As you know (if you read this post), I traveled to New Hampshire and back last week. We left on Sunday morning, right when the skies decided to open up and rain its sorrow upon is for days. Luckily we still had about a day and a half of nice weather … and plenty of time to take hundreds of photos. Here are the highlights:
Here’s our campsite at Eastern Slope Camping Area. I don’t really like sharing my tent, so my brother and I both have our own. Mine is the yellow, white and blue one in the front.
Just through the treeline in the previous photo is the bank of the Saco River. It’s a weird, slow-moving river with sandy shores and crystal clear water (at least in the Conway, NH area). Lots of people swim, canoe and tube in this river, but river-swimming creeps me out, so I did not partake.
The campground featured “Free Wifi” (I guess it only reached to the bounds of the ‘office and store?), so I was stuck in my tent without Internet access! “OH THE HUMANITY!” I screamed over and over again. At least this tree had an electrical outlet, so I could charge my cell phone, camera, Kindle, my other camera and my iPod every night. At least I was able to access the free Wifi at McDonalds…
While the road signs claim that there are actually Moose in New Hampshire, we did not see any. If you ever see a moose, you’re supposed to break … otherwise you will just up and die. I have a feeling that it’s much like hitting a brick wall, cuz those things are huge.
Our plan was to hike Mt. Washington along the 4.1 mile Tuckerman Ravine Trail (pictured above), leaving from Pinkham Notch around 9am. In reality, my brother quickly realized that he was in much worse shape than when we hiked the mountain two years ago, and we had to turn around about 45 minutes into the hike. I was crazy-disappointed and kinda pissed … but didn’t feel right leaving him behind to hike the mountain alone. Next time I go to NH, I’m bringing someone who can handle the hike … any volunteers?
We did end up driving to the top of Mount Washington by way of the Mt. Washington Auto Road. From their website: “Most vehicles take about 30 minutes to make the 7.6 mile ascent and from 30 to 45 minutes to come down depending on traffic, weather conditions and whether or not you need to stop to cool your brakes. The Auto Road is a steep, narrow mountain road without guardrails. The average grade is 12%. As the sign at the base of the Road states – “If you have a fear of heights, you may not appreciate this driving experience”.”
Driving up the mountain was actually a lot scarier than I was expecting. I’ve never really had an issue with heights, but the lack of a guardrail kinda freaked me out a little bit. I know that guardrails don’t really protect you … but knowing that I could drive off the road and go barreling down the side of a mountain at any moment was a little freaky.
Views from the summit of Mt. Washington were breathtaking. From Wikipedia: Mount Washington is the highest peak in the Northeastern United States at 6,288 ft (1,917 m). It is famous for its dangerously erratic weather, and long held the record for the highest wind gust directly measured at the Earth’s surface, 231 mph (372 km/h) on the afternoon of April 12, 1934.
Luckily the drive down the mountain didn’t freak me out as much. To avoid overheating the brakes, we made lots of stops on the way down to take photos, wander around, pee in the bushes and enjoy the sites. Here’s another shot of the breathtaking views from Mt. Washington.
The drive home was another rainy mess, as baby Jesus decided to cry all over us for the 7-hour, 415 mile drive. Clearly there were some high points, but the rain + no hiking = kind of a sucky vacation. At least I had four more days off of work after I returned, to bum around NJ with my friends and family. …but yay! I get to go back to work today! ((slams head against desk in disgust))