To commemorate our first heat wave of the season, I thought I’d share some “cool” photos sent to us by Frank Baiamonte recently. Frank had shared his images and experience on Mount Washington, in response to my post on that subject on May 1st. Frank narrates:
Anyone visiting this area should really make it a point to take the Cog Railway to the top of Mount Washington. It truly is an amazing bit of engineering, and one of the most fun train rides I’ve ever taken.
It was October of 2008, when we visited Mount Washington in New Hampshire. When we started out from the base station at around 11:30am I think it was in the low 40’s with a very light drizzle. At the top is was in the mid-20’s. The cold air really makes the steam from the engine show up well. The coal smoke is much darker, and contrasts nicely with the white steam. The train takes a little over an hour to cover the 3 miles up to the top of Mt. Washington, and each round trip uses a ton of coal and 1,000 gallons of water.
Each train consists of an engine, a tender full of coal, and a 70-passenger car. The engine pushes the passenger car up the hill, and uses engine-compression for braking on the way back down. Notice how on level ground the boiler looks tilted? That’s so that it sits level during most of the trip up and down the hill.
Standing up in the passenger car to take this shot looking up the tracks was not easy. As we got higher up the track the snow started to fall. At first one of the crew just sat on the end of the car with a broom, sweeping away the snow as we moved upwards. Eventually it got thicker, and they had to get out and shovel in front of the train.
Yes, this is me (a native Southern Californian very much out of his element). The snow was blowing sideways, if you look closely on the left you can just make out the train. It wasn’t very far away at all.
Thanks Frank, my core body temp is down at least 10 degrees now. It looks like a great trip, and I’m looking forward to taking “the Cog” one of these days… although I’m thinking July would be a good time to go!
By the way, to enjoy more of Frank’s photography, please visit his website, and don’t miss the tigers – amazing.