Seek the Peak (Part 2)

31 Jul

I know, I know, how long was I going to keep you hanging for Part 2 of last weekends wicked awesome mountain climbing adventure?

It’s finally here my friends! So, where did I leave off…?

Oh yeah!

WE MADE IT!

To be completely honest with you, it wasn’t that exciting.  It felt great to have accomplished the climb, but once you get to the top you have to walk a couple hundred feet to get to the spot where the above picture was taken.  And, you have to wait in line just to get the picture! In the line was a good amount of people who had driven up and/or taken the Cog Railway .  It made me feel great that I had to work for that picture, but it was also a tad disenchanting, almost like being stuck in some sort of cruel tourist trap.

We all agreed to take the hiker’s shuttle back down.  We were exhausted and the idea of having to climb back down was pretty much unappealing to all of us. So we bought our shuttle tickets and while we waited went to the snack bar.

I worked hard for this meal!

Pizza, peanut m&ms, and salt and vinegar chips.  That covers all the basic food groups, right? The concept of how many calories I was about to eat hadn’t even crossed my mind.  All day I had nibbled on small bites of things like trail mix, pbj sandwiches, swedish fish, etc… I needed real food and I needed it fast.

It felt so good to sit while we ate.  We all sat and enjoyed our food and rested until our shuttle time arrived.

I took a bunch of pictures of the beautiful view once we headed back outside, it was just so gorgeous up there.

The beginning of the Auto Road
Me – a little cold.

Cog Railway tracks – another vehicle I have no desire to ride in on this mountain.

Then our shuttle came back up the mountain and it was our turn to take the ride down.

That is without question one of the scariest things I have ever done in my life.  I always swore I would never actually get in a vehicle and drive (ride) down theMt. Washington Auto Road.  It’s a narrow road, with some dirt portions, and no guardrails.  It’s 8 miles long, the first 4 are above treeline.  I was scared.

I tried to take some pictures to keep my mind off of the fact that my life was in the hands of a woman I don’t know driving a 12 passenger van down the side of a mountain.

You can’t really tell from the pictures, but one mistake and we were all a-goner.  My mother worked hard on reassuring me that this woman does this for a living and is a professional but I didn’t feel good about it until we reached the tree line.  Then it wasn’t so scary anymore.

Ahh tree line, sweet relief.

Needless to say I was more than relieved when we reached the bottom.

Next on our agenda was the Seek the Peak after party!  Our first stop was the pizza line:

Pizza was being provided to the hikers by the American Flatbread  Company.  It was delicious, thin and crispy crust, and oh so yummy.  We really need one of these in Rhode Island.

There was a bluegrass/country band playing music and a small expo (that I forgot to take pictures of … one of these days I’ll get better at this). Then it was dinner time (you bet a 6 hour climb up a mountain makes you hungry for hours).

Dinner was provided by Hart’s Turkey Farm.  You’ve heard of Christmas in July.  This was Thanksgiving in July.

Don’t be fooled by what the cup says – this was more of that delicious Tuckerman Ale.

The food was amazing! Everything was so fresh and delicious.  Even on a hot summer day!!

After dinner there were giveaways.  There were door prizes, and then there were bigger giveaways for the people who raised more money.  The more money you raised, the bigger the prize.  None of us won anything.

After the hike and the huge dinner we were all pretty beat so we went our separate ways to get a good night’s sleep.

Some more random pictures I took throughout the day:

The original Auto Road Toll House (I didn’t know the auto road is privately owned,  you pay $25 per car load and you get an audio tour on CD plus one of those “This Car Climbed Mt. Washington” stickers).
Does this make anyone else think of “The Shining”? Scary…

Before we left we had one last stop to make on Sunday morning.  Back to the Weather Discovery Center for our bragging rights t-shirts:

I wasn’t going home without it.

A great time was had by all! I’d do it again in a heartbeat! My brother wants to climb it now too, so we may be making another trip!

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One Response to “Seek the Peak (Part 2)”

  1. p_salisbury August 2, 2011 at 12:06 am #

    You know coming down the auto road I offered to hold her hand………….. She was not amused! 🙂

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