Franconia Notch: Adventure with Andy / by Douglas Koski

Franconia Notch

The Adventure with Andy

Sinéad and I had been planning to hike Mt. Major in part of our training regiment for the Seek the Peak hike up Mt. Washington.  We had asked our nephew Andy if he was feeling up for the hike, and he was all to excited to join us.  Day of the hike we decided to change our plans.  Sinéad wasn't feeling too up to a full fledged hike, so we decided on another adventure.  We went to Franconia Notch State Park to show Andy some of my favorite places to visit when I was about his age.   

We decided to start our adventure off with something of an easy start.  After a slightly contested drive, we arrived at the south entrance of Franconia Notch State Park.  We pulled off at a little tourist trap that has withstood the test of time.  It was the Indian Head Resort, and it came complete with a lookout tower to better see the name-sake mountain across the road.  A dollar each purchased our tokens, and the climb was underway.


We bravely conquered the stairs!!!

...after layering up a little more for the cold morning wind.  The view was well worth it, though, as the air was crisp and clear.  

Sinéad helped Andy with the binoculars to better see the feature in the mountain. 

We spent a little time enjoying the view before deciding it was time to move along.  We steered Andy away from the gift shop as we knew there would be others to peruse, and made our escape to the open road.  We almost drove a whole mile before coming upon our next destination!  This was the portion that would become our substitute "hike" for the day.  It was a lovely little destination known as the...

Flume Gorge State Park 

Sinéad and I were both extremely excited to show Andy this naturally formed example of the beauty the outdoors has to offer.  There wasn't much to see at the start, but it wasn't long before the boardwalks led him to the main feature of this park.

The Antique Carriage

in the main lobby was also a find that Andy thought was pretty cool to see in person.

We grabbed our tickets and started our way down the path.  With the map in hand, Andy took point in leading us down the trails.

Andy also tried his hand at taking a photo with my DSLR.

The trail followed along the river, and the water was the highest Sinéad and I had seen there.

The Boardwalk

We had come upon the start of the boardwalk,  and we could hear the sound of the water echoing from within the Gorge.

The Flume Gorge

We had made it to the entrance of the Gorge.  We all took in the towering granite walls and the water rushing beneath us. 

The Waterfalls Begin

Andy thought the rainbow off the falls was one of the coolest things.

The Bear Cave

Sinéad and Andy climbed into the bear cave and then got worried about what might be lurking in the shadows.

Becoming the Feared

Then they took to proving they were what was to be feared in the shadows!

Some time for rest was required after the Bear cave.  I took some time to capture some footage of the water on the top of the falls, but didn't have time to go back to the boardwalk.

At the Flume - 5/20/2017
At the Flume - 5/20/2017

Liberty Falls

We made a quick stop to the overlook spot for Liberty Falls.

Sentinel Pine Bridge

Andy tried to hide behind the rock, but wasn't thinking about the map in his hand...  The surprise did not go as he had planned...  

The disappointment was short-lived, however.  Photo-posing is too important for disappointment.

The next stop on the trail was the Wolf Den.  Sinéad and Andy took a shot a crawling through the narrow cave.  Andy was all too excited to try out Aunt Sinéad's headlamp in the small cave!

I looped around to meet up with them on the other side, and waited while they both negotiated the tight quarters.  (Sometimes the quickest way to get from point A to point B isn't shortest distance.)

Feeling pretty psyched from the success of their impromptu spelunking, Sinéad and Andy decided it was time they do some lifting!

That pretty well wrapped up our time at the Flume.  We made our way past several glacial boulders on the way back to the visitors center, and Andy used Aunt Sinéad's phone to take several detailed photos of them.  After a quick stop at the gift shop we decided it was time to head on to our next destination on the adventure.  A little drive down the Franconia Notch Parkway and we had found our next stop.

The Old Man in the Mountain Memorial

This was quite an interesting discovery for me.  I wasn't aware that there had been a memorial installation setup for the Old Man in the Mountain.  Sinéad knew about it, though, and we all went to see what it was like.  I didn't take too many photos of the memorial site, but the above photo shows what one of the installation pieces shows to those who go and to see.

While we were there, a couple on bikes asked if I could take their photo and they would in turn take ours.  It was a fair enough trade off, and here are a couple of the photos they took for us.

Top of Cannon Mt.

This one gives a fairly good depiction of what the top of Cannon Mountain looks like now without the Old Man profile.

Andy was eating all the snacks that Aunt Sinéad had packed for the day, and it was getting to that point where we were all going to need more than snacks to avoid the hangry state.  We made our way back to the parking lot and started our search for a place to eat.  The search did not return much nearby.  We decided to make one last quick stop before making our way out of the area.

The Basin

Rushing Waters...

The hunger of our group and a sudden, unexpected, urge Andy was experiencing driving him to find a restroom kept this visit to a bare minimum.  It was great to see this feature again, and Sinéad and I hope to go back in the near future!  Here are the shots I was able to take before we needed to make our way onward.  

We wrapped up our adventure heading back towards home and hitting up a burger joint before going to the batting cages and go-cart track.  It was quite the fun day for all of us!