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Lost River

Lost River

13.9. 16.

Back on the Kancamagus

 It’s a beautiful morning. I’m finally leaving Jigger Johnson’s Campgroundfollowing yesterday’s adventures at Mt. Washington, Cathedral Ledge and Bear Notch Road. Hitting the Kancamagus, I’m on my way to Lincoln, and from there to Vermont.

Two cold nights, and the trees are already shifting colors. In between the green conifers, shine the reds and purples of the maples and birches. How beautiful!

Taking example from the Serbian woman, I stopped on the side of the road in one of the picnic rest areas. I got the stove out and cooked myself hot chocolate with almond milk. I must have disturbed some birds who were trilling their beautiful songs, but now had to inform each other of my presence.

Interesting how energy is generated. Since I stopped at the picnic area, a few young couples pulled over as well, checking what the attraction was. They circled the spot, asking questions about the place, but none stayed.

From there, I moved on to Lincoln. My first stop was the body shop. A very helpful and down-to-earth mechanic made some phone calls on my behalf. He said I can order a new bumper from an off-market source for $300 including the work, but I’ll need to stay in the area three days for the part to arrive. He knew nothing about the insurance part of things. I was not in the mood to get stuck once I set my mind up on moving, so I declined. I kept his offer in mind.

Jim texted me that I should have gotten the part – it sounded cheap. Still, I decided to move on. If I found one place, I will find another. Plus, it might be cheaper in Canada. Decisions again, and on the spur of the moment. This one was easy, as the instinct to move on was paramount. The damage had no effect on the functioning of the car.

While in town, I got two new gas cartridges for eleven dollars, cheaper than the camping stores. I stopped at the outdoor mall on main street and had a fish and chips, then hit the road again.

Finding a Lost River...

Looking at the map to what’s nearby, I saw “Lost River Gorge and Caves”. That sounded nice, so I told the robot to send me there. With a bit of fumbling, I eventually found myself at the entrance to a beautiful private reserve. They asked for $19, which I decided was worth it.

At the gift shop there were all kinds of warnings, including one against wearing sandals. Atypically, the ranger told me: “No problem, you don’t need to go back to the car to change…” . I looked at the crystals and gemstones, dollies and dried flowers, then moved on to the boardwalk. In some ways it was a relief. No treading on tree roots or balancing on rocks. This was an easy walk, even as it entailed a downhill and the corresponding uphill on the way back. There were numerous people on the trail, but it wasn’t crowded.

Lost River Gorge and Caves, White Mountains, NH

Lost River Gorge and Caves, White Mountains, NH. Boardwalk to waterfalls
The boardwalk down to the gorge. Lost River, NH.
Squirrel on boardwalk, Lost River reserve
A cute squirrel welcomed me right at the start
Water cascades, Lost River Gorage and Caves, White Mountains, NH
The views over the waterfalls were enchanting as always.
Water cascading, Lost RIver Gorge and Caves Reserve, NH
Water coming out of a tunnel. Lost River, NH.

And meeting some compatriots...

Walking on the boardwalk, I met two Israelis from a West Bank settlement. They were, of course, stunned that I was travelling alone and camping. Their kids have just left home, so we had that in common, and they were nice and easy-going. This for them was a short acquaintance trip to the United States. Interestingly, they flew over to Boston and came straight to this spot, Lost River, NH. Everybody has their individual ways to travel this world. We took each other’s pictures:

   Meeting a copatriot at Lost River Gorge and Caves, NH    On the Boardwalk, Lost River Gore and Caves, White Mountains, NH

Israeli couple watching waterfalls. Lost River Gorge and Caves, NH

Amazing Ttrees and Challenging Caves

Another advantage of such a well-maintained site is the multiplicity of  interpretive panels, giving information about the history, geology and biology of the area. I enjoyed taking pictures of the falls, following the succession of lichen, mosses, and then higher plants and trees on the granite bedrock.  Trees here derive their nourishment from small specks of soil, stuck in little crevices and cracks, to which they send serpentine roots. Those might go over the ground for meters. One had its roots on one side of a bridge while the actual tree was on the other. Amazing beings…

Rooting for survival, Trees at Lost River Gorge and Caves reserve, NH
Tree roots is what Lost River Reserve is all about. The tree roots in one place and grows in another. An amazing adaptation to harsh conditions.

Stunning tree rooting and anchoring techniques, Lost River Gorge and Caves, White Mountains, NH

Trees rooting at Lost River Gorge and Caves Reserve, NH

Cave with Lantern, Lost River Gorge and Caves Reserve, NH
Inside the caves. Lost River

Cave, Lost River Gorge and Caves, White Mountains, NH

Further down you reached the “caves” –  not what I expected, but a lot of fun. I climbed in and out of several such cavities, when I met with the Israelis again. They watched over my stuff as I crawled in. The man was reluctant to try, but I got the woman to climb down some stairs and brave the underworld. It was enjoybale for me to challenge another woman to get out of her comfort zone and esperience new things.

Cliffs, trees and roots in Lost River Gorge and Caves Reserve, NH
Geology, biology and climate combine to create amazing ecosystems. Lost River, NH.

When they took leave, an incredibly friendly ranger helped me with one particularly difficult cave, watching over my stuff and giving guidance. He showed me another cave, even more challenging. This one required substantial upper body strength, as I needed to lift myself up through a narrow crevice. Despite his encouragement, I gave up. Upper body strength – not my forte…

He later showed me a rock he discovered in one fissure, that looked quite like the map of the United States –  Texas,Florida and all. It became a park attraction and was even shown on a plaque.

A natural
Is that the U.S. of A? Lost River boulder featuring “map”.

       Ranger, Lost River, NH

Before moving on, I took a side trail to see the site’s new expansion – an attraction path, geared for families, complete with cute bear figures oversitting gates and gazeebos:

       Lost River Gorge and Caves recreational hikeForest post with teddy bear sculptures. Lost River, NH

       Recreational walk. Bear sculptures on gate. Lost RIver Gorge and Caves . NH

On the way out, I took a look at their fossil collection 

Lost River Gorge and Caves - fossil collection

and  on to Vermont

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