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.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Vermont and New Hampshire

We left Lancaster on a Sunday morning. Very glad to get out of the Historic Downtown area. Thank goodness there was no traffic and we knew where we were going.
Only stopped for an overnight in NY at the Sidney Elks. Nice spot.
Picture above - ferry across Lake Champlain in upstate NY. Only a ten minute ride but fun. Looking forward to the ferry to Newfoundland!

We stayed at the Vermont Wilflower Farm outside of Charlotte, VT. Large parking lot and nice fields (no flowers yet). Did a little shopping.
Saw a beautiful red fox when we arrived. Didn't get a picture though.

Didn't go far the next day - East Montpelier about 50 miles, to another Harvest Host site - Braggs Sugar farm.
Set up on the hill above the store. Beautiful views. Went shopping at the store. Bought maple and chocolate creamies (soft ice cream) and sat on the porch in their rockers. Then we bought maple syrup, maple flavored cheese, maple sugar. We are staying free but these food stores are my downfall.

Bragg Sugar farm is out in the country. They had rabbits and goats for the kids to pet. Beautiful countryside and very quiet.
We joined Harvest Host last year and now have used it 3 times. Each time we feel very fortunate to stay at these farms and winerys.

Stopped for the holiday weekend at a national campground in the White Mts. of New Hampshire. Dolly Copp CG is 6 miles south of Gorham, NH. We are very close to Mt. Washington. Half of the CG sites were reserved for the weekend but we were early enough that we got a great site.

Right after we got there a momma moose came through our site looking for her calf. Thank goodness they meet up right by our rig. We got some great shots.

We have done two hikes and one bike ride. One hike was along the river. The forest here are very lust (we have had rain almost every day) and there are little streams everywhere. Beautiful hiking!

Chica has gone with us on our hikes. She loves the water as you can see!

Yesterday we went to the other side of Mt. Washington and did the Cog Train. That will be the next blog.