Monthly Archives: July 2015

White Mountains Part 4

Our vacation wound down as the impending weather closed in.  Our last stop of the Lost River.  How did we find the Lost River, you ask?  Turns out it’s right on the map!  We got there just as they were starting to close up, so we assured them we wouldn’t dawdle and ran in.  I expected it to be just like Flume Gorge, but it was really very different.

The concept is kind of the same – a wooden boardwalk that follows a river, but the riverbed is strewn with boulders that have forms caves which are marked so that you can climb through them.  Lucky for (claustrophobic) me, the boardwalk went around the caves, so I waved them into each of them and met them on the other side!

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See? River – check. Boardwalk – check. Yet not remotely like Flume Gorge. Go figure.

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Let’s go find some caves!

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Aaaahhhh… smiling faces. We must have had fun!

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Our last view of New Hampshire before it started to pour. Goodbye until next time!

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White Mountains Part 3

Zip line!  Jacob had done a zip line last summer while on a weekend trip with his grandmother, but the rest of us were newbies.  Rather than do a zip line tour, we thought we should start small just in case it was so terrifying that some of us chickened out.  So, Loon Mountain, has a “small” zip line that goes about 750 feet over a river, and then send you back.

It was absolutely terrifying simply stepping off a platform and trusting this little wire to hold you up and whiz you along, but lo and behold, it worked and we all lived!  I offered to go first so that I could run for the camera and take pictures of everyone else:

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All in all, we decided that we were all courageous enough to try it again, and next time we’d do a tour…

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White Mountains Part 2

The real purpose of visiting the White Mountains was to ride the Cog Railway.  We’ve talked about doing it for years, but never got ourselves together to actually make it happen… until now.  We found out that the first run each day is with a coal-fired steam engine rather than diesel.  Who could pass that up?  So we got up early and made our way to the base of Mount Washington.

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This is the coal tender.

So the route is pretty much STRAIGHT up the mountain.  The average slope is a 25% grade (the steepest portion being 37%), so the steam engine is tilted at a 25% angle to promote optimum steam production.  But when it pulled up, it looked like it was broken!

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Ummmm… your engine is sagging.

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These are the actual cogs that the gears grab as they go up the mountain.

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Yes, that’s actual coal.

On the way up, we were allowed to wander around the passenger car.  There wasn’t actually far to wander – it’s just the one passenger car pushed by the steam engine.  But walking down toward the back is hilarious, because it almost feels like you’re falling down the aisle, and the way back up to our seat is like walking up an incredibly steep hill.

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Check out the mountains behind the engine… Beautiful!

We made it to the top just before a storm was settling in, so we got a beautiful view of the mountain range capped by storm clouds.

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Obligatory summit shot.

The trip back down was a bit more subdued, mostly because it was scary.  The seats turn around, so you are facing down the mountain, and they are tilted back slightly, but not nearly enough to make you feel that you don’t have to brace yourself or you’ll go sliding right off your seat and onto the seat back in front of you.  The brakeman is in the front of the car working furiously to keep our weight from putting too much pressure on the engine.  We all stayed seated, and breathed a sigh of relief, and a round of applause when we reached the bottom!

 

 

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Here’s a diesel engine coming up as we were going down.

We all agreed that we want to ride the railway again someday, and one 14 year old young man is determined to hike up the mountain next time!  We’ll see!








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White Mountains Part 1

Speaking of exploring new places, this year, we took our Welcome-To-Summer mini-vacation in Lincoln, New Hampshire, on the western side of the beautiful White Mountains.  Nathan has fond memories of visiting the area in his youth – we thought it was finally time to get up there and do some exploring.

Our first stop was Flume Gorge, a beautiful, natural gorge cut into the mountainside.  There is a boardwalk winding it’s way up the river, and then a nice trail coming back down.  Despite the fact that two out of three of the children are not the most happy hikers, we heard absolutely no complaints during the hour and a half or so we walked in the gorge.

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We did a lot of holding up boulders.

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… and climbing among boulders.

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Another friendly hiker offered to take a family shot. This proves I was actually there.

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Rainbow at the water fall!

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Climbing up and up and up. It was beautiful, cool and breezy, and LOUD!

Stay tuned for more New Hampshire adventures!

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