Jake and I enjoying cooling off at Diana's Bath.
The chilling of the air temperature (yes we have to admit it even if we don’t want to) got me thinking about warmer days which reminded me about a place we visited while in New Hampshire this summer.
We were staying in North Conway when the waitress where we were having breakfast told us about Diana’s Bath, a place she told us she went regularly, although maybe not during the height of the summer tourist season. She assured us it was a short hike, well worth the effort when you arrived at your destination — a series of waterfalls with lots of wading pools, hence the name Diana’s Bath. And it was just outside town.
I don’t recall if it was that afternoon or the following day when, warm from a ride in the August heat, we decided to give it a try. Poor Jake was definitely feeling warm and we thought a dip at Diana’s might be just the thing to cool him off.
It wasn’t exactly what we expected, definitely less rustic and more tourist destination than we thought it would be, but still absolutely wonderful. There was a big parking lot with a pay-and-post toll, not so easy when you’re on motorcycles and anyone can take your tags, but we managed. Then we headed out along an easy, gravel walking trail for just over half a mile. The shady path meandered through the woods and we met lots of people, even families with strollers which is an indication of just how smooth the path was.
Jake, of course, loved it. It was a path and we let him lead. It was shady and cooler. He was a happy dog even before we reached the water.
And, wow, then there was the bath itself. If you looked beyond the dozens of tourists everywhere, it was absolutely breathtaking. Over centuries, the water has carved a series of pools out of the rock, creating a stunning place. I’m not great with estimating distances, but I’d guess it must stretch for about 200 yards, through a whole series of waterfalls and pools and ledges. With the summer sun shining off the wet rocks and the water, it was beautiful even with all the people. I can only imagine how fantastic it would be for the person lucky enough to get there all alone.
People were having so much fun that it was fun just to sit and watch them too. There were little kids splashing in the shallow parts and big kids jumping over and sliding down rocks. Mothers and fathers and grandparents were laughing and wading with children. There were a few groups of visitors who you could just tell had never experienced nature quite like it, either people from big cities or other parts of the world who had a sense of wonder and delight written all over their faces, particularly the younger ones.
Our RoadDog plunged right in and was soon scrambling over rocks and wading happily in shallow pools. He even found one ledge where he could stretch right out on his belly in the water, much to his doggy delight. And there were a few children who came along who petted him and played with him in the water. It was like a cool, wet doggy heaven for Jake.
Eventually, we convinced him it was time to go and he strolled back along the path to the bikes obviously content with his lot in life.
This is just one of the spectacular spots.