On the Mount Washington Road

by Kimberly J Tilley

This past weekend we headed up north for a trip to the White Mountains National Forest. On the way up we were driving with clear blue skies, and then it turned to cloud cover, and then a mix of clouds with  patches of blue sky. All we wanted was a rain free day. When we finally got to the halfway point on the auto road, we were driving in the clouds.

The mountain had a recent snow fall days before we went.  We were expecting to see some snow on the ground.  But there was none.  There was frost hugging plants and stones though.  Instead this was what we had seen.

It looked like that what little snow had fallen had sculpted itself onto any object that it could.  It was like walking around a gallery of an abstract artist.  There were so many little layers with pointed ends on poles, chains, railing, stones and the vegetation.

It was cold.  But unlike last years trip, it was not windy.  There was a breeze, but it was not the high wind we had to try and walk in on our October 2011 trip.  Take a look at these flags. They are looking a bit frozen to me. Yet they are not frozen enough that they cannot be moved around by the little wind the mountain had.

Here are some photographs of the clouds descending onto the mountain top.

If you prefer not to drive on the auto road yourself, there is a train and a series of vans that is run by the park rangers. This is a picture of the train you can take up to the mountain top starting at the base in the Glenn.

Have a look at this! Beautiful clouds, the Autumn foliage on the mountains. This is one of my favorite photos from the trip.

And now for some pretty Autumn scenes of the area from and around the mountain. The first three photos were taken while on the mountain, and the last one was taken from the base of the mountain.

And now with all the pretty and interesting pictures shown and told about, I would just like to say that I am disappointed in the behavior of some of the visitors. Some of the people were rude and seemed like snobby people who thought that there was nobody else on the mountain but themselves. I even had one very tall man nearly walk into me, just because he did not bother to realize that the cafe was filled with other people who just happened to not be 7 feet tall like himself. And the only reason we avoided colliding was because I took a step back.

The auto road is dangerous and YES there is one lane for the travel up and one lane for the travel down. On one side you have the danger of rolling off the mountain, on the other side of the road you have the danger of rolling into the mountain. While one is less severe, it is still an unnecessary and costly accident that nobody really wants to be involved with. But some people think that it is OK to drive down the middle of the road or a bit to close to the other cars in the opposite lane. And it is not!

The vehicle shown here was one who was really irritating me. We had a difficult time with him at one of the scenic out looks, where he thought he would just not pull in all the way and just park far enough from the edge of the vegetation and another car so that nobody else could park next to him. This resulted in a bit of chaos in the parking lot. And we had the unpleasantness of having to watch and follow this man down the mountain, all the while being oblivious to other drivers in the other lane.

It does not matter where you live, WHEN you are visiting New Hampshire, you SHOULD be driving with care and safety in mind! The weather, roadway, and population can and does change quickly. If you are an arrogant rude driver you will cause an accident!