Saturday, September 10, 2016

Mt. Washington via Cog Railroad

After spending a night just across the border along Route 1 in Maine, we traveled on to Gorham, New Hampshire. This would be our jump off place for a trip up Mount Washington via the cog railway.

We learned that the first train of the day was the only time the steam locomotive was used so we got up early and hurried over to see if we could get tickets. Things didn't look too promising as we headed out. The clouds were shrouding the peak and we ran into a little drizzle as we drove around to the base of the railway but then--shazam!--things cleared up and it was beautiful!

I've hiked up Mt. Washington several times and ridden the cog railroad down once. (The fog was impenetrable that day.) This was the first time I would take the train up AND down. It was fun!

View of the track from the boarding area. Clouds still obscure the peak.

That's the base. The peak is considerably higher.
 The base also has some lovely steam tractors on display

Then there's the steam locomotive that will push us up the hill.

It's slanted like that because of the slope. The boiler will be level once the engine hits the slope.

And the clouds are (mostly) clearing away.

The Lake of the Clouds Hut (on the right) is partially hidden by the smoke from the stack
 The Lake of the Clouds Hut is one of many maintained by the Appalachian Mountain Club. I've hiked to it several times.

Visitors' Center at the peak. Things have changed since I was last here!

Lake of the Clouds viewed from the peak.
 The Lake of the Clouds Hut is 1.5 miles from the peak along the Appalachian Trail. The two lakes are the highest in New England.

A reproduction of the original peak house that was home to early thrill seekers.

Somewhere out there may be the Atlantic Ocean.

And over here may be Canada.

Wild Cat Ski runs to the east. I've hiked that ridge, too.

Rock cairns mark the trails above tree line.

As we headed back down, the clouds came rolling in.

They began creeping up the slope and covered the trails to the north.

They were a little thicker down the slope.
We were fortunate to have had such a clear morning for our visit. The clouds would roll in that afternoon and we would have some drizzle for two days as we headed off to the Burlington, Vermont.

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