July 4, 2010

Flume Gorge, Franconia Notch, New Hampshire

The next day, was the most oppressive day of the entire trip. We'd been blessed with such wonderful weather on the trip so far. While there had been a couple of nights of passing rains, the days had been sunny and nice. Then, this day was horrible. The temperatures were in the mid-90's, humidity was 100%, and there was a thick cloud cover. I had never experienced anything quite like it.

We figured we could cool down in the dark forests at the bottom of the valley. But, it was not to be. The first stop of the day was the Pemigewasset Falls. We hiked along this creek and it was so humid that the cool waters condensed into fog off the falls. I'd seen steam come off warm water on cool days, but I'd never seen it come off cold water on a hot day!

Pemigewasset River in Franconia Notch
If you look carefully, you can see the steam rising off the cool waters

Then we visited the Flume Gorge. You had to pay to go into it. We'd seen gorges like this before, but it was so hot that we decided to just go ahead and do it. Any thoughts that we might cool down in the dark misty recesses was naive. It was hot, sweaty, and miserable.

Along the way, we encountered this glacial erratic.
It was a large boulder carried by Ice Age glaciers and then dropped on site.

There was this nice waterfall at the top of the gorge

As we continued along the loop, there was this cute scene of a covered bridge crossing these cascades

The Old Man of the Mountain was long the symbol of New Hampshire. But, in 2003 it finally crumbled to the ground, leaving this flat face behind.

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