Hey! I last left off with days 1 & 2 over here. Onto the rest of my trip! This post is a little long due to pictures, so bear with me.
Friday: Kancamagus Scenic Byway
Friday morning, we packed up our site along the Saco River. The bugs were something FIERCE that morning. As we were packing up, I actually starting running around and swatting all over my head to try to get the bugs away. It was ridiculous!
We then drove along the Kancamagus Scenic Byway, which is this gorgeous area of New Hampshire with lots of camping and places to pull off and see water features or mountains. Here was one pull off.
Note Beans desperately trying not to get wet as he followed us into the river…
We went to another pull-off and went on a short hike to see this small gorge.
What’s interesting about gorges is that the water slowly wears down the rock after hundreds or millions of years. Just shows how powerful nature really is!
We stopped at another pull-off for lunch and enjoyed this view.
This is when it really hit me how gorgeous these Northern states are. I could look at this picture all day…
What we really came to see along the highway was Flume Gorge.
Flume Gorge is part of the Franconia Notch State Park. We had to pay to get in, but it was so worth it. The gorge is quite long, with a wooden walking path with stairs. Essentially, you get to walk right along the edge of the gorge.
This next picture is insane, because it shows just how much rock the water has cut through.
You can’t really see my face that well in this picture, but I’m not going to lie, I was really nervous right there because I was about to go up these wet stairs. And I was doubting the integrity of the walkway the whole time!
Once we got to the top, there was a waterfall.
Once at the top, there is a trail that loops around back to the visitors center. It was a really nice hike and there was almost no one there, so we had the park to ourselves.
We also saw some pretty crazy things along the hike, including these trees that had grown over rocks.
The bottom left photo is some more trees growing on top of rocks. Again, nature is CRAZY!
By the time we finished at Flume Gorge, both the hubs & I were kind of tired. We knew that Mt. Washington was close by and had planned on seeing it. Both of us weren’t very interested because Mt. Washington is only about 6,000 feet. And I come from Colorado, where there’s multiple 14ers. Needless to say, the need to see a teeny mountain didn’t appeal to us that much.
But if you’re ever in this area of the North East, a ton of cars have this bumper sticker that says “This car climbed Mt. Washington!” It’s kind of a thing around here, and it is the tallest mountain in the North East, so we decided to go.
The drive is completely paved and it’s about 8 miles to the top. It’s very windy and we had to drive really slow. But of course, it was starting to get really foggy as we went up. So the further up we went, the less we could see. At the top, it was like we were IN a cloud.
Can you tell I’m excited? Yeah…
This view isn’t that bad, but look at that black cloud looming over! It started raining as we were driving down. An info pamphlet we got said that the mountain is cloud covered or overcast 60% of the time. Go figure!
What’s crazy is that there is still snow. Look at this snow mounded to the side of the mountain!
It was kind of fun, but I’m sad to report that I feel it was TOTALLY not worth it. They charge a ridiculous amount to go here, which I didn’ t know until we got there. Mt. Washington is privately owned, so they can charge whatever they want to. They not only charge per car (which is, I want to say $28), but they charge per PERSON as well. So if you have a car with 4 adults, they’re going to charge you $28 for your car, plus 3 adults at $8 a piece.
Uh, what? It definitely wasn’t worth the price and even it was free, it just wasn’t anything spectacular. Oh well!
We didn’t have anything planned for camping again. They do allow non-campground camping along the Kancamgus Highway, but you have to pack in at least 1/4 of a mile. Since there’s no way to drive 1/4 of a mile into the thick woods and packing in all our stuff for 1/4 didn’t sound like fun, we went to a campground.
Although this was at a campground, we got a really secluded spot.
One of our best camp dinners: brats cooked over the fire with creamed corn. I’m normally not a big brat fan, but this was the best!
This was a fun place to camp, but we definitely heard something out in the woods that night. Both the hubs & I joked that it was a baby moose. Every road in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont have signs that say “Moose Crossing,” so we kept saying we needed to see a moose. Sadly, we didn’t see a moose. And the next morning, we found out the rustling was just a bunny. 😉
We ended up packing up from Friday night completely in the rain. It actually rained so much that our tarp “roof” ripped down! We tried to wait out the rain for a while in the tent, but it never let up. Beans so did not want to get out that morning!
I could get over the rain, though, because of the fact that we were on our way to Ben & Jerry’s ice cream factory! I am a huge Ben & Jerry’s fan – half-baked and milk & cookies being my favorite flavors.
The tour was pretty short, but they gave us a test sample of a flavor not in stores. It was called Cinnamon Yum Yum, which was cinnamon caramel ice cream with cannoli shell pieces covered in fudge. It was amazing! I only hope they start to sell it in stores.
Then we of course had to buy some ice cream of our own. We realized that neither of us had ever tried Cherry Garcia, their most popular flavor. We shared a small of that – new favorite!
For the rest of the day, we actually went to Magic Hat Brewery for a tour there because it was close by. I didn’t end up getting any good photos, but that was fun too. Free ice cream and free beer in one day? Win!
Then we went to Burlington, a pretty city by a big lake. We got dinner at a wood oven pizza place and walked the town with Beans for the night. However, it was so late by the time we headed out of Burlington that we realized camping would probably be pointless.
We had planned to camp Saturday night and leave Sunday morning. But we wouldn’t have gotten to a camping site until about 8 o’clock, in the dark, and it was going to rain again that night. Most of our gear and clothes were totally wet, so it was really unappealing. We drove home Saturday night and got home around midnight. Not ideal, but I’m grateful we skipped it so we had extra time to settle in at home on Sunday.
Overall, I had such a fun time. I love being outdoors and camping. I’m so thankful that God provided some quality time with my husband, my dogs, and His beautiful creation. 🙂