RVery Best Nest

Come join Joe, Mallery & I, as we travel around the USA in our RVery Best Nest. God's Favor has been chasing us down, and we are enjoying all of His blessing's, that He has created for all to enjoy!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Mt. Washington Auto Road, White Mountains, New Hampshire

We were not planning on doing anything on this day, as we heard rain was predicted. When we got up the sun was shining, so we thought we better go and take advantage of the nice day as long as it lasted. There were chances of rain every day that week. We took Hwy. 302 to the bottom of Mt. Washington.

 We were going to take the Clog Rail up to the summit, but the cost was $62 a piece, and we took one up to Pikes Peak in Colorado.  Our second plan was that I  would drive up, and Joe would drive down the mountain. The cost for both of us in our car would be $33. We decided we would give it a try.  As we drove in, we saw a sign telling customers if they have a fear of heights, you might not enjoy the drive. Joe said, "are you sure you want to do this"? I said yes, even though I was having second thoughts. We drove in to the pay station, and the attendant came out and said we had one of those bad Honda's.  He went on to say, that our model of Honda does not have the right low gears to handle the steep drive back down the mountain. He said, Honda has stepped up and is paying the $60 cost for a guided tour up. Like I always say, "God is so Good to us"! 

We are told to go across the street and to give the ticket he gave us, to the guide tour office for a "paid in full" trip, by Honda.  You can see the van's lined up for guided tours in this picture.

The driver told us we might be the last trip up for the day, because the weather could turn any time. Another couple, and their two kids were with us in the van. The other couple tried to drive up the Auto Road, another time and got half way up. Then the wife begged her husband to turn around. After hearing this story I was grateful for our, " Bad Honda". The first part up had tall trees on both sides, and it was not bad at all. Then you get were you are starting to see over the trees.

Joe and I were in the seat behind the driver. Joe was taking pictures because he was on the right side.

The trees get shorter and shorter. It is eight miles up and we were at about the half way mark. The Auto Road was built in 1861, and celebrates it's 150th anniversary year this August.

The trees become short bushes.

Then there are no bushes, and it is straight down.

Near the top it becomes very rocky.

If you drive yourself up, you have to walk up the stairs from the parking lot to the summit.

If you take a guided tour, you have to climb up some rocks and boulders to get to the summit at 6,288 feet.

The winds are so strong here this building is chained down.

The highest winds ever observed by man were recorded here at 231 miles per hour!

This is the Cog Railroad loading up to go back down the mountain. The Cog Railroad trip takes around 3 hours for the round trip.

This is the Mt. Washington State Park. Tip Top House. This 1853 Hotel was built before the Auto Road or the Cog Railroad. It has been restored to it's original state.

The first room is the hotel registration room. Then you come into the dining room.

These were the three sets of three level bunk beds, you got to sleep in. Horse drawn carriages took a long time to get to the top so many people wanted to stay the night.

We had only thirty minutes to look around and get back to our guided tour.

The views were breathtaking!

It snows on the summit 12 months of the year. 

You can hike up to the summit. There are several trails to the top. They take 4 hours each way, with 4000 feet gain and are for trained hikers. Mt. Washington has the reputation as the "Home to the worst weather" Our guide told us many hikers have died, because they were not prepared for the change in weather, and continued up the mountain instead of turning back.

The temperature has never gone above 72 degree. It was 68 degrees on the day we were up there, which was considered a very nice day.

The only downside to being on a guided tour, was you could not linger too long to enjoying the views.

This trip to the top of Mt.Washington made the whole trip to the White Mountains worth it, even if we had done nothing else.

Our driver told us we had a good day with visibility of about  30 mile away. On an excellent day, you can see 150 miles away. He also told us that there are only about 75 good days a year for visibility and or comfort.

I decided to ride up in the front with the driver on the way down to get better views.

It was a bit more intimidating on the right side, but better views.

Enjoy the ride down!

There are three different life zones you go through, coming up and going down the mountain.

At the top you have the Alpine Zone.

Mt. Washington is the highest point in the Northeastern states, and the 2nd highest point on the east coast. The highest point in the east is Mount Mitchell at 6,684  in North Carolina.

Then we came to the scariest part of the road. A very narrow dirt road.

Our guide told us he hates it when he comes to this part of the road. He has to sometimes get out, and try to convince drivers that they need to move over so he can get past them. I told him, that would be me!

I asked him what happens when someone gets so far up or down and starts to have anxiety and can't go any farther. He said, they have to send a driver up to drive them back down. I asked how much that cost, and he said they do it for free, because they already paid a ticket to get in, so they just help them back down. I am just glad I didn't have to ask for help. Note the ski resort trails down on the mountain side below.

Mt. Washington Auto Road is Americans Oldest Man made Tourist Attraction.

It's a beautiful drive when you don't have to drive or worry about your husband driving.

We get to coniferous life zone. Trees again!

Our driver said that the truck in front of us had been riding his brakes all the way down so far.

Then we hit the  Northern Hardwood Zone, where there are conifers and hardwood trees mixed.

Our driver was afraid the truck brakes in front of us were going to burn out because he was going so slow, and riding his brakes.  He said when coming down this mountain, you should pull out several times on the pull outs to cool your breaks down, if you are going to go that slow. He said the grades averages a 11 % coming down.

We could see where we were parked below. Almost all the way down. The guided tour takes an hour and a half.

When we got back, we sat on the porch and had our lunch. It was mid afternoon, but you were not allowed to eat going up or going down in the van, so we had to wait until we got back down.

View of Mt. Washington from the porch as we ate.

To be continued:


  1. Wow- so cool you got a free ride, and on a good day! So happy you went there! Wasn't it awesome?

  2. Yes Dawn, the views are just amazing!