I am continuing my trip report--first few days in Boston and then on to Salem on the am of the 18th and in the afternoon, we headed west! Original plan was to do a bike tour with Concord Bike Tours but the forecast was calling for rain in the afternoon as we changed the plan to bike on Wednesday am. Since we did not have a deadline to get to Concord, we went ahead and stopped in Lexington to see the Battle Green and Buckman Tavern and the Hancock-Clarke House. We ended up walking around a bit but did not go in the Tavern or house--just didn't really feel it.
By now it had started to rain, so on the way into Concord we stopped at the museum since we were a little early to check in to the B and B. The museum had a 10 minute movie that summarized Concord's place in history both with revolutionary times and later. We walked through the museum--saw one of the Paul Revere lanterns and a lot of furniture and items related to Thoreau and Emerson. There were some cool antique clocks and a fun exhibit on schools--then and now. We spent maybe an hour here and it was worthwhile.
We stayed at the North bridge Inn and it was very pleasant. We stayed in the Thoreau suite and it was very spacious and had a kitchenette as well. We rested a bit and it continued to rain! I was very interested to see Walden Pond and since we were biking in the am, we set out in the rain towards Walden. As you may have guessed, my husband is a trooper and he really indulges me on my whims! At Walden, it was pretty deserted--i had an umbrella and my DH had a rain jacket with hood and we set out and walked around the pond. It was spectacular! We only saw 4 people and one of those was swimming in the pond. It was indeed very peaceful and tranquil--visited the site of Thoreau's cabin and just enjoyed the short hike. The trail gets rather narrow in places and I can't imagine how cramped it must be with a crowd.
After our outing, we went back to the inn and cleaned up a bit and wandered over to the main drag to decide where to eat. We ended up back at the Colonial Inn in the Valley Forge Tavern and had some drinks and "bar food". We enjoyed the atmosphere and my husband discovered another IPA--Mayflower so that was a big win for him as this proved to be his favorite of the trip!
In the morning, we had breakfast at the B and B--standard bacon and eggs fare--packed up, checked out and then headed over to the Old Manse area and North Bridge to meet Concord Bike Tours at 0930. The young man that was our tour guide was about our kid's ages but he was very knowledgeable and we enjoyed him. He had 6 additional bikes out when we got there and we waited around for 30 minutes but all 6--2 different parties--never showed or called. It was a little frustrating--not sure why people just don't call if they aren't coming so everyone else isn't waiting on them?
anyway, we were off on the bikes--first to the north bridge and then we rode through concord to follow the Battle Road through the minute man National Park. The North Bridge area is very beautiful and well preserved. The river is out of it's banks and makes walking up to the visitor's center impossible from the North Bridge. You would have to drive further down the road to access it right now. We stopped every so often and would get background from our guide. We rode past the Alcott house and the Concord Grape juice guy house. There were some huge puddles that made it hard not to get a big spray! Our turnaround point was the Hartwell Tavern. We were fortunate as we got there just as they were doing a demonstration of firing the musket so that was cool--there was a group of kids there and they were hearing impaired and there was a sign language interpreter and she was almost as interesting to watch as the musket firing! From here, we turned around and headed back to the North Bridge. Concord was a very nice little town--enjoyed it--could have spent another 1/2 day or so here. We did not make it to the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery or Alcott House either but we felt we had a good overview of the area and enjoyed our stay.