Well, I thought we had seen the last of the moose, since we were in a more civilized area" here in North Conway, but I was encourage to see different moose signs that said, "BRAKE FOR MOOSE--IT COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE. There were a couple of these along ten and eleven mile stretches of road. We were coming back from traveling by car to the top of Mt. Washington, (more on that later) when we saw a car in front of us, brake and pull off to the side on a mountainous stretch of road (heck, it's all mountainous all the way there and back) and as we slowly passed the driver, I saw her with her camera from the driver's seat stretching across the seat taking photos. I glanced right and saw a big, black female moose standing a few yds into the forest. I yelled, "MOOSE!" to Eldy and he pulls off the road carefully and safely, and backs up a bit so I can get that elusive moose photo. (What is is that we are suddenly enthralled with moose?) As I get out of the car, and slowly and quietly make my way closer to the moose sighting, what I didn't see except for the people who pulled in right in front of us, and who starting sprinting past me to see the moose, is the 15 cars that abruptly stopped behind the photographer lady and us, and who all came out of their cars running to the spot where the moose was! Eldy says many of the cars stopped right in the highway lane,not even bothering to pull off the road and they just poured out of their cars to gawk at the moose, who by this time, was wise to us and decided to go lumbering off back into the woods. I got a shot of her between the trees, and her rear end. (lovely shot) I suspect that some of the many collisions the signs are talking about are probably not all collisions with moose, but cars rear ending each other as they rubberneck to see a spotted moose! Very dangerous indeed, and this was at 3:00 PM today, and not a normal time to spot moose (dawn and dusk, like deer)
Ok, back to the thrill of the day...We've been experiencing remarkable things lately..I'm sure this blog will not always be this interesting, but for now, enjoy! We chose to DRIVE to the top of Mount Washington, the third highest peak east of the Mississippi on the Auto Road. This road first opened in 1861. The mountain is 6,288 ft. high. We chose today to go because weather conditions change rapidly and today was the only predicted sunny day this week.They charge a toll, 23.00 for a car and driver, and 8.00 additional for another passenger. It's a VERY unique experience. They give you a CD to play with the history of the road and the interesting weather presented, and you drive in the lowest gear on your car all the way up AND all the way down, of course. There are many outlooks and spots to pull off and reminders all the way in both directions to cool your brakes and engine by pulling over and stopping occasionally. There was quite a bit of fog and clouds at the top. Temperature at the top was a balmy 61 degrees today and it felt wonderful. There's a little museum to check out and it was interesting to see the hikers come in with all their gear and special clothing. We took some photos at the top, but the view was more spectacular on the way up and on the way down when the clouds would disperse for a bit so you could see stuff. There were severe dropoffs on both sides of the very narrow road, this trip was not for the fainthearted and especially not if you have a fear of heights! Taking photos helped keep me from worrying about brake failure or the brake linings burning up. They tell you not to ride the brakes so I was having a series of mini whiplashes as Eldy deftly applied the brakes intermittently. (just kidding, honey!) Speed limit all the way up and down is 10-15 mph recommended. As a final activity for the day, I convinced Eldy to play 9 holes of disc golf (like golf only with special frisbee type discs) We rode the ski lift up to hole #1, and walked, rather hiked our way through nine holes down the side of Wildcat Mountain, where we did the zip line yesterday. One of the photos shows Eldy retrieving his disc from the basket with the mountains in the background. We are pooped! Gotta do this stuff while we are physically able, ya know?
I'm sure you can appreciate the effort it takes to do the Mt. Washington Auto Road - on a bike! Our best friend's son did it several years ago in an annual race they have. Very trecherous, and was done in the fog and light rain.ReplyDelete
I've always been fascinated with Mt. Washington. What makes its weather so harsh, given its modest height?
From wikipedia: The weather of Mount Washington is notoriously erratic. This is partly due to the convergence of several storm tracks, mainly from the South Atlantic, Gulf region and Pacific Northwest. The vertical rise of the Presidential Range, combined with its north-south orientation, makes it a significant barrier to westerly winds. Low-pressure systems are more favorable to develop along the coastline in the winter months due to the relative temperature differences between the Northeast and the Atlantic Ocean. With these factors combined, winds exceeding hurricane force occur an average of 110 days per year. From November to April, these strong winds are likely to occur during two-thirds of the days.
The *avg* temp at Mt. Washington is 27F; the wind avgs 35mph on an annual basis; avg annual precip is 102" including 26 feet of snow. The fastest ground wind speed ever recorded by a person was at the top in 1931 - 231mph!