Saturday, August 15, 2015

8/15 Franconia Notch, Old Man on the Mountain and Flume

Left Vermont yesterday and drove into New Hampshire.  My first and only stop in this state is Franconia Notch in the White Mountains.  For one thing, the northern part of this state is very narrow and even though there is a lot to see around here, I am really anxious to get to Maine where I can have some fresh lobster.  (Sorry, New Hampshire!)

I am staying for a couple of days in Franconia.  Franconia Notch State Park is a long, skinny park along the "notch" which is a long valley with steep mountains along each side.  I visited two attractions today:  The famous "Old Man of the Mountain" and the "Flume."

The Old Man of the Mountain was a profile of a man at the edge of a mountain. It only looked like a man from one angle, but it was beloved by the whole state and part of its history.  Here is how it used to look.

However, like all things in nature, nothing stays the same.  In 2003, the whole face, over 7,000 tons of granite, fell off during the night, so the old man is no longer there.   

What they did was build a commemorative plaza with these poles containing profiles of what the face should look like.  If you put your feet in the appropriate places, you will see the old man "restored."  Good try, but really not exactly like the old "man."

Just a view of one of the mountains.  Pretty and really green around here.

On to the flume.  This is a crack in the earth through which a river flows. This is the visitor center.

There is no state park fee, but they charge $16 per adult to walk back through the flume. Seems a little strange, but that is how Niagara Falls is also--a state park with tour fees.  Anyway, the lower part of the flume is flat rock.  Looked perfect for a hot day, but I am sure the rock is very slippery.  I am guessing there is a lot more water flowing in the spring.

A few pictures of the 1/2 mile hike along the river through the crack in the steep walls.

It gets very narrow and the path is one-way at this point.  

One of several nice waterfalls on the way up.  And did I mention that the walking is all uphill with lots of stairs!

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