We have an insane calling to be where we aren't

Showing posts with label hiking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hiking. Show all posts

Friday, June 16, 2017

Franconia State Park, New Hampshire

We had visited Franconia State Park 14 years ago while I working in Connecticut. We knew that we wanted to return someday and this was someday. It didn't disappoint.

Echo Lake 

Cannon Mountain Campground is a small campground with 7 spots with full
hookups at the base of Cannon Mountain Ski Resort and around the corner from Echo Lake. It was in a great location between Lincoln and Franconia in the state park.
 Wood ducks have the coolest hats or is it a pinhead?
A great spot all alone.
The rec bike trail was just around the corner from us.

Franconia Notch

  We had visited Franconia Notch 14 years ago and loved the area and Polly's Pancake Parlor. We
had the opportunity to return and had to try the pancakes again. My favorite was the cornmeal and
coconut but the gingerbread and walnut weren't so bad themselves.

The Lupines were out again on our return visit.   
 The Only Blast Furnace Still Standing in New Hampshire

Hiking to Franconia Falls

After several days of reunions, eating and visiting, it was time to get some more exercise.
We headed out for a 6.8 mile hike to find the Franconia Falls. The Lincoln Woods Trail started
with a bridge crossing and along the creek in the White Mountains near Lincoln, NH. The ranger told us that the moose and bears were very active but must have been hiding from us.
Almost there 
With all of that walking, you would expect a bigger waterfall. Some boys were using the falls as a waterslide. It looked enticing.
The lake would close at 9 pm to the public but was empty by 7:30pm. We would walk down and listen to the frogs and  start their night songs. 

The Basin

We spent the next day seeing the sights and walking in the state park.
 The Basin, located in Franconia State Park is a giant nature-made pothole formed thousands of years ago by ice and river rocks. It's granite bowl spans 20 feet and is filled by a roaring spout.
 It was peaceful listening to the rush of the water making us want to follow the trail even further.

The Flume Gorge

 Mount Liberty and Mount Flume as we leave the visitor's center.
This picturesque covered bridge is one of the oldest in the state. It was built in the 1886. Such bridges were often called “kissing bridges” because of the darkness and privacy they provided. This bridge was built across the scenic Pemigewasset River. Pemigewasset means “swift or rapid current” in the Abenaki Indian language. 
Heading into the Flume Gorge 
The Flume Gorge
  The 2 mile walk includes uphill walking and lots of stairs. The boardwalk allowed us to look at the growth of flowers, ferns and mosses found here.
At the top of the Flume is a close view of Avalanche Falls. The 45-foot waterfall creates a roaring sound as the Flume Brook enters the gorge. The falls were formed during the great storm of 1883, which washed away the hanging boulder. As we walked along the boardwalk the mist would blow across us.
  Liberty Gorge, a beautiful cascading mountain stream that flows through the narrow valley.
The Pool is a deep basin in the Pemigewasset River. It was formed at the end of the Ice Age, 14,000 years ago, by a silt-laden stream flowing from the glacier. 
 This is a narrow, one-way path that involves crawling on your hands and knees and squeezing through rocks called Wolf's Den.
Coming out of the Wolf's Den
The trees have to be hardy to hang on around here.
We could spend a few weeks here and not run out of new things to do and see. I was glad that we were able to take some time here before heading to Maine for the summer.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Blue ridge Parkway and Floyd, VA

If you have been finding some of my posts that are published and are a mess, Blogger and I are having issues. Hopefully, I can quit hitting enter when I shouldn't.
We had a change in plans making our drive of 50 miles in 3 hours. The pollen has been very high after all of the rain. I woke up and realized I needed to get some medical help as we left Fries. Galax had an urgent care that fixed me up with a shot in the hip of steroids. We headed on to the CVS Pharmacy in Hillsville for the prescription. The drive to Daddy Rabbit's Campground was on narrow winding roads. The Blue Ridge Parkway campground hadn't opened yet.
The tourist season doesn't start until Memorial weekend. We were the only people in the campground that had  no internet. We are finding that Sprint's 1% less coverage than Verizon has been in most of the places we have been visiting. We do get a certain amount of roaming on our plan. Even when we go over that amount, the amount of roaming we use isn't as expensive as the extra $100 we are saving with Sprint.
Blue Ridge Parkway, Rocky Knob Trail

We woke to heavy rain but got ready to hit the Blue Ridge Parkway and do some hiking. We chose the Rock Knob Trail which was 3 miles. We thought a short loop was a good plan with the sprinkles and potential for the return of the heavy rain.
The clouds in the valleys were eerie at times.
Mabry's Mill on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Mabry Mill was originally constructed in 1905 and was in operation by 1908 and was used by many in the region who brought their corn to be ground.
The mill had a lack of water power, earning it a reputation as a "slow mill," but because of this, the mill would not grind too fast or scorch the corn, which resulted in the Mabry's mill being known for producing some of the finest tasting corn meal in the region.
Ed would eventually construct a sawmill and woodworking shop alongside the grist mill, and a number of the tools he used in the shop were powered by the waterwheel. He would also go on to build a nearby blacksmith shop.
The mill still stands as a unique symbol of the region's heritage and has attracted visitors from around the world.

Used to haul logs

Kettle to make soap


Floyd, VA

The Floyd Country Store is renowned as a place to experience authentic Appalachian music, and is home to a group of musicians, flatfoot dancers, and cloggers who are carrying on the tradition of their families who’d pass the time playing music and dancing together. Everywhere they could these folks would gather with their friends and families from their front porch to the neighbor’s kitchen. In the 1980’s Folks in Floyd took to coming out to the General Store and began the Friday Night Jamboree tradition that continues today.

Over the years the store has played a central role in the Floyd community, as a supplier of all kinds of merchandise, and as a community meeting place where folks would gather round the wood stove to exchange stories and the local gossip. In the early 1980’s, when it was known as Cockerham’s General Store, it took on another role. Two of the store’s former owners were in a local bluegrass band that gathered at the store most every Friday night for a practice session. People passing by would knock on the doors, asking to be let inside so they could better hear the music.

My picture of the musicians was blurred but picture people singing and playing while we shared a slice of apple pie.
Pretty soon, the band got tired of being interrupted every few minutes to let someone else in the store, and so they just left the doors open. As the crowds grew, other musicians came to join the fun. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Rock Castle Gorge Trail
The camp host had suggested this hike on CCC Camp Lane and gave us good directions. It turned out that this trail was the lower section of part of the trail we had done on the previous day but in the valley.

  We had hiked the upper trail the previous day and walked the lower section with a climbing hill for 5.5 miles round trip. I like the downhill on the way home. We did each find a tick on our long sleeved shirts even with Off on us. That just gives me the willies.

The Magnolia Trees were blossoming.

Old homestead chimney along Rock Creek Trail


Austin House beside Rock Castle Creek.

We have run across several of these black snakes (some people call them rat snakes) since we were in Mississippi. This time we got a picture. Yuk!

You have to love a place called Tuggle's Gap

Swallowtail butterflies were flying all around us as we walked. 
Floyd and the Blue Ridge Parkway were both treats for us. We weren't far from the city of Roanoke but felt a million miles away.