Last week, I had the pleasure of seeing the USS Constitution “sail” through Boston Harbor for the last time for the next 3 years. The weather was glorious and I timed it just perfectly to be able to see the ship as she passed Faneuil Hall and Old North Church.
Also got to hear the Dropkick Murphys as they played on the deck.
Sooo many people were on board the ship, over 500 people. When I went on my turnaround, there were many fewer people and you could wander the deck a lot easier.
The Constitution then fired a 17-gun salute near the Coast Guard base. When she was built and launched, it was around that part of the North End. Hearing the cannons was fun, but you could also feel it inside your knees.
So, I made it up and down the mountain without falling down once, which is actually quite an accomplishment for me.
The week began with some beer:
A sampler from Moat Mountain, lovely place to eat and lovely place to stay about 20 miles away from Mt. Washington and nice comfy beds.
Larry came along for the ride and the weather reminded him of traveling on the ocean with all the fog and rain.
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.
A quick picture after we hit the summit going down Lion’s Head.
You can see how different the weather can be in just a few hours. It was lovely on the way down from the summit.
Remember, kiddies! Be Ice Smart! And remember to scream and wave your hands in the air while running away from large ice boulders.
I love $3 pint glasses!
But orgasmic, organic berries are even better!
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.
Well, our little party was a success…only 1 car got lost and ended up by the airport. They were also the car that had a person slightly freak out when they went through the tunnels under the harbor and who asked every few minutes “Is that an airplane?!”
Too bad about the Patriots, though. The Jets suck.