Hiking here is a big deal. For years people would stop along the shoulder of the “Super Two” section of I 93, and get out to hike the trails. Hikers now are required to park at a State Parking Lot and for a fee, get shuttled to different trailheads. Four Baggers are hikers who set out to climb peaks which are over four thousand feet in elevation.
The Kancamagus Highway cuts east and west through White Mountain National Forest. Note the triangles on Kancamagus map denoting taller peaks.
The Old Man
Another big deal here is, “Old Man of the Mountain”. I saw a trail sign labeled, “Trail for the Old Man”, I truly didn’t know what to think. Should I take it? How do I know when I’m old enough? Can Deb come on the Old Man trail? Is she old enough? This seems a little discriminatory to me.
Recent history unfolded as I was getting my learn on. Deep within the Franconia Notch there was an outcropping of rocks high on a mountainside. When viewed from a specific area it resembled the face of an old man. It was first observed by surveyors in 1805. This famed outcropping was adopted by New Hampshire State as on official state emblem in 1945. Attempting to keep his face from sagging, much work had been done to the old man over the years. The inevitable occurred in 2003, and The Old Man dropped off the face of the earth. A real life Humpty Dumpty story. All the people couldn’t put the Old Man back together again.
In 2011 a Profile Viewing area was built. Cool idea really. By standing in marked locations, depending upon a persons height, and aligning your sight with the aid of weird modern art looking thinga-ma-jiggy’s, the Old Mans profile is recreated in its original position, in proper perspective. Sorry about the poor photos, it was getting late the day we visited the viewing platform.
For a long time I wondered about the conflicting information of geology, dinosaurs, billions of stars, and the Biblical time line. They simply do not match up. How can that be? The physical view most definitely competes against an invisible super natural view. Just as the viewing platform gives perspective recreating the Old Mans profile. The bible too gives perspective. God’s measure of time is very different than our measure. Believability is in the heart of the beholder.
We hiked incredible awesome trails at Flume Gorge, another Franconia Notch State Park Highlight. The Flume is carved out of solid rock by glacial ice, pressure, water, and time – another test of biblical timeline believability. Many state park attractions are inclusive with a day pass. In New Hampshire attraction fees are separate, but when you think of all the walkways and ongoing maintenance, it was worth it. As a retiree I’ve got to get better at this spending thing. Cost is only an issue in the absence of value. I’m spending Uncle Sam’s social security money, who cares?