I can just picture the awe and excitement Ms.
Guernsey felt when she first discovered this gorge in the upper
Pemigewasset River because those were my
own emotions when I climbed up the boardwalk through it.
I can also picture the disbelief of the first
people she told about it, because the place is unlike any I've ever
seen. They probably thought she was a crazy old woman. You really have
to see it to understand how magical it is. My photos don't do it justice.
narrow place in the Flume Gorge
This morning we drove down to Franconia Notch State Park and met our
Maine friends, Eric and Lynn, for a day of fun at the Flume Gorge, the
Basin, and Clark's Trading Post.
I don't often mention
friends or relatives in this journal for the sake of their privacy.
However, I've talked about Eric and Lynn several times over the years
because of our Appalachian Trail connection. Jim and I
became acquainted with the couple soon after we finished the A.T. Adventure
in 2005. They stayed at our house in Virginia two or three times when
Eric was section-hiking the southern end of the A.T.
Although we periodically communicate with each other via e-mail, this
was the first time we'd seen them for about five years. We plan to
get together at least one more time for a hike before we leave the White
L-R: Eric, Jim, and Lynn
This morning we met Lynn and Eric at the visitor center for the Flume
Gorge, one of the most popular summer attractions in Franconia Notch.
We thought the price of admission to the Flume Gorge was well worth it
-- what beautiful, unusual rock and water features formed
over the millennia by glaciers and the Pemigewasset AKA "Pemi"River.
There are waterfalls, cascades, pools of water, smooth granite walls
rising up to 90 feet above the stream, wooden walkways through the
narrow gorge, large glacial erratics (boulders), two covered bridges,
and beautiful walking trails to see all the features.
Here are some photos,
mostly in order, as we walked about two miles on a trail loop through
bridge built in 1886 over the Pemi
Table Rock is a large outcrop of
granite downstream from the gorge. It stretches about 500 feet long and
As the trail enters the lower part of the gorge
the "trail" becomes a boardwalk that crosses the Pemi several times
and climbs up lots of steps to Avalanche Falls:
The walls get more and more narrow,
as you can see in the photo at the beginning of this entry. The water is
pretty low this time of year, showing lots of varied rock colors.
The walls eventually open past more
cascades. The next photos are from the upper part of
the gorge and include 45-foot Avalanche Falls:
The trail continues upstream along
the Pemigewasset to Sentinel Pine Pool and a covered pedestrian bridge
across the river:
high as 80 feet surround the pool, which is 150 feet wide and 40 feet
This is a
smaller pool on the other side of the Sentinel Pine Bridge
After crossing the bridge we came
to a narrow rock fissure called the Wolf's Den. The guys had fun
crawling and climbing through it:
Eric and Jim
enter the fissure; they were out of sight for several minutes.
Lynn and I opted out of that one. We circled
around and watched Eric and Jim emerge with big grins on their faces:
We were at Flume Gorge about two hours. That included watching a 20-minute film
about the gorge in the visitor center before we started walking around.
I loved this place. My photos really don't do
the gorge justice. You need to see it for yourself on a nice weather
day. It would be interesting to see it when the water is higher, but not
covering the boardwalk. The walkway sometimes needs repair after heavy summer
downpours and in the spring when the snow melts.
Jim and Eric
stand next to a large glacial erratic.
was fun to share the experience with Eric and Lynn. They've been to the
several times before and knew we'd like it, too.
THE BASIN POOL
This is another
popular spot in Franconia Notch State Park. You can reach it on foot or
bicycle via another hilly but shorter loop trail in the park that passes
beautiful waterfalls and chutes.
We loved the beautiful deep
blue-green pool of water under an arch of granite:
below: two views of The Basin
A sign nearby says this large "pothole" in the Pemigewasett River began
its formation about 25 million years ago at the end of the Ice Age. Sand
and stones carried in the swirling water left the sidewalls smooth. The
pool is 30 feet wide, 15 feet deep . . . and very inviting on a
warm summer day.
tranquil scene along the Pemi upstream from The Basin:
THE DANCING BEARS
We wouldn't have gone to
Clark's Trading Post in Lincoln, NH on our own. It's a theme
park with a variety of activities like a little steam train ride along
the Pemi River, Segway rides, a "fun house" where things are distorted,
several small museums, climbing walls, a swimming pool, and lots of
other things to entertain kids and adults.
and Lynn walk into the theme park.
and motorcycles in one of the museums
But we couldn't say
no when Eric and Lynn sprang for our tickets. There is one attraction at
Clark's that they love and they wanted to make sure we saw it, too --
the trained black bear show.
Sounds pretty hokey,
eh? Maybe, but we have to admit that it was more fun than we
expected. Here are some photos of the two trained bears that performed
in a small ring during our show:
You can see from the peoples' faces how much fun
they were having during the bear show.
We ended up wishing we could spend more time at Clark's but we needed to
get back to the campground to look after the dogs, particularly young
MORE FUN IN THE WHITES
We're looking forward to more fun in the White Mountains when Eric
and Lynn show us some of their favorite trails and lakes on the eastern
side of the range closer to their home in Maine.
Eric knows the vast network of trails in the White Mountains like the
back of his hand. For details and photos about hiking and peak-bagging
in northern New England, check out his informative, well-written, and
Next entry: great views of the Whites from the rocky
summit of Middle Sugarloaf, a little mountain close to our campground
"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil,
Cody the ultra Lab, and Casey-pup
© 2014 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil