Just saw a family of 5 raccoons in the backyard!! Someone else saw an oposssum in Maverick the other day, so it looks like the wildlife is trying to take over Eastie!
I have one more day, one more day of summer class, that is until I am done for a month. These short semesters are hell on your body and mind. You still have the same amount of work, but half the time to do it in.
Relationships suffer, stress mounts. More beer than usual is drunk. Nothing like making a power point presentation while drinking.
Finally turned on our AC from the 80s. It gets the room coolish…just have to be creative with the fans.
Onto finishing my presentation!
So, I made it up and down the mountain without falling down once, which is actually quite an accomplishment for me.
The last of the snow from the winter…it wasn’t as impressive as last year since it was all gloomy when we went by in the morning. If we had come down the same trail (which we should have) the pictures would have been much better.
We made it up here in fairly record time for me. 4 miles in just about 4 hours…with the extra weather and some issues with breathing and a large group of people standing in the middle of the trail, so annoying.
Four times up and cloudy skies each time. I actually had some clear skies once while almost to the top, but they went away fairly quickly. Mount Washington spends about 90% of its year in some sort of cover: fog, clouds, snow, sleet, rain. It looks like this time will be no different with showers predicted for the morning of our hike.
Hopefully by the time this summer is over, I will have two more summit pictures to show. One will be a true summit (in my mind) because I’ll walk up myself. The other one will be aided by a car ride (really a truck ride) up the Auto Road. As my birthday present to myself, I have booked myself a weekend at the Mount Washington Observatory. Not only do I get to be geeky and learn about weather, I get to sleep overnight on the summit. How cool is that? I would rather the clear skies for that because I am definitely bringing both my cameras (just got the new one) to try and take pictures of the stars! 🙂
Mount Washington stands at 6,288 feet (1,917 m) and is the highest point of both the White Mountain’s 4000-footers and of New Hampshire. It is known for having incredibly wild weather and holding the record for the highest wind gust measured at the Earth’s surface, 231 mph on April 12, 1934. Before Europeans arrived, it was known as Agiocochook.
First seen in 1524 by Giovanni da Verrazzano, it was first ascended in 1642 by Darby Field (for whom Mt. Field is named for). The Crawford Path was laid out in 1819, providing access to the summit. In 1861, a stagecoach road was placed for the summit (which was turned into the Mount Washington Auto Road) and in 1869 the Cog Railway was created.
One of the silliest things I’ve done in my life is to pick up a book entitled “Not Without Peril”; I did this on the first night of a 20 mile hike through the White Mountains and was fascinated by the ways that people have died on Mt. Washington. Some were quite simple, people wandering off trail or trying to summit in storms…other people have died in very unique ways, the ones who died by drowning caught my attention. Apparently, someone has also been murdered on the mountain in 2001.
I would strongly suggest not picking the book up before going on a hike through the Whites, but it is a good read overall.
In honor of my hike this weekend, I thought I would do a post a day about Mt. Washington. Today’s post: The Cog Railway.
A cog railway has a toothed rack rail and is named a cog because it has one or more cog wheels that mesh with the rack rail. Because of this, it is able to operate on steep gradients.
The first cog was in England in 1812 and the first in America was the Mount Washington Cog Railway in 1868.
While this train has been a source of endless joy and excitement for passengers, for hikers it is a totally different story. The train’s whistle is a constant companion as you hike up the mountain and plumes of smoke can be seen as you go up certain trails. The worst part, however, is when you get to the top and are all tired and excited to be on top of the summit and have to wait for people who took the train to take their pictures on top of the marker to take your own.
There is something satisfying about moving around these people with your stinky and large backpack and get stared at by people. Last Wed, we were hiking up Cannon and someone was saying on the trail “You wouldn’t want to hike all the way down there!” just as I was coming onto the trail. Several looks were given to us as we slogged on to the tower…I’m sure we’ll get some more this weekend, especially if it is raining.
We finally got to do something I’ve been wanting to do for a few years now…go to the sand sculpting contest at Revere Beach. It was interesting and then we walked up the beach for a bit with our feet in the water. Nice way to end the day.
So, today, the boy and I went sailing on the Charles. He has a membership there and we tried to go out the other day, but there were whitecaps and I don’t like sailing when the chances of me falling in the drink are elevated. We decided today was a lovely day to go, though, and set off on our adventure.
The sailing itself was nice. Not too many other boats out since it was overcast, but there was still a good breeze. I was taking pictures with my camera and got a bunch of good ones of the Boy and the scenery and he got a good one of me.
When coming in to dock, however, I had a job to do. I was supposed to reach out, grab the dock, and jump out while holding a line to hold the boat against the dock. The first part went fine, even the second part went fine. However, when I leaned out to get out of the boat under the boom, my camera fell from its ultra-safe hiding place of inside my life jacket and fell 5 feet to the bottom of the Charles River.
So angry at myself…I came within a half inch of grabbing it from the water, but those things sink quick! I feel really bad for polluting the waters of the Charles, but I feel really angry that my camera that I was going to use next weekend is gone and stupid that I didn’t keep a better hold on it. Also, it had my larger memory card in it so that is annoying as well.
I have been meaning to get a new small camera, but do not relish looking for a new one. And I doubt a new one will come in the mail before next Friday. But who knows, maybe I’ve paid my dues to Murphy this week?
Next weekend, the Boy and I will join hundreds of others on a climb up Mount Washington as part of a fundraiser for the Mount Washington Observatory. In April of 1934, the fastest surface wind gust in the world (231 MPH) was recorded there…I’ve seen the graph in person and it is just crazy.
I am $40 from the next level of fund raising and would love to be able to hit that mark, if you would be willing to support me I would be very appreciative. The link is here.
Finally can cross off a new summit from my 4,000 footer list! Thank god. Actually, there were many representatives for God on the mountain today as we were climbing with about 80 seminarians from around the world. It was slightly weird, but they were all very polite and eager to get up the mountain. Thankfully, though, they took the tram down or continued along the trail.
Its good, because then they (and no one else) got to see the Boy scrapped his knee and my pathetic attempts to apply first aid. AND they did not get to see my feet slide out from under me as I went ass first into a nice solid (and do I mean solid!) specimen of New England rock. I think I will have quite an interesting bruise and no running for the next few days.