My Escape to the Mountains

New Hampshire August 2012

Every summer for the majority of his life, my husband’s family visits the White Mountains of New Hampshire.  There is some family history up there, and when Chris and I met, he started taking me to NH also.  It’s a stunningly beautiful part of the world, and I am so thankful to be able to vacation there.  For many years, we talked about getting a place of our own in the White Mountains, which in 2008 finally became a reality.  But that’s another story for another day.

We returned from our 10 day summer adventure this year on August 14th with pictures, memories, and just a little exhaustion (at least for me).  Then, I turned around and hopped on a plane and went to Atlanta on the 18th to visit one of my bestest friends.  Yep – I’m trying to get all my traveling in until my little bean sprouts sometime in January.  We’ve got at least 2 more trips planned between now and December, so I’ll be thoroughly exhausted by the holidays.

In New Hampshire, life is pretty good when there is plenty of sunshine and very little humidity.

We spent a lot of time outside, working on landscape projects for the house, taking scenic drives, swimming at Big Eddy and Mountain Lakes, BBQing, and Bonfire-ing.

As the week progressed, other family members started to arrive and the eat-until-you-drop lunches and dinners began.  We’re a crew of serious eaters.

However, I’m proud to say that my pregosaurus self managed to only gain 2 little pounds on my 10 day excursion – pretty good, no?  (I swear I’m going to weigh less after this baby arrives than before I got pregnant!)

We also had dinner with some friends who are lucky enough to call NH home, as well as visit a few places we’d never been before, like the Cabot Creamery!

Here are a couple of highlights from the trip:

Visiting the Old Man

It was like paying respects at a cemetery.  We walked quietly to the site where the old stone profile used to be viewed.  We aligned our height with the new profilers to get a glimpse of what the old man used to be.  We sat on the memorial stones and read the sentiments.  There was even a makeshift cross at the mouth of Profile Lake.  It was as if everyone’s great grandfather died May 3, 2003. 

The Old Man of the Mountain stood for centuries at the top of Cannon Mountain in Franconia Notch.  The stone sentinel looked out over the mountains and valleys and kept watch over his dear New Hampshire.  As one of the state’s most recognizable icons, the Old Man was loved by everyone and when he slid down the side of Cannon Mountain in the fog of the morning of May 3, 2003, everyone – not just the people of New Hampshire – lost one of their most beloved national treasures.

The state has constructed a memorial site in Franconia Notch State Park where one can view a to-scale replica of the old profile.  This is what it looks like today:

He will be missed.

Hiking the Basin

An easy, short, but beautiful hike literally “across the street” from Cannon Mountain is The Basin, a naturally carved stone bowl with turquoise water rushing through it.  The sign says no swimming, but I ask you:  on a hot, sunny day, how hard would it be to not immerse yourself in this?

I tried climbing over the fence and diving in, but park rangers soon apprehended me and gave me a good talking to.

Just kidding.

On the other end of the trail for The Basin is the Baby Flume.  It’s a very scaled down version of the Flume Gorge (which takes about 2 hours to hike and enjoy, but totally worth it).  We wound our way down a green and mossy path through the woods along the edge of the Pemigewasset River to an opening where the rocks split, the water rushed through, and you could see a mini-gorge:

 Beautiful, no?

Of course, no two gorges are the same, so if you find your way to the White Mountains one day, be sure to visit both the Baby Flume and Flume Gorge.  They are Gorge-ous!

Heh.

And then we wound our way back through the woods:

 

Another beautiful vacation in the mountains.  I cannot wait to share this little slice of heaven with my children one day.

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