Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Lost River and the Old Man of the Mountain

 On our drive back to Lebanon from Berlin, we stopped at Franconia Notch State Park in New Hampshire's White Mountains. 

This picture hardly does Franconia Notch justice. These were some of the highest, sheerest, most incredible mountains I've ever seen. 

Franconia Notch is also a popular ski destination, which to someone as terrified of skiing as me, seems completely insane. All year long, visitors can ride to the top of the mountain via this ariel tramway, and I was both relieved and saddened when it cost too much to fit in our budget. I'm sure the view from the top would have been fantastic, but the ride itself seemed spine tingling. 

Franconia Notch State Park was also home to New Hampshire's famous Old Man of the Mountain, a series of 5 granite cliffs that, when viewed from a particular angle, perfectly formed the profile of a face. Someone first noticed the profile in 1805, and sadly, it collapsed for good in 2003, after an incredible amount of work and funding went in to trying to secure the Old Man's features in place. When Dave lived in this area, he got to see the profile in person several times before its collapse. 

From Franconia Notch, we continued on our drive until we decided to pull off and hike down a trail to the Lost River. 

The Lost River was just as mystical and ancient as its name implies, and we were overwhelmed by its beauty. The bottom of the river had a neat red color to it.

It is amazing to think that these boulders were once chunks of mountains, loosened by glaciers moving through this basin and creating this incredible landscape. 

The Lost River flows rapidly over rocks in many spots, but we were able to find a calm spot to the side of the river and went in for a very refreshing dip. Running through the mountains, the water was extremely cold, but it helped set the precedent for water temperature; now, whenever we dip into a river, the water hardly seems chilly. 

Determined to avoid all highways on our drive, we ended up on a very rural route that went through the White Mountains National Forest. It didn't take us long to realize we were literally driving up the side of a mountain. For miles, the only direction we went was up, never passing a single gas station, house, or person, and only seeing a single other car. We joked that we'd better get a good view after all this, and paused to be thankful for our 2013 van, knowing none of the older model vehicles we considered buying would have made it up this cliff. When we finally made it to the top, we were speechless. 

This was our view of the White Mountains! 

After a steep downhill descent and some more amazing views, we came out of the White Mountains National Forest and made our way to the tiny town of Warren, home to a Redstone Missile. 

A kind guy named Henry "Ted" Asselin decided the kids of Warren might be prompted to develop an interest in the space program if they could see a part of it up close and personal, and not just on TV. He got the notion to bring a Redstone Missile to Warren after seeing a pile of them stored as army surplus, and so set out on an adventure to secure, transport, and pay for the missile, which made it to Warren, New Hampshire, in 1971. 

The missile weighs 8 tons and is secured in an 8-foot deep foundation with 5 huge steel I-beams set in cement. 


Grab Our Button

The Happy Nomads Button
Powered by Blogger.