor

Boston skyline

The Old State House has been around for over 300 years.  It was the site of the Boston Massacre.  Today, you can enter the subway from its basement.

Outside Cheers bar

Heading down the the stairs to Cheers

Tyson, Corey, Conor

18 Responses to “Mountains, Beaches, & Cheers: MA, NH, & ME Three-State Weekend Adventure”

  1. Wesley Adams Says:

    Your trip looked awesome!

    I’ve never been to the Northeast, but I’ve heard some great things!

    I’d love to see you on Jeopardy, BTW!

  2. I was waiting for this one to get posted – so great! Glad you had what seems like an awesome time in New England! I really enjoyed seeing the Mt. Washington Auto Road again – I’ve driven it twice, and both times were fantastic – seeing some of those pictures brought back memories of my drives up the mountain. Looks like you had great weather, too! I got a kick out of your comment about drivers riding their brakes down the hill. Proper engine braking, people! Both times I descended the road, you could smell the cooked brakes of other drivers for miles! Your friend’s S2000 looks like it is in great condition – its F22 engine must have sounded terrific on the downhill descent.

    Glad you got to see a little of Boston, too, including the old State House! And Cheers is a cool spot – that section of Boston is scenic and makes for a great place to amble through the neighborhoods and Boston Common (well, on days when it’s not a heat wave… although I suppose that’s all relative for someone who lives in the desert 🤣).

    Thanks for sharing the trip!

  3. autoscribe1974 Says:

    What a fun weekend! Next time, Vermont and New York…

  4. Chris Miller Says:

    I was ready to hop in the TL-S with the wife and have a weekend getaway up there and tag along but she had a softball game Friday night she couldn’t get out of….then they cancelled it due to the heat wave we were suffering through. I was really mad we stayed home for nothing. I’ve been wanting to meet Conor.

  5. Sounds like you had a pretty action packed trip Tyson – that all sounds so cool. It would have been great to visit the ‘Cheers’ bar – I loved that show.
    The S2000 looks like a very cool car – funny that it’s a Silverstone (I assume named after the famous racetrack) I live a few miles down the roads from there.
    Great post!

  6. Wow! I think I have seen that same exact white Tsx in person when I visited Boston in 2012! I remember that street with brick architecture. Acura TSXs are just not very common which I am ok with. 😀

  7. Loved this action-packed trip! That drive up Mt. Washington auto road is going on my bucket list pronto. Conor’s rides are looking factory fresh as always and much respect to the storage techniques.

  8. I love Boston! Minus the traffic of course. I’ve got family over on that side of the coast and I try to visit frequently. Mt. Washington is getting added to the agenda the next time I visit. Those roads look fantastic, I bet even better driving an S2000!

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