Posts Tagged ‘New Hampshire’


New Hampshire's Franconia Notch Flume Gorge -- Photo by Pat Bean

 My Favorite Places: Franconia Notch

Waterfall at the top of the gorge -- Photo by Pat Bean

“How hard it is to escape from places. However carefully one goes they hold you – you leave little bits of yourself fluttering on the fences – like rags and shreds of your very life.” ~Katherine Mansfield

NaNoWriMo Update

Things didn’t quite go as planned today. I didn’t get home from my doctor’s appointment until 11 a.m. And at 1 p.m. I went to physical therapy, which the doctor prescribed for the neck pain I’ve been having. It was almost 4 p.m. before I got home from that.

But, despite not having as much time as I wanted in which to write on this first NaNo day, I got 1,307 words written. Nothing is on my schedule for tomorrow so I plan on doing better.

Meanwhile, I’m hoping my night-time thoughts and dreams will be filling in a few more blanks in my holey story. How’s everybody else out there doing?

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Delicate Arch at sunset. -- Photo courtesy Wikipedia

 “It is foolish to postpone enjoyment of your ordinary life until you are more successful, more secure, or more loved than you are today.” Timothy Ray Miller.

Balanced Rock can be seen in the opening scene of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Red Rock Wonders  

I’ve taken the short hike around Balanced Rock in Arches National Park every time I’ve visited this fantastic land carved by Mother Nature. The red-rock formation of a 55-foot tall egg-shaped object sitting off-balance on a 100-foot tall pedestal intrigues me.

I guess it also intrigued Steven Speilberg because he used it in his opening scenes of “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” which is my favorite of the four tall Jones’ tales.

When I lived in Utah, Arches was only a four-hour drive away from my home. Often, on early Saturday mornings, I would throw an overnight bag together, and just take off down the road. And it wasn’t unusual for that road to end at Arches.

Almost always, the first order of my visit would be to take the short loop around Balanced Rock before choosing another trail or two to hike.

Delicate Arch was occasionally one of these. It’s a three-mile round-trip hike that starts out on a well-worn trail that dissolves into a mild scramble over slick red rock and ends beneath a formation that looks sort of like a pair of cowboy chaps.

This free-standing arch might actually be the most photographed one in the world. I was fortunate enough to stand beneath it for the first time in the early 1970s, when I had the trail and the view mostly to myself.

Landscape Arch -- Photo courtesy Wikipedia

The arch’s fame, as Utah’s own personal symbol, however, has made it a very popular hiking venue.

Another popular trail in the national park is the one that takes you to Landscape Arch, the longest natural arch in the park. You can’t stand beneath this one as you once could, however. The Park Service only allows you to ogle this arch at a distance because three huge slabs have fallen from it in recent years.

The truth is all three of these formations – Balanced Rock, Delicate Arch and Landscape Arch – will one day be overpowered by gravity, just as New Hampshire’s “Old Man of the Mountain” fell from his high perch on Canon Mountain in 2003. I missed seeing him by three years.

Hopefully Arches National Park’s wonders will still be around for many years – although if seeing them is on your bucket list, sooner might be better than later.

 “You may delay, but time will not.” – Benjamin Franklin

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A wooden walkway anchored to moss covered rock walls keep your feet dry on the Franconia Notch Flume Gorge Trail. -- Photo by Pat Bean

“It is only when we silence the blaring sounds of our daily existence that we can finally hear the whispers of truth that life reveals to us, as it stands knocking on the doorsteps of our hearts.” — K.T. Jong.

Travels With Maggie

 Yesterday I took you on a summer day hike in the shadow of Wyoming’s Grand Tetons. Today I’ve decided we should take a fall walk up Flume Gorge in New Hampshire’s White Mountains.

The trail begins in Franconia Notch State Park. You have to pay $12 to access it, but I doubt you’ll regret the expense.

After crossing over the the Pemigewasset River, the path begins its ascent up the flume, a geologic wonder created from molten rock deep below the surface millions of years ago. The rock cooled, fractured and was eventually exposed by the forces of erosion.

The narrow gorge section of the trail consists of a series of bridges and steps anchored to steep moss-covered walls below which flows a rippling stream. The final section of the trail requires squeezing past a torrent of plunging water known as Avalanche Falls, an appropriate name because the falls was created in 1883 after a storm washed away a huge overhanging boulder.

The water level in the stream bed below the trail was low the fall day I hiked this scenicl trail. -- Photo by Pat Bean At the top, hikers can either take a shortcut back to the visitor center or continue on to Liberty Gorge, where another cascading stream makes its way down to the Pemigewasset River.

I continued onward, along with about half of the dozen or so hikers who had made it to the top the same time as me. While they set a fast pace on the trail, I dawdled, taking time to identify the birds and flowers and to photograph the beauty around me.

The result was that I soon had the path to myself. Miraculously it continued that way. I slowed my pace even more, drinking in the tranquility of nature’s whimsies right down to my little toes. Hug-able trees, fragrant flowers, a mysterious dark pool, water singing as it splashed playfully about, and scattered glacial rocks, one as large as a cabin with an interpretive sign to denote its importance.

“Life is good,” I told Maggie when I finally returned to my RV. Dogs weren’t allowed on the trail.

She wagged her tail and asked: So where’s my treat?

I gave her two

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I'm thankful for hiking trails. Pictured above is the Franconia Notch Flume Trail in New Hampshire. -- Photo by Pat Bean


100 Things for which I’m Thankful – In No Particular Order

  1. Belly laughs
  2. The sound of rain pinging on my RV roof
  3. Family, which these days include five awesome children, 15 delightful grandchildren and three perfect great grandchildren.
  4. My black cocker spaniel, Maggie, who curls up with me on cold nights.
  5. Rich African coffee heavily laced with cream
  6. Scenic byways
  7. Cool nights that let me snuggle beneath a soft quilt
  8. Good health – and hope I can say this for many more years
  9. Hearty hugs from people who mean it
  10. A good massage from a woman with magic fingers
  11. Being a writer
  12. My association with the women of Story Circle Network
  13. A good haircut
  14. Scenic hiking trails
  15. Achievements of my kids, grandkids and friends
  16. My zest for life
  17. Walking barefoot on a sandy beach
  18. Learning something new
  19. The flash of sun illuminating the tail feathers of an overhead red-tailed hawk
  20. Hot baths
  21. My new Kindle
  22. Ibuprofen for strained muscles
  23. Discovering a new author I like
  24. Taking a grandchild on their first roller coaster ride
  25. Watching fall redress the trees
  26. Van Gogh paintings
  27. Butterflies
  28. My computer and the Internet
  29. Maggie’s quirky personality
  30. Rainbows
  31. Living in America where a woman can safely travel alone
  32. Sunrises and sunsets
  33. Funky, dangling earrings that belie my age
  34. Bra-less days
  35. Summers not spent in Texas
  36. Good memories of my mother
  37. Old friends and new friends
  38. A field of wildflowers
  39. Reese”s peanut butter cups
  40. The wind blowing through my hair
  41. My daily walks with Maggie
  42. Hot soup on a cold day
  43. A wee-morning hours chatter with a long-time girlfriend over Jack Daniels and coke.
  44. A daughter-in-law guardian angel who keeps track of my travels, forwards my mail and supplies me with my favorite coffee
  45. The honking of geese as they fly overhead
  46. Lake reflections
  47. Family meals eaten around a table
  48. My curiosity
  49. Comfortable shoes
  50. America, the beautiful
  51. Clean showers in RV parks
  52. Electricity
  53. My bicycle
  54. People who care deeply about something
  55. The wolf’s return to Yellowstone
  56. The journey between destinations
  57. A comfortable bed and a perfect pillow
  58. WordPress for hosting this blog
  59. New white sox
  60. Water in all its forms
  61. Scented candles
  62. A sky full of stars
  63. Glasses that allow me to read
  64. Pleasant surprises
  65. An honest politician
  66. Birdwatching with my birdwatching son
  67. Evenings spent around a campfire
  68. Good Sam emergency services
  69. A Jack in the Box chocolate shake, which I only discovered this year
  70. Nice and Easy, No. 99 – so I can forever be a blonde
  71. Coyote howls
  72. Wrinkle-free clothing
  73. Gentle dentists
  74. My independence
  75. The fragrant scent of a blooming gardenia bush, which always reminds me of my grandmother
  76. The diversity I find in people watching
  77. Large, gnarly live oak trees
  78. Audible books
  79. Maps
  80. A good editor
  81. Books with satisfying endings
  82. The strong women of the past who fought so I could vote
  83. A cup of Earl Grey tea
  84. The color turquoise
  85. Boat rides
  86. Antibiotics and vaccinations
  87. Smiles
  88. A frisky squirrel in a tree outside my RV
  89. Guided trolley tours
  90. My point and shoot digital camera
  91. Washers and dryers
  92. Blank journals
  93. A shady RV camp site beside a small lake
  94. A hearty 11 a.m. breakfast for lunch
  95. The music of a humpback whale
  96. Stained glass windows
  97. That there are still plenty of birds to add to my life list
  98. Helen Reddy’s “I Am Woman Hear Me Roar”
  99. The family computer nerds who get the bugs out of my laptop
  100. Readers of my blog

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