New Hampshire smells wonderful — pine-dominated fresh air. Without snow, the ski slopes were striped with trees and fresh grass. Varying shades of green to compliment the pure blue sky and scattered clouds. Such a small state a long way from anywhere, though Boston is only a couple hours away if you take the direct route. We didn’t, opting for small roads with farms, forest, and country stores. The stores appear to be the only place to get any supplies such as whoopie pies, ham salad, beer, and locally made soaps.
We find a place to sing in the middle of all this nothingness. Woodpeckers is a mix of Boston sports meets ski lodge, with a smattering of bird decor that reflect its namesake (cartoon character representations included). The door says no patches, referencing bikers; this bar is neutral territory. An obese man plays an arcade shooting game in the otherwise vacant pool room. Most are outside playing corn hole on the patio.
The KJ does some serious hustling to the small group of us there: Sing a song and enter a raffle to win a bunch of Sam Adams stuff, including a table umbrella and a beer cozy. Drawing at 11:30 and if you sing a song your name goes in the bucket. When it’s time for me to go up, I tell her to not bother with my slip. I see the metal pail isn’t that full from the previous weeks of raffle collecting. As the KJ cues up the song she looks over at me and says “I can tell this is going to be good.” I do a decent job, but don’t remember the song as much as I think. Still, I do OK, and the KJ is very encouraging, putting forth effort to enjoy the music. I can’t tell if she’s sincere or not. When I’m finished with my song, she’s back to encouraging others to sing, trying to tempt those inside into taking the stage with the allure of Sam Adams gear. This is the sort of place that seems to have more vacationers and travelers than regulars, though and I doubt anyone will ever be here to claim that prize.
- Location: Woodpeckers Pub and Eatery, Campton, NH (population 3,333)
- Miles traveled: 256 (we drove all of NH!)
- Songs sung: Love Letter (Bonnie Raitt)