The more I travel the more I appreciate the astonishing beauty in the United States. There are so many things I love: lighthouses, waterfalls, beaches, wildflowers, mountain trails, the list could go on forever. I find that most trips take on some sort of theme and this one is no different, as today I visited my third gorge in as many days. This one was The Flume in Franconia Notch State Park in north central New Hampshire.
Even though the fall foliage here is “past peak,” inside the protected gorge there were enough leaves remaining on the trees to add some color to the trails. The Flume is a natural 800-foot long gorge with perpendicular walls that rise to a height of 90 feet. It was formed nearly 200 million years ago when the underlying granite fractured vertically, leaving wide gaps. Later, the molten lava that was forced up through these cracks cooled to form basalt rock. As erosion lowered the earth’s surface, the dikes were exposed. The softer basalt eroded faster than the surrounding granite, creating the deep valley that is today the gorge. After the Ice Age, Flume Brook began to flow through the valley, and the swiftly moving water further eroded the gorge and became a series of spectacular waterfalls: Continue reading