~ Franconia Notch State Park, New Hampshire ~

A notch is a narrow pass between mountains. In New England it seemed to be the preferred term rather than a pass. Franconia Notch State Park is located in the heart of the White Mountain National Forest. Franconia Notch is a spectacular mountain pass traversed by a unique parkway which extends from the Flume Gorge at the south to Echo Lake at the north. For eight miles, I-93 winds between the high peaks of the Kinsman and Franconia mountain ranges.

The park is home to Cannon Mountain, a state-owned ski resort started in the 1930s. The mountain is named for a rock formation in the shape of a cannon found on the summit, but the "Old Man of the Mountain" formation was by far the more famous; it collapsed in May 2003. Cannon is also famous for being one of the most challenging hills in New England.



New Hampshire's White Mountains


White Mountains and Pemigewasset River


Saw a Windfarm under construction driving along I-93

Soon I would walk along wild waters of the Pemigewasset River

Driving through Franconia Notch




To get to The Basin I would have a lengthy hike through the forest along the wild waters of the Pemigewasset, which by Abenaki definition means "narrow and shallow swift current," including across this bridge over the river. It was a beatuiful hike and the river was that.


It was mid-summer (July 8) and melt waters were done, but that did not make this river any less impressive


Running a narrow chute




Another bridge. One thing I noticed about New Hampshire while driving its highways is that every bridge seemed to have its own number. Driving along I-89 to Concord from Vermont these numbers ran consecutively. Some sections of the trail did not keep to the river bank.


But to my delight the trail always came back to it.

The Basin


Beneath a waterfall in the Pemigewasset River is a granite pothole about 20 feet (6 m) across known simply as "The Basin". It was scrubbed out by stones dragged (and eventually deposited) by the retreating North American ice sheet, and since made smooth by 15 millennia of rapidly whirling pebbles and grit.






On the left is the chute that keeps The Basin full.


The other three shots are farther upriver. I had a fair hike to get around the the other side of the Basin.






The other side of The Basin and its emerald green waters


I ran across red barked trees on Vancouver Island in Canada. I was surprised to find them here on my hike back from The Basin.

It was time to leave the river

And head for the mountains (Cannon Mountain)

Boise Rock and The Old Man of the Mountain


Cannon Mountain is famous for being the former home of The Old Man of the Mountain.
Although it had been nine years since the collapse, when I was there, the signs in the park still refer to the Old Man as if he were still there.
The Old Man is still a item of pride for New Hampshirites, even though he is long gone.


Boise Rock is a great glacial erratic that has been a part of history and folklore for generations in New Hampshire. Thomas Boise, a noted teamster of the region, was sledding through the Franconia Notch in mid-winter, soon after the first road was built. He was overtaken by a fierce snowstorm and blizzard and was unable to continue. Realizing he must take drastc action to survive, he killed and skinned his horse. Then he crawled under this rock and wrapped himself in the horse hide and spent the night. A search party found him the next day still alive, but encased in the frozen hide, which had to be cut off with axes.

Another look at Cannon Mountain

Shot this cave in the cliff face

And a half day moon

Where the Old Man of the Mountain was

And a closer look

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