Monday, May 30, 2011

Mt. Washington Cog Railway

Saturday of Memorial Weekend we took the cog train to the top of Mt. Washington in NH. This mountain is the Northeast's highest peak at 6,288 feet. There are three ways to get to the summit: cog rail, drive, hike. We chose the easiest.
The cog railway opened in 1869 and it claims to be the first mountain-climbing cog railway in the world. The grade averages 25% and the max is 37.4% It is like riding a rollercoaster straight up and then straight down. Glad they have good brakes.
The weather at the summit is very unpredictable.
The average annual temperature is below freezing. The highest wind velocity recorded at the top was 231 mph.
When we got to the base the top was engulfed in clouds. As we arrived at the summit the visibility was probably about 10 feet. So we didn't get to see the beautiful White mountains. Thanks goodness inside the mountain lodge at the top there were lots of pictures from one of the 60 days that it is clear here.

Going down was pretty thrilling. It takes about an hour to go up and another hour to go down (6 mph). We had an hour at the top to take pictures ?? and watch the hikers come in (4+hours to hike up).
Tomorrow we leave for Bangor to stay at friends and meet up with the Poutneys before we enter into Canada.

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