Portsmouth to Manchester, NH

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When planning the final half-day of my vacation, I was hoping to have enough time to make it all the way down the New Hampshire coastline, before turning inland and heading back to Manchester.  Hey, it’s great to have goals.  But as so often is the case on vacations, I was running short on time when I arrived in Portsmouth.  I didn’t even have 15 minutes to spare, to walk around its beautiful downtown.

US 1 crosses the Piscataqua River, and enters New Hampshire, on the Memorial Bridge — an ancient structure that’s in danger of being demolished.  To give you some idea of how old it is, it was dedicated in memory of soldiers who served in “the World War”.  Weight limits keep being reduced — and during my visit, vehicles were restricted to 10 tons.

You can get a good look at Memorial Bridge from Prescott Park, which is located on the south end of the bridge, on the east side (make a u-turn at the end of the bridge, then follow State Street and Marcy Street to reach Prescott Park).

Hold your breath as you rumble across the rusty structure, but also pay attention to the buildings that line the Piscataqua River.  Portsmouth’s old brick buildings tower over the river.  Once you’re in town…

… you get a similar feeling of driving through a manmade canyon.  Since I was short on time, I took this picture out the car window, and kept driving.  You can get a better look at all of it, and the rest of the drive back to Manchester, in the Drivelapse video.

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