And, now you know, more of the story. (Sorry, if it causes an earworm.)
Friday, September 25, 2020
Wednesday, September 23, 2020
Our goal was a visit to the Flume Gorge, a spectacular 800-foot natural chasm. The walls of Conway granite rise to a height of 70 to 90 feet, 12 to 20 feet apart. It's accessed by walking the Flume Gorge Trail, open this year from May 22 through October 20. The Flume as an attraction is closed in winter months, so it’s not possible to hike through the entire gorge then. Due to changes and damage caused by frost heaving, the paths are rebuilt by a team of experts each year.
Currently, the trail is a one-way, 2-mile loop starting at check-in booths at the Flume Building as the Short Trail/Rim Path is closed. The self-guided walk is estimated to take 1.5 hours, ours took longer as we stopped often. The walk includes uphill walking and
a number of many stairs. The trail is mainly packed gravel which includes moderate uphill and downhill walking.
In the wake of COVID-19, expected restrictions are in place. Reservations are online only for a specific date and time slot. The Visitor's Center doesn't offer the former 20-minute movie on Franconia Notch State Park. The cafeteria is closed with packaged food items available for purchase. The gift shop (of course) is open. A 6-foot distance is recommended between those not with your party. A bus that would take visitors to Boulder Cabin, a short walk from the Flume is not running. Other trails are off limits. Children and adults can no longer crawl through and explore trail caves. Visitors are advised to keep traffic moving through the Gorge by not congregating at photo spots.
Discovery date aside, the Flume Gorge started some 200 million years ago (Jurassic Period) as molten rock cooked far below the earth's surface. Erosion gradually exposed the rock and as the pressure eased, horizontal cracks formed.While the gorge was covered by glaciers in the Ice Age, the ice sheet didn't greatly change its surface. The Ice Age was responsible for other popular natural features like Table Rock and The Pool. Water erosion and frost-heaving continue to deepen the gorge and is ongoing.The granite that makes up the 70 to 90-foot gorge walls is called Conway granite. In 1877, the granite was named after the nearby town of Conway, NH, by Edward Hitchcock, professor of geology and theology and third president of Amherst College. Hitchcock had spent several years as a minister in Conway before beginning his geological career.
The picturesque Flume Covered Bridge ↑ is one of the oldest in NH, built in 1886 and restored several times. Such bridges were often called “kissing bridges” because of the darkness and privacy they provided. This bridge was built across the scenic Pemigewasset (“swift or rapid current” in the Abenaki Indian language) River.
Table Rock ↑ is a formidable section of Conway granite, 500 feet long and 75 feet wide, created during the last Ice Age. Over time, the rushing waters of the Flume Brook exposed this large outcropping of rock. The rocks are slippery and visitors are cautioned to stay on the trail. Normally, there is more water on the rocks, less now because of drought conditions.
The Pool ↑ is a deep basin in the Pemigewasset River. It was formed at the end of the Ice Age, 14,000 years ago, by a silt-laden stream flowing from the glacier. The Pool is 40 feet deep and 150 feet in diameter, and is surrounded by 130 foot high cliffs. A cascade rushes into it over fragments of granite that have fallen from the cliffs above.
The Sentinel Pine stood for centuries on a high cliff above the pool and was one of the largest in NH. It was about 175 feet high with a circumference of 16 feet. The hurricane of September 1938 uprooted the giant pine. Its trunk bridges the river above the Pool and forms the base of the Sentinel Pine ↑ covered bridge which offers a great view of the Pool.
Walking along the gravel path from the Flume, we saw so many glacial boulders ↑. Befitting their name, these are very rocks, weighing over 300 tons. Over 25,000 years ago, during the glacial period, a great ice sheet more than a mile thick moved over this area. The mass of ice was powerful moving large and small boulders. As the ice sheet retreated, the boulders (glacial erratics) remained.
|1874 Abbot-Downing Concord Coach|
The visitors center has several popular exhibits including a 1874 Concord Coach made by the Abbot-Downing Company, a now defunct coach and carriage builder formerly based in Concord, NH. The exhibit shows what it would have been like to travel around Franconia Notch by wagon.
The coach, labeled Plymouth-Franconia Mountains, was obtained from a Vermont source in 1933 by the Society for the Preservation of New Hampshire Forests and placed on display at the Flume in Franconia Notch SP where it has remained under state custody.
Coincidentally, NH newcomer and fellow blogger Marcia and husband, Dan, also visited Flume Gorge the same day, but in a different time slot. As when we both recently visited America's Stonehenge, our paths did not cross (again). Perhaps they will on a future outing. You can read Marcia's blog post about their visit here.
Monday, September 21, 2020
Despite chilly temperatures this past Saturday evening, there was a parade in Nashua, NH, but not just an ordinary parade. What made this one more unusual is that it was on water, not land, and its participants were all in kayaks. This photo was taken just after the parade started about 6:30 pm. A local kayak company put a notice on its website for all interested kayakers to join in.
These were not ordinary kayaks, but brightly lit and highly decorated ones. Although it is difficult to see them lit up in the above photo. The flotilla paddled on the Nashua River which flows adjacent to the millyard apartment complex where we reside.
Just after starting out, the kayakers circled the first of two fountains. Nearly all of the 60+ crafts were brightly lighted. Many included decorative add-ons, everything from palm trees, toy sharks, balloons, pirate flags, holiday decorations with some music accompaniment.
Once paddlers travelled downriver, lighting improved somewhat. This was the second kayak event this season. An earlier one in late July was on a much warmer eve when participants wore shorts and t-shirts. This time, most kayakers donned much warmer gear. Saturday's daytime high barely reached the mid-60s; nighttime temps dropped to the high 30s.
The colorful flotilla of over 60 decorated and lighted kayaks circled the second fountain, went under the Main St bridge, then paddled back to the starting launch. This second and most likely final river event this year was viewed from the Main St bridge and our vantage point along the Nashua River bank with other apartment residents.
Admittedly, the photos in this post taken with my cell phone are not the clearest shots. That said, here's a drone video that really showcases this unique event.
Kudos to Ron, Emma and Edna who commented correctly that it was from the 1947 film, Miracle on 34th Street. It was spoken by the character of Alfred, a young Macy's janitor, portrayed by 17-year old Alvin Greenman, a native New Yorker.
This American holiday comedy-drama film garnered three Academy Awards: Edmund Gwenn (Kris Kringle) for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Valentine Davies for best Writing, Original Story, and George Seaton for Best Writing, Screenplay. It was also nominated for Best Picture, but lost to Gentleman's Agreement. In 2005, the Library of Congress selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry as being culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.
Friday, September 18, 2020
This photo was taken when we lived on the VA Eastern Shore.
Thursday, September 17, 2020
|TP choices in at least 3 stores here last week|
Edna (MA) said she found plenty of shortages and had to shop online for some paper products (when she could find them). She's had problems finding her favorite macaroni and in some places the prices are much higher.
Jeanie (MI) and others commented that cleaning supplies mentioned in my earlier post, like toilet bowl cleaners, were hard to find. I will add that this week there was a 2-pack of Lysol brand toilet bowl cleaner and as it was the last one on the shelf, I retrieved it, so am set for now.
|Some TB cleaner products in Nashua, NH stores last week|
|Yeast and flour supplies on a supermarket shelf this week in Nashua, NH|
|Semi-empty store shelves last week|
|Various hand sanitizer products in CVS and a local supermarket|
|Is there a cleaning difference to justify this price difference?|
Other products that several bloggers reported either being in short supply or not found included: rubbing alcohol, canned biscuits, canned foods, frozen foods, specific brand products. Also, other products that have been reported in short supply or hard to get are bicycles and personal computers. In our family, a second laptop was needed as both grandchildren are doing on-line learning. Their mom had to search around, but luckily found one before the start of classes this week.
While shortages continue for many consumables, local store shelves were loaded with these items.
In the words of Albert the (Macy's) janitor: A lot of bad "isms" floating around this world, but one of the worst is commercialism. Make a buck. Make a buck . . .
Can anyone name the movie this ↑ line is in? (There's a hint above; here's another one, it's a classic holiday film.) Answer next week.
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
This post is not the jukebox musical comedy film, Rock of Ages (2012) or the earlier Broadway play. Sorry if that disappoints anyone.
Wait, this post is about actual and very large rocks right here in New England in what's considered to be North America’s most enigmatic megalithic structures. A megalith is defined as a large pre-historic stone used to construct a structure or monument, either alone or with other stones.
Fall is the perfect time of year for unexplained mysteries. So, we took a day trip to the former Mystery Hill, renamed America's Stonehenge in the 1960s. There's so many stories, online and in print about this place, which we've never visited, but we did last week.
After a lot of reading, the site's former name seems more appropriate since this archaeological site is clouded by the mystery of its origins with many questions leading archeologists, scientists, historians and sightseers to speculate about its origins. Some claim that it’s over 4000 years old, making it the oldest man-made construction in the U.S.
|The Watch House named to explain its location outside the main site|
It's a place of low, rambling walls, oversize rock formations, cave-like formations, tunnels and stone walls scattered in a wooded 30 acres on a granite hilltop in Salem, NH (not the town noted with the 1692 Salem witch trials, that Salem is in MA).
|Walled pathway to main site|
- Built by unknown people knowledgeable in astronomy and stonework.
- Share astronomical alignments that can determine specific solar and lunar events.
- Attract adherents of New Age beliefs who gather for winter and summer solstice observances. Experts have determined the NH site is an accurate, astronomically aligned calendar.
Coincidentally, fellow blogger Marcia and husband, Dan, visited America's Stonehenge the same day we did. Our paths didn't cross that day, maybe on a future outing. You can see the blog post on their visit here.
Monday, September 14, 2020
Friday, September 11, 2020
Titled We Are, this artwork is one of 30 sculptures placed throughout the city of Nashua, NH, the only city in the U.S. with an annual Sculpture Symposium. While there is a directory to locate the artwork on walks around the city, this piece had neither a description or the name of the sculptor listed. (An online search was fruitless.) It's quite remarkable, and I'll see if it bears the name of the sculptor on a future walk downtown.
The purpose of the Nashua International Sculpture Symposium is to create outdoor public art that engages the public, generates enthusiasm for art, and identifies the city as a unique and special place. This year's symposium will add three more works.
On a somber note, Sept 11 is the 19th anniversary of the single deadliest terrorist attacks in the U.S. Nearly 3,000 people died in the destruction of the World Trade Centers in NYC and the downing of four airliners. This year's remembrance will be different because of the pandemic. Anyone can take a moment for a silent prayer.
Wednesday, September 9, 2020
The situation was so dire for many that an Australian bush poet, S.J. Paterson summed it up in a comedic parody, The Ballad of Dunny Roll included in a March Friday Funnies post.
Good news — apparently there's no longer a shortage of TP in many areas. Local store shelves are not only fully stocked, but there's been many sales.
I admit to a bit of curiosity about Cottonelle® Professional TP which it seems is for public restrooms. According to the company's website: Make a lasting impression every time with the home-like comfort of Cottonelle® Professional Toilet Paper. A premium toilet paper that delivers a superior feeling of luxury for customers . . .
The things one learns.
TP is not the only former items that was once in short supply. Other items like — hand sanitizers and disinfectant wipes were often hard to find as well. Lately, I've seen store shelves fully stocked with these products and, of course, all types of masks, face shields thermometers and other items.
That's not to say there's no product shortages, but earlier shortage issues seem to be have been replaced by others in short or limited supply, like — toilet bowl cleaner and similar disinfectant cleaning products. Over the past few weeks, local supermarket shelves and retail pharmacy shelves in Nashua, NH have posted signage for purchase limits.
That's assuming, there are any products to limit. Most times when we've been shopping, stores shelves have looked like this ↓.
Just Wondering — Is this the new shortage crisis?
Are any of these items in short supply where you live?
(Thanks for your comments on fall decos outside our apt entry. These were put up the first week in Sept, in hopes of fall-like 🍁 weather. However, it's been very warm and more like summer 🌞 the past 2 weeks.)