We let the kids sleep in because our tickets for the Cog train to go up Mt. Washington weren’t until 4:30 p.m. I briefly considered hiking it, then quickly hit “purchase” online for the tickets. We’ve been hiking and biking our brains out! Little did I know that it would have been LESS scary to hike it than ride the train…
The ride started out fine, but quickly became uncomfortable because of the high heat and humidity, cramped quarters, and the fact that we were going up a steep slope on a little tiny18″ cog! Seriously! We had watched the historical video, but it didn’t really register until we saw how small the cog was that pulls you up the mountain. We were a full train load of 50 people. The grade was an average of 25%, with the steepest being 36%, and at that point, Dan couldn’t stand up straight.
Eliza and I were happy to get to the top in one piece. It didn’t even register with the boys. Just another thrill for them! I talked to other people sitting around us as we were going up, and they also hadn’t realized it would feel as precarious as it did. The views did take our minds off of it occasionally.
It was fogged in at the 6250′ top, and the guide said that is the case 70% of the time. We knew it was a possibility, but we didn’t mind. The Tip Top House, the original shelter, was in great shape and offered old-fashioned protection from the wind. The history of the mountain is so full and rich that I can’t even begin to go into it here. The hikers that have scaled it in all kinds of weather, some coming back, some not. Many losing body parts in the extreme weather that can blow in at any moment. The man who had the crazy idea to run the train straight up the side of the mountain. The fact that it even got built at all! The engineers who keep it running now.
We spent an hour at the top, then hopped back on the train, at the very back so we could get the view up the mountain as we descended. The picture below is just as we started off. It doesn’t do justice to how beautiful it was. The colors and layers of the mountains were breathtaking! We really enjoyed the ride down and it wasn’t as scary as the ride up.