Last October, Nate and I took a trip to New Hampshire to visit my parents. One day we took a trip up north to the White Mountains. The White Mountains, part of the Appalachian chain, is where I first started hiking, camping, and backpacking. We spent the day in Franconia Notch State Park. One of my favorite spots as a young boy was visiting the Flume gorge, a narrow rock chasm filled with boardwalks and waterfalls.
The Flume was created by basalt rock flowing upwards into cracks formed in 200 million year-old Conway granite. As the land eroded, the basalt eroded faster, leaving a cleft in the earth. A brook flows through the crack now , continuing the erosion. The result is a rock chasm that ranges from 12-20 feet wide and up to 90 feet deep.
At this point in the fall, ice was already starting to form. In the winter, the chasm is draped with ice forms.
After the flume we looped around to the Pool and a collection of smaller waterfalls. Another fun side trip was “The Wolf Den”, really just a place where you could climb through and under a pile of boulders, left behind by glaciers long ago.
After the hike, we took a drive north through Franconia Notch itself. It was still lovely after all these years, with nice snow caps on Mount Lafayette. The Cannon cliffs were the tallest crags I could imagine as a child. After twenty years of living in the West, they now looked much smaller, as did the surrounding peaks. The Old Man of the Mountains, now long gone, was also missed. Finally, I was surprised at how flat the Notch was- no real center (I guess it’s at the far end).
On the drive back south, we stopped for another short hike at the Basin before heading back for home.