Oct 10

Wednesday, October 10

by in 2001 New England

We had decided to bag our plans to drive to, then ride our bike across the Kancamagus highway in New Hampshire, it being too far a drive for too long a ride. Instead, we drove to Holderness, NH and camped at Squam Lake, the site of “On Golden Pond”. After setting up camp, we continued driving north to see Franconia Notch and the Old Man of the Mountain.

The Old Man adorns just about everything New Hampsire makes. It makes the background of their highway signs and adorns their license plates. Earlier in the day we’d been discussing if the profile was a former president when we happened on a NH Highway information booth. We inquired about the image, to which the attendant replied, “The Great Stone Face, Nathaniel Hawthorne.”

I turned to Sheila and said, “Oh, it’s not Jefferson. It’s Nathaniel Hawthorne!”

I was subdued by a glare worthy of a polar icecap eminating from the highwayman. “Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote “The Great Stone Face”. Didn’t you read it when you were growing up?”

I hadn’t. Sheila hadn’t. Nor had Ric. Now he further enlightened us by telling us the New Hampshire-ites called the formation the Old Man of the Mountain. We began looking forward to seeing this remarkable stone formation.

When we arrived at the notch, we had to walk a mile to Profile Lake in order to view the Old Man. Full of anticipation, we strolled the path. We looked up and there we saw a tiny rock form at the top of a hill. The Old Man. Not really much to look at. Of course, it was 40′ tall, it was just far away.

Afterwards, we drove to The Flume. It is a natural gorge, 30-40′ deep and 10′ wide. The soft volcanic dike between the granite walls had worn away. At the head of the gorge was Rainbow Falls and a bear cave. The walking path also took us past a pair of covered bridges.

We returned to our campground and fell to bed.

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