Another Beautiful Day on Mt Washington
Trip Start Oct 10, 2007
11Trip End Oct 16, 2007
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Known for its treacherous weather. Mt Washington is proud to tout the worst weather in America and while I didn't believe what could be so horrible about it at first, I learned while on our journey there. We decided to summit the mountain not by foot or by car but this time by Cog. The Cog Railroad that is. This railway, the first of its kind and still original since 1869, pushes cars up the mountain at a steep angle. The passenger car is not attached at all to the coal engine car and is a nerve racking hour and ½ ride up 3 miles of steep, rickety, cog tracks that held us up by the locking mechanism with the likeness to a clock gear. We cracked one cog at a time to the top through the rain and fog. While the trip was intended to be a foliage overlook opportunity for us, seeing the mountain blanketed in white and ominous was a sight all of its own. As we got closer to the top the fog got thicker and the wind faster blowing the wood rafters in the passenger car around. Near the top we spotted a white cross. This spot marked the spot where hikers of Mt Washington were found dead and frozen. Only 10 feet from the train and 50 feet from the summit's shelter center, the weather was so bad; the hikers didn't even know they had arrived. As we stepped off the passenger car all the other visitors headed right for the visitors center. Freezing temperatures and wind gusts in the 20mph it was hard not to agree with their decision. We couldn't though. On top of Mt Washington for probably the only and last times in our lives, we had to have a look around. We managed to make it toward a summit sign for a quick picture of Joe after which we quickly ran for the shelter of the visitor's center. The center has a great panoramic area which was completely worthless to us and all we were able to really do was grab a cup of horrible but piping hot, hot chocolate and eavesdrop on the group of hikers who had summated the mountain after climbing all day. They were waiting for the cog to arrive but missed their ride down with us while waiting for the last of their party to arrive. We boarded our cog ride down and after about 45 minutes of jugging along, reached the bottom of our journey on the cog where the weather was clearer, but not much drier.At 6, 288 feet Mount Washington is part of the White Mountains in NH and is the highest point in the Northeast.