We’ve been in Boston for 3 months now and after exploring a lot of places near Boston and Rhode Island, we were itching to head further north. The Labor Day weekend was just the opportunity we were waiting for. So we decided to drive up to the White Mountains Region in New Hampshire. Its a little over 2 hrs away from Boston, and for a first-timer we highly recommend spending at least 2 days ( we still have a lot of places to see in the region which we’ve chalked up for next time)
From Boston, you basically get on to I-93 and keep going straight for 135 miles (or 217 km). It could have been an incredibly monotonous journey save for the fact that New Hampshire really is a lush green and beautiful state.
Franconia Notch State Park The Flume Gorge
Our first stop was the Franconia Notch State Park, a real packs-all-punches 8 mile stretch with gorges, trails, aerial tramways, lakes and cliffs. So we started with the Flume Gorge. We were a bit puzzled as we stepped into the visitor area - every 2nd face was Indian. I know I’ve been missing India a
lot lately - so are my eyes playing tricks on me? I mean is this Franconia or Faridabad??? For some reason, desis have decided that Flume Gorge is the hottest ticket item for fall it seems…
A bus takes us to the Boulder cabin from where we hike up to the Gorge. It is a natural granite gorge extending 800 feet. The Flume was formed ~ 200 million yrs ago but discovered in 1808 by a 93 yr old woman called “Aunt Jess” . No its not a typo error and I’m not kidding either, she really was 93 yrs old. So good ole’ Aunt Jess was out fishing by herself (ye, we couch potatoes should hang our heads in shame!!) when she chanced upon the gorge and told everyone about it. Slowly, its fame spread.
From the Flume Gorge, we headed to Cannon Mountain. It might look uninspiring at first, but wait till you get on to the aerial tramway. As you lift off the ground, and gain a wider perspective (pun intended) your surroundings come into view and punch the air out of you. Leave you breathless with joy, that is. On reaching the top, we
took a trail to the observatory through Rim’s path, which really is a narrow beaten path along the rim of the mountain. The views are giddyingly great, especially from the open deck of the observatory.
Later we made a pit-stop at the Echo Lake, a cozy family spot but nothing spectacular. The Franconia Inn
By now it was early evening and we headed for the Franconia Inn where we had to spend the night. For the first time ever, Google Maps gave us the wrong directions and we got lost. So we were driving along thinking our Inn was 5 miles away when suddenly it presented itself and such is our belief in Google that we ignored it and kept on driving just assuming it was the wrong place. But people, strange things happen and Google can sometimes be mistaken. Our Inn turned out to be a very charming place, with stables and an airstrip for gliders next to it. It was built originally as a homestead in 1772 by Zebedee Applebee. It was converted into an Inn in 1863 and still retains its authenticity. Basically, no television in your room so you spend the evening in front
of the fireplace playing scrabble. An interesting fact about Franconia town is that the famous poet Robert Frost stayed here for some years and his poem "The Road Not Taken" was written here. Mt. Washington
Day 2 we headed out to Mt. Washington (nearly 20 miles away from our Inn), which is the highest peak in North-east. It is famous for its cog-wheel railway (first cog-wheel rail in the world) which takes you to the peak. We narrowly missed a trip and decided to climb the peak some other time. From Mt. Washington, we headed east towards Conway, and had fabulous Mexican Lunch at Café Noche (has its own brand of Root beer which is just awesome).
Conway is connected to another town, Lincoln, by Kancamagus Highway which is a scenic byway known for its forests, trails and fall foliage. Well the leaves are just beginning to change colour now but its still magnificent. We stopped at many spots along the byway, notably the Rocky Gorge and the Kancamagus Pass.
Before we knew it, we were back at I-93 and racing towards Boston. It might have just been 2 days but was very invigorating. We are
definitely going back when fall colours are in full swing.
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