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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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