Adventures in Franconia Notch
Franconia Notch in my humble opinion is the jewel of New Hampshire…but give me a week and I’ll find other jewels, enough to string into a necklace, of other remarkably beautiful places in this state. The first images are of from the the tram that takes one up to Cannon Mtn. There were teases that we might see bear on the trails below us, but this was not the case. In fact, in the three weeks we have been here, I have yet to see a bear or a moose. I wouldn’t be so anxious about it, except there are signs for moose everywhere warning us that they are ever present and ready to launch themselves from the woods and onto our car…not one moose sighting yet. I digress. The views were spectacular, visibility up to 100 miles. We could see Canada, Maine, Vermont, and New York. We paid for that visibility with wind and chilly air. It was so cold and I had come so unprepared that I had to buy a fleece lined jacket from the gift store, seriously. It was a bargain though and kept me warm all day. Here’s a sighting of the another tram making it’s way down. The trams move in coordination with each other, when one slows down, they both slow down. The season just opened for parks in Franconia Notch so there weren’t a lot of people on the tram the morning we went up. It was nice, I could move around and see from all sides with ease. As we reached the top, the tram got a little bumpy; we were warned, but it was still a bit of a surprise. A the top, there were trails and a cafe, bathrooms, and seating. Chris and I made it to the observation tower, but it was so windy it was unpleasant enough to cause us leave as soon we got there. One of the tram operators told us that the wind keeps the bugs off of you; this was true and I was appreciating that. In the same turn off as the tram was the Old Man of the Mountain Memorial sight. The “OMOTM” was New Hampshire’s most iconic symbol, until it fell off the side of the cliff. The image above shows what remains. After it fell apart, New Hampshirites had a contest to build a memorial. An artist won, she created a sculpture that allows one to stand in specific places according to one’s height, and have the image of the OMOTM reappear. It’s very cool. The lake below the OMOTM is worth the trip as well. It’s absolutely stunning and the NH Tourism Board planted a fly fisherman while we were there who was just as cool to watch.We headed next to the Flume Gorge. This park was amazing and I would and will come back here over and over again. The pictures included don’t seem to be any order, I apologize for that; I’m having media difficulties. But regardless, the place was spectacular. The pictures really do no justice and it was probably a good thing that my camera battery died and I just had to walk and enjoy the sights without the pressure of having to document everything. There weren’t many people on the trail the day we went, but the path gets narrow and it’s a “one person at a time path” in places which can make the trail seem crowded even when there are few actually on it. It was nice that we able to get pictures without lots of extra people in the background. On a busier day, it would be impossible. We found this little guy on the trail; he was completely unaware of the foot traffic.Once you get passed the flume part of the trail you have the option of heading back to visitor’s center or going on an extended loop. we opted for the extended loop, which was just as spectacular, but different. It was really one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to. There were more falls and pools of water, amazing boulders and geology. It was just lovely. Definitely a spot I will take visitors. The season run from May to October so visitors will have to come in the warmer months!