Now that the holidays are over, I think it’s time to finish writing about our trip to the New England states. We visited two more interesting sites in New Hampshire. Both showed the ravages of time and weather.
The flume was formed years ago with granite walls, but then molten lava pushed up and filled in some areas. It’s a lovely treasure that was first discovered in 1808 by 93 year old Jess Guernsey. No one believed her at first, but she finally convinced others to come to see the beauty. Folks have been coming ever since.
The visitor center showed photos of times past. There used to be a huge egg shaped boulder hung suspended between the walls. It fell during a storm in 1883. They still point out a portion of the rock. The walk through the gorge and back was two miles of high walls, water, moss, bridges and waterfalls. Just gorgeous.
A visit to New Hampshire wouldn’t be complete without visiting the state’s emblem, right? I had heard of the Old Man of the Mountain especially in 2000 when the state quarter for New Hampshire featured his profile. This Old Man first became famous because of Daniel Webster who once wrote, “Men hang out their signs indicative of their respective trades; shoe makers hang out a gigantic shoe; jewelers a monster watch, and the dentist hangs out a gold tooth; but up in the Mountains of New Hampshire, God Almighty has hung out a sign to show that there He makes men.” Isn’t that cool?! Who wouldn’t want to see this Old Man of the Mountain. But unfortunately, time and weather had struck again. In 2003, the formation that had been the state emblem since 1945, collapsed to the ground. It made me sad to learn this and I’m not even from New Hampshire. The natives of the state were dismayed and often left flowers at the base of the cliffs. Nine years after the collapse, a memorial was opened to the Old Man.
It was quite a unique memorial. Stones on the ground marked where you should stand based on your height. Then if you looked towards Cannon Mountain a steel sculpture allows you to view what the Old Man looked like while still in all his glory.
I was intrigued with the steel sculptures on the Old Man of the Mountain Profile Plaza but so disappointed that the real man wasn’t there anymore. Just one more reminder that things are always changing. I’d like to think that something as long standing as a state emblem would last, but it didn’t. One more reminder to enjoy the beauty of the moment and the things that are here…now…before time, weather or whatever takes them away.