Mount Washington in Lake Winnipesaukee

The M/V Mount Washington patiently awaits the thaw.

The M/V Mount Washington patiently awaits the thaw.

Route 25 takes you along the Whittier Highway, up through the hills, past the large regional Inter-Lakes Regional High School, and through the woods, past an endless maze of side roads that worm their way down the long peninsula that pokes towards the heart of the lake. One could spend days exploring these dead ends, but that is a far better challenge for the warmer part of the year, when there is no worry about getting your car stuck in the snow.

The little port of Center Harbor sort of slides into view, but the sight that greets you in wintertime is quite dramatic. Slumbering at her dock is the largest vessel of the lake, the Mount Washington, a large tour boat that plies these waters in warmer weather. Landlocked and in winter’s frozen grasp, the ship is wrapped up for the off season, and nearly icebound, save for the everpresent bubblers under her steel hull that prevents ice from forming. She makes for a magnificent sight, for it is not often you come across such a large vessel looking as if she was abandoned in a forgotten Arctic cove.

At any other time of the year, you would be hard pressed to see her in such a situation, as she makes her rounds between Alton Bay, Wolfeboro, Meredith and other ports of call like a racing greyhound under the watchful gaze of the distant mountains.

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