New Hampshire days were either entirely too hot, rainy, or busied with work and sitting at my computer in the hotel room, so we didn’t have a chance to explore much while we where there. It was a business trip after all, and not for leisure. So on our one day off, what else would The Taylor’s do besides leave the city and head north to the mountains of upstate New Hampshire.
We left Manchester in the rain, which grew heavier and heavier the entire trip north. When we finally arrived, we stalled in the car hoping for a break. (Let’s feed the baby. Let’s change the baby. Let’s change into our shoes. Let’s have a snack.) No luck. The rain didn’t seem to be going anywhere, so we all hopped out of the car, put on our rain coats, popped opened the ridiculously huge “just in case” umbrellas that we keep in the back, and got soaked before we even made it inside.
Inside the visitor’s center, there are a couple of shops, a restaurant, a small theater where you can watch an informational movie on the gorge, but we bypassed it all and just went straight to the ticket window. We were already wet, so why stall any longer? Let’s see this gorge!
Instead of waiting at the bus stop to take the cheaters bus that will drive you half a mile up the mountain, we turned the opposite direction and began our hike on the muddy trail.
So I use the term “hike” loosely here. It could easily be interchanged for the term walk. It’s a wide, well worn trail with a bit of incline and decline here and there, but I would still classify this as a pretty easy hike.
Here’s a baby in a rain coat . . . . .
Anyway, the walk was actually quite nice, even in the pouring rain. Other then the fact that jeans were a bad idea for that particular day, we enjoyed our rainy day stroll, discussing the trees and foliage and how it differed, yet looked the same as North Carolina.
Taking a joy-slide down Table Rock was very tempting.
Although the landing may result in a few bruises.
The flume was absolutely breathtaking! I’m glad we didn’t skip our day trip on account of a little rain. Well, a lot of rain. But as us experienced waterfall hikers know, a lot of rain makes for the best times to visit the falls.
As soon as you step foot on the boardwalk, you are instantly engulfed in the gorge. You are surrounded by a giant wall of rock and a canopy of trees. The only sound you can hear is the intensity of rushing water beneath you. And straight ahead you can see the force behind it all, a huge waterfall.
The rain kept everyone away that day, except, of course, for us hard core outdoors [wo]men, which was great for taking photos. The boardwalk is very narrow, and I imagine can be easily crowded.
Maybe not the opportune place to stop for a photo, I know.
Once we made it to the top, we decided to continue on and finish the trail loop and stop to see what each little overlook had to offer along the way. All of the side stops offered a different, but amazing view of the park, but my absolute favorite was the pool. It reminded me of the Linville Falls. My favorite place to hike back home.
Throughout the park, there are little signs stuck in the ground, labeling the different native plants and trees. We found this little beauty, Jack in the Pulpit, hiding at the entrance of the covered bridge.
This is our hiking companion and friend, J, in the wolf’s den; a fun place to squeeze and climb through to the other side of the trail.
We finished walking the trail and made our way back to the visitor’s center. We had certainly hiked up an appetite and hit the restaurant for a late lunch. I was pleasantly surprised at the selection of main courses they offered, from burgers to salads, and every snack item in between. The food was very good, but the coffee, oh the coffee, after a day of hiking in the cold rain, was even better.
This man knows the key to my heart.