Thursday night brought the first couple of inches of snow to Kingston, and along with the first snow, the first power outage of the season. The power was restored sometime after midnight, and Friday morning broke cold and bright, revealing a snow dappled forest across the Powow River from our home. Later in the morning we piled into the car for a planned trip to Pemi Cabins in Lincoln. On the way, we stopped and did some touristy things in Franconia Notch. We much prefer to go there this time of year when the Flume Gorge is closed for the season and there is no charge. It is a beautiful spot with a little snow and no crowds.
After taking the loop around the park that brought us to Flume Gorge, Liberty Gorge and Cascade, the Sentinel Pine Bridge and The Pool, we headed to the top of the notch to reverse direction and stop at The Basin on the way back south. Despite a bit of snow here and there, the sun was warm and there was still some foliage to be seen on the trees, albeit mostly the browns and golds of beech and birch, which cast wonderful golden light in the afternoon sun. After a quick trip around the Flume we went down to check in to our cabin.
After check in we headed back up the notch to turn around again, this time stopping at Lafayette Place to make the short hike up to Lonesome Lake. The air was still and brisk, and there was a couple inches of snow on the trail. The hike up went quick, and there were views across the notch and up to Franconia Ridge as the trees were now stripped of the foliage that blocks the views in spring and summer. After a quick stop at the edge of the lake, we started a counter clockwise hike around the lake by the Around Lonesome Lake Trail.
Within minutes we came to where we could gaze east across the lake to the beautiful, snow-capped ridge, which at the moment was reflected near perfectly in the water. Soon, a slight breeze blew across the water and obscured the reflection, but did little to spoil this wonderful, late afternoon masterpiece of nature. I've had well traveled people say to me, "What's so special about the White Mountains? They're nothing much." I guess you had to be there...