Thursday, June 14th started nice so we packed a picnic lunch and headed for the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

The Pemigewasset River tumbles through the forests of these mountains in "flumes" - twisting its way through smooth granite troughs and rocky cascades

In the west we saw the effect of rushing water on sandstone - odd shaped hoodoos and deep red canyons; here in New Hampshire the water rushes through the granite and the canyons are not as deep or oddly shaped. The hard granite is polished into smooth conduits and basins that have an unnatural "man-made" quality.

In the mountains, near Franconia Pass, is the ancient home of "The Old Man of the Mountains," a granite formation, 40 feet in height, of a man's face in profile. This formation was formed by the retreating glaciers during the last ice age; scientists speculate that it was formed about 12,000 years ago.

Nathaniel Hawthorne immortalized it in "The Great Stone Face;" and it has long been a symbol of the state of New Hampshire, gracing the state quarter issued in 2000.

On May 3, 2003, the delicate balance that kept the 5 slabs of granite in formation ended and the great stone face tumbled into the forest below. (This picture is from an old postcard.)



The last time we visited New Hampshire we were only able to see the face from a distance on a rainy, foggy day; now we can only see it is pictures!


As our New Hampshire afternoon ended, the rain returned, so we headed for home to rest up for the coming travels to New York and beyond.




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