Wednesday, July 14, 2010
On top of old Smokey...er, Wildcat
Today we went exploring in the car...first the town of North Conway...the Saco Campground sits in the middle of a beautifully shaded area of town, and somehow, a series of outlet malls has sprouted up all around the campground. When you are in the campground, you feel like you are a million miles away from civilization, except there are a lot of families here. There are many, many amenities to use and enjoy--floating down the Saco River, shopping, hiking, riding an old cog railway up Mt. Washington, driving the Auto Road up Mt. Washington, a disc golf course on the side of Wildcat Mountain (we're going to go play it tomorrow, I have my discs on board!) and so many more things to do, I'll be listing them in the next few days. we went north on White Mountain Highway up to Wildcat Mountain, a ski resort in the winter. In the summer, because of the unpredictable winters New Hampshire is now having, and warm ones at that, they are trying to pull summer tourism to the area. We saw that there were gondola rides up the side of the mountain, and a Zipline ride as well. Eldy, being the adventursome type, says, "Hey, wanna try it?" Me, being equally as adventurous except when it comes to roller coasters (no way, no how) said, "SURE!" Well, neither one of us has had much experience on a ski lift. I was on one once or twice in my teens, many many years ago...so we hop on and start up the mountain. I said that this was the scary part, there was nothing to hold us in...what if the lift lurched or something? We could just fall out. Eldy says, don't look at the ground. I say, OK, but grab onto the side pole, and as we get 3/4 of the way to the top, we see a sign that says, "raise the bar and get ready to exit"..BAR???? WHAT BAR???? Oh, the one above our heads that nobody told us to bring down in front of our laps so we would be more securely strapped in? Ahhhh, ok...we quickly bring the bar down at our waist, just as we come to the end of the ride..we felt very foolish not knowing about the bar. Then we hike around a bend on a steep hill and come out to the zipline ride. They harness you in, and they made me put my camera in the zipped back of the chair. Rats! Can't get the perfect photo...but did get some photos of the view at the top of the zipline towards the mountains and the parking lot, and the chairs we sat in, and the workers before we took off. $20.00 a person, one minute ride, and it was FAST, about 35 miles an hour down the mountainside and a big thrill of a rush of adrenaline. The only bad part was there was a severe jolt at the end of the ride, and just before you stop, you look like you are going to ram the end of the line where the electrical towers are located. The look of terror on my face to the workers calmly sitting by the side waiting for the lift to lurch to a stop, must have been quite the source of entertainment as we came in for the jolting landing! If you have neck problems or back problems, this might not be quite the right activity for you. It was a heckuva ride for a fantastic view. Trouble was, panic set in the first five seconds as they open the gate, but then after that, I tucked my feet under me to make myself go faster and whoo--eeee, what a ride!