Ever since we moved to New England around 33 years ago and I started seeing the bumper stickers, “This Car Climbed Mt. Washington,” I've wanted to go see what it was all about. Last week I managed to remove that particular item from my Bucket List when Greg, Olive and I drove up to the summit of Mt. Washington in Gorham, New Hampshire. Mt. Washington is the highest peak in the Northeastern US, standing at 6,288 feet and is the most prominent mountain east of the Mississippi River.
On the day we left, the weather wasn't the greatest and we were a bit afraid that the Auto Road would be closed. But we shouldn't have been worried. The Auto Road was open and we were in business.
The old Mark Twain saying about the changeable weather in New England is doubly true for Mt. Washington. As we started out, it was sunny enough but the clouds quickly covered the tallest hills masking them completely and then the clouds were gone again.
At the Summit, the fog was really socked in...or was it? Like Twain said, just wait five minutes.
I wasn't the only one who was fascinated by these changes, as you can see.
The wind was another thing! The day we were there, it whipped around from 20 mph to 50 mph, but the highest land wind speed was recorded in Mt. Washington in 1934, when they measured the wind at 231 miles per hour. I'm glad I wasn't there then!
The chains that hold down the roof of the Mt. Washington Stage Office building are reminders of the fierce and changeable weather at the summit.
We looked around for a bit and then started our decent, watching the weather change as we drove down.
In the distance, we could see the ski trails on another mountain, which reminds me that I would really like to go up there in the winter time so I guess, I only half crossed Mt. Washington off my list.
Closer to the bottom of the mountain, we stopped among the thick woods to let our car breaks cool down.