After a cold and wet night at a campsite south of Montreal, a city I unexpectedly disliked, we headed for the US border, crossing briefly in to Vermont before pushing south and east to our home for the night near the aptly named small town of Littleton, New Hampshire. The wide, empty, roads, the clean air and glorious mountainous countryside were a welcome change from the dirt, crowds and general seaminess of our previous destination.
The plan had been to stay overnight at the Littleton KOA to break our journey to Maine, coming back to visit New Hampshire properly on the return leg of our trip. But the plan has also been to spend two days, not one, in Montreal and so, ahead of schedule and impressed by the facilities of the campsite, which we had all to ourselves, we decided to spend the next day exploring nearby rather than driving.
I had first learnt about Flume Gorge from our guidebook, and read more on-line whilst planning our trip, even so I was completely overwhelmed by the beauty of the place. As was becoming a theme, we were the only people at the gates of the visitors’ centre when they opened, and spent more than two hours walking amongst the woods, rocks, falls and bridges without seeing a soul.
Although the sun was shining there had been recent heavy rainfall and the river was in full flow, everything felt green and vital. Spring was moving in to summer, and in the silence of the forest you could almost hear the creak of growth.
Flume Gorge lies within Franconia Notch State Park and is just one of many natural attractions in the area. During our stay we also visited The Basin, where the river has carved a deep bowl through white rock, turning the water a vivid, tropical, blue. Even our drive out of the state, along the scenic Kancamagus Highway was breath-taking, helping to make our time in New Hampshire one of the highlights of our trip.