Over the weekend, we went hiking with a dear friend and her two children to "The Flume" in Franconia Notch, NH. Now, for me, I grew up somewhat in this neck of the woods. The Notch is incredible in and of itself and used to be the site of our state mascot, "The Old Man of the Mountains". For those who may not know, it was a natural rock formation that when viewed from the side, looked just like the face of a man. It fell in 2003, obliterating our state's most famous site. It's even on our license plates. We all felt a sense of sadness when he fell, like a sentinel who left his post forever.
I had been to The Flume in my early 20's, but neither Music Man nor the boys had ever been there. What an utterly amazing, beautiful natural wonder. It's a series of waterfalls that cascade down to later become the Pemigewasett River. There really aren't words to describe it, as all the ones I can think of don't do it justice. Neither do photos. You get a whole sense of a different world in a different time there. The woman who originally discovered it (though I'm fairly sure there are some Native Americans who would beg to differ with the word "discovered") was a 93 year old fisherwoman. She was in pursuit of brook trout and found this amazing site. It entails a 2 mile round trip hike, and before the advent of the walkways and covered bridges, would have been a very treacherous hike for the most fit of adventurers. Seeing it, and knowing she was 93 when she did this...astounding. Don't let anyone tell you you can't do something because you're too old!
After leaving this, well, I consider it, holy place, hungry kids and grown ups alike, we ate lunch and then went to The Basin. This is very cool as well. Music Man said it's like a giant toilet in that the movement of the water is just the same...a gigantic, loud, fast moving toilet! The kids dipped in a stream for a long time. I'm convinced kids don't have our thermostats, this water was ice cube cold to me, and my friend's daughter was sitting in it, splashing away with a big ol' grin on her face. When she got out, her legs were P-I-N-K! And not your average pink, but the pink of a deep sunburn. Never bothered her a lick.
We live in such an bucolic state. So many wonderful natural sites to see, so beautiful and wild. I really hope that it never changes. I'm so happy that it is still here, lovely in it's glory for my children to see as I saw it growing up. I'm thankful for the people that maintain it, keep it clean and don't let the public overrun or over burden it. Places like this are hard to find with mankind needing his fingers in every pie. And I'm also so very thankful that my children understand how amazing those places are, that they don't need video games to have fun...nature, nothing tops it. Go, take your children out and enjoy some beautiful views, holy moments and reverence for nature yourself. I promise, you won't be sorry.
Gone to Northern NH in my mind, ~Peacemom