Sunday, June 15, 2008

Day 4 - New Hampshire

Today was another excellent day. We started it off by taking a cog railway up to the top of Mt. Washington, the highest point in New Hampshire. Mt. Washington is 6288 feet above sea level and it is said to have the worst weather in the world. For instance the average June temperature at the summit is 44.4 degrees F with average wind speed of 28 mph. We came prepared for the cold with jackets and sweatshirts. Instead, we may have experienced the best weather day ever on the top of the mountain. It was clear and warm and the views were spectacular. The website said that the high was 61 degrees but we really thought it was warmer.

We lucked out with the weather and we also lucked out with the type of train that we rode up and down the mountain. We ended up on a biodiesel engine train as opposed to the normal steam and coal engine that belched black smoke all over the place including on the train passengers. Being on a green train certainly beat the alternative of emphysema.

After the train ride, we met H's uncle (H's mom's brother) for an afternoon buying quality maple products in nearby Vermont and then walking around the quaint little town of Littleton. The kids were thrilled with both stops because they got candy. First, maple pops in Vermont and than a candy store in downtown Littleton which had an entire wall filled with jars of candy. There should have been a dentist right next door to the candy store.

We finished the evening by going to the hotel game room where each of us played an arcade game. B chose Pac-Man and quickly lost interest. Z played a racing game where he laughed hysterically as he ran the car into walls, buildings and other cars. I chose Ms. Pac-Man and H chose a pinball game where she had a very impressive score of roughly 30 million. Why is it that pinball game scores are so much higher than regular arcade game scores?

Now onto the nightly feature of what did we learn today.

1. Apparently H's mom looks like a motorcycle enthusiast. There is a bike week in New Hampshire this week so there have been a number of bikers in our hotel. At breakfast today, someone asked H's mom if she was here for bike week.

2. Mt. Washington is the only mountain in eastern North America which has a treeline. That is trees don't grow above a certain height. After that it was mostly rocks.

3. The summit of Mt. Washington is a great conversation spot. Our train guide told us that we could climb to the summit while on the peak observation level. There was a little rock formation that you could climb to reach the highest point of the mountain. It was kind of like a beginner's course in rock climbing. I wanted to say that I climbed to the summit. It was a challenging little climb and I was about there when I had to wait for a group of 4 people to stop chatting about the weather. Eventually, one Einstein said "Oh, I think other people want to get to the top too." Brilliant.

4. Old men wearing train conductor hats look silly. (H's note: I thought they were adorable.)

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