Bittersweet and birch


Birch at Odiorne

North jetty, entrance to Rye Harbor



Roadside, Route1A

I didn't find the snowy owl, last seen perched on the tiptop of the flagpole at Rye Harbor State Park, but I had a nice walk at Odiorne.

Pilgrims schmilgrims. Mayflower plus Plymouth Rock was 1620. Therefore few people seem to care that in 1623, just three years later, the first New Hampshire settlers arrived at Odiorne Point in Rye.

They called it Pannaway, which was an Indian name, and promptly built a small fort to guard against said Indians. (Scottish capitalist) David Thomson and his wife Amais were the (fortified) homeowners. They were there to farm, fish, and trade. They made salt hay for their animals from the nearby marshes.

Odiorne feels like there's history there, with the crumbling walls and foundations, ancient apple trees, winding well-trod paths, glimpses of ocean and tidal creeks, and curious mounded hills that are old WWII bunkers. Vines twist among the trees and underbrush, bending and shaping the branches into wild vegetative creatures that seem almost sentient.

A secret history garden worth exploring.

Odiorne Point State Park

David Thomson vs. the Pilgrims

Another visitor was the infamous Miles Standish, military commander of the Plymouth settlers. Standish arranged for Thomson to supply food to the starving Pilgrims. Thomson personally took a load of salted codfish to Plymouth. According to a Pilgrim journal, Thomson's errand of mercy initiated a second thanksgiving celebration. The diarist also complained that Thomson had charged too much.