This morning we were up and out relatively early, leaving the motorhome about 9 AM for breakfast at Polly’s Pancake Parlor in Sugar Hill. The place is a favorite of both the locals and tourists. I had a waffle with fresh strawberries, whipped cream, and something they called Maple Hurricane Sauce. I believe it started out as sliced apples in maple syrup, which was boiled to cook and soften the apple slices. It was sickeningly sweet but so super delicious.
After breakfast we went on a scenic drive until we found someone whom we could ask directions. With his assistance we made our way to the eastern end of the Kancamangus Highway and drove on it until we hit the Franconia Notch Parkway, which takes you up through the park (I guess that’s why it's called a parkway). We were on our way to the Flume Gorge (no, it is not a ride at 6-Flags) and the Visitors' Center. It had huge parking lots for cars, buses, and RVs. Too bad overnight parking is not allowed. Tickets for Flume Gorge were $15 each, a little steep I thought. You had a choice of walking or riding a bus the half-mile to the start of the Flume Gorge trail. Don’t ask. You know we rode! The sign said that the bus would drop you off within 500 yards of the trail. Do you know how far 500 yards is when it is all uphill and includes about 50 million stairs? It must have been at least a mile. The trail followed the stream up the mountain to where it flowed through a narrow gorge. There was a boardwalk along one side of the gorge, which led through the gorge alongside the rushing water. It was really quite spectacular.
Believe it or not, we opted to forgo the bus and walk back to the Visitors' Center. In fact we even opted for the longer return hike (total of 1.5 miles instead of 0.5 miles) because we thought it would be downhill all the way. Most of it was, but it sure seemed like it was uphill most of the way. It’s embarrassing when groups of small children pass you on the trail and they are running their mouths nonstop and Carol Ann and I can barely get a breath.
When, at last, we made it back to the Visitors’ Center we were whipped and it was almost 2 PM so we decided it would be a good idea to return to the motorhome for some lunch and a nap before continuing our drive on the Kankamangus Highway. We stopped at a little market on the way and picked up some vanilla with caramel swirl ice cream for lunch. Why not? The next thing we knew it was 5 PM and too late for the drive. That’s OK, though.
We have fallen in love with this area and may come back this way after the Canadian Maritimes tour. We have always preferred mountains and trees to seashore and sand when it came to vacations. We keep asking ourselves why the hell do we live in Texas! I think it has something to do with family. Maybe we could talk them all into moving to the mountains. Perhaps in my next life.