Monthly Archives: August 2014

Day 211, The Cog Train, New Hampshire

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.

IMG_7660This is our view

By Eliza, Cedar Point to Boston

Cedar Point was so much fun; probably one of the best days of my life. I love roller coasters. (: Although I was super nervous to go on the Top Thrill Dragster (the 2.5 hour wait because it broke down didn’t help either), the ride was definitely unforgettable. It really didn’t feel like you were down 400 feet because you were going so fast. My favorite rides were the Gatekeeper, the Raptor, and Millennium Force. We spent almost 13 hours in the park!

Niagara Falls was really pretty. I couldn’t believe how simple it was to light it up at night! The fireworks were amazing. They definitely made up for the fireworks we missed for the 4th of July because were in Canada. Toronto was nice but there wasn’t much that interested us. I liked Montreal. The city was huge and my feet hurt really badly by the end of the day. Since Montreal, we have had wonderful weather! All sunny days and many days in the 90s. I like the heat but I don’t like the humidity. I liked climbing the stairs of Mt. Royale to see the city from a height. I really enjoyed Quebec. Now I want to go to Europe even more and learn French. Prince Edward Island was beautiful and a lot bigger than I had expected it to be. I tried lobster and I hated it (along with all other types of fish and seafood). The Bay of Fundy was cool; it was interesting to see the difference in the tides. We spent a lot of time exploring and by the end; I was covered in the mud.

Then on July 14th, we finally crossed the border for the last time. I liked Canada but it was good to be back in the States. Acadia National Park was really fun to see. We did lots of hiking, I enjoyed hiking to the top to see Bubble Rock (: All of these mountains are so small compared to back west. In New Hampshire, we rode the Cog Train up Mt. Washington. The next day, we drove around stopping here and there to see things. In Vermont, Ben and Jerry’s was a lot of fun, although the factory wasn’t in motion during our tour. Then we all got our own pints and I got Triple Carmel Chunk. They make the best ice cream! I can’t wait for Boston tomorrow!