A Very Happy Birthday Miss E - one of my favorite teachers, who is also the greatest friend that I could ever ask for! May God Bless You with a very long life so that I can have many more precious days with you :))
I Love you and I want you to know that you are a great blessing in my life. Every word from your mouth edifies my soul!
Its been a while. When I actually started posting on this blog I promised myself that I wouldn't obsess over it so much that it took over my life. So its good to be back with a post. This is a continuation on our NH vacation.
The great thing about vacations is that they never go out of style. You never think "Oh that was a stupid place to visit". Even the most mundane of places can teach you something new.
They make you feel like you are a part of a fantasy novel, where you discover 'uncharted' territory and face a new adventure at every corner.
The really great thing about vacations is no matter where you are, what you are doing or what time of the year it is, with just a single thought you can relive the whole experience all over again in your heart. This memory can lift you up and out of boredom or stress or even sorrow.
So here's to pleasant vacation memories - the last episode from the New Hampshire White Mountain trip!!
We covered a lot of ground on the 2nd day. We concentrated on the Franconia Notch State Park region. There are several exits that you can take along the parkway where there are interesting natural spectacles. Special mention to the Boise rock. This is a huge glacial boulder sitting on the side of the parkway and its really huge!! I can't even imagine what power of nature moved it there.
We then went to Flume Gorge for a 2 mile trail walk. It wasn't bad at all. Unlike the previous day, these trails were pretty much clear cut and well defined. The walls of the flume are parallel columns of Conway granite(70-90 ft high). The basalt column that had filled the gap, has been slowly eroded by the waters and frost, forming the gorge.
This is The Pool. It is a natural basin formed in the Pemigewasset River (love the name!) by a silt-laden stream almost 14,000 years ago! It is 40 ft deep and 150 ft in diameter. Unfortunately, no swimming or diving allowed.
The view - looking out from the Flume Gorge trail.
On our way to the next stop, we stopped at this beautiful Beaver Lake. Its just the kind of sight that Bob Ross would have painted. This truly was a high point of the day. I wanted to linger longer, but we had another trail to conquer before the forecast of rain came true.
Our last trail was at Lost River Gorge. This is a boardwalk trail with a lot of steps. It is a pretty straightforward trail. But the most exciting parts are when you go off the 'regular' trail.
You will encounter around 10 short detours that you can take. These are clearly marked with signs and they are usually some sort of dark cave or passage, lit with lanterns. Some of them are very easy, all you have to do is crawl through it. But some, boy oh boy, can be scary and tight! You have to be ready to crawl on your hands and knees, get your clothes dirty/wet in the process, squeeze through dark tight gaps. It takes only about a minute to go through each passage, so its pretty much like a roller coaster without the unsavory lurching and screaming!
This really made my day. I don't like dark tight spaces, I thought I was claustrophobic and I was really terrified of doing this. But Mr.PT really encouraged me and it truly was time to face my fears. We had to do the tougher passages alone as we couldn't carry the backpack in. So one of us went in while the other watched.
The tough one that was open for visitors was the Lemon Squeezer. They have some wooden logs nailed to the rocks and that is your gauge. If you can squeeze through the gap between those logs then you wont get stuck inside the tight passages. This really put the fear of God in me. It looked oh so dark and tiiiight and forbidding. It did not help that the little ones in the family going ahead of me started crying and backed out of the passage.
I was ready to give up. But there was this fantastic kid - a shout out to Mike working at Lost River Gorge, he was overseeing this passage and he encouraged me to go in and he went in ahead of me to show me the way! The first gap is so tight that you can't go in unless you back into the gap. That's when this picture was taken. I am backing into a pitch dark tight space. For me it was really scary. I was already asking Mike when this was going to be over :)).
It wasn't over until I had crawled almost flat on my tummy, stepped up on a precarious-looking rock to take a look at the back of a miniature waterfall and squeezed myself out of another gap! Phew! What an amazing experience. I was glad it was over and I was surprised that I had actually done it. Now I know that no phobia is bigger than me. I don't know if I will ever get into a tight dark space again, but I do know that if I was ever forced into one, it will not kill me!!
My heartfelt gratitude to Mike. This young man was so enthusiastic about this passage, its unbelievable. It still amazes me when I meet people who seem to be doing a simple job, but to them it is an adventure everyday. What a way to work!!
So from there we went to Echo Lake Beach. The water was quite cold. But I just had to take my shoes off, wet my feet and freeze them in the process. Once again a wonderful view.
So that's about it for this trip. I have to close with a picture of the kind of scenic beauty that we encountered even as we were driving from one place to the next. Tell me, who wouldn't want to drive in this region?
The drivers are so nice. They don't drive on the left lane unless they want to overtake someone. If they see someone coming a little fast behind them in the left lane they quickly move over to the right lane and give way. I guess people in New Hampshire and Vermont haven't heard of the term 'road rage'! It was amusing though, to see on our return drive - the number of out-of-state cars that were pulled over by the cops! Another thing that they appeared to be oblivious to was 'fast food' joints. I couldn't seem to find a single place - not even a Subway!