|The Mount Washington Auto Road 10/00
7.6 miles Elevation gain 4500'
This was a road trip from the start, as I was taking my mother and aunt along with Emma to the mountains with the idea in the back of my head to ascend the Mount Washington Auto Road if it was clear. When we left Kingston the sky was dark and rainy and the prospects for a nice day in the mountains didn't look good. However by the time we got to Lake Chocorua on Rte. 16, the skies were breaking and the rain had stopped. We stopped at the Lake Chocorua rest area as I am not sure if I had ever brought my mother, and I'm sure my aunt had never been. Some quick pictures and then on to Cathedral Ledge where we did some more walking and took in the views, easily accessible by its own auto road off of West Side Road. The sky was really being cooperative now and by the time we got to Pinkham Notch it was a clear, cool autumn day, the kind you can see forever on. After a quick stop to show them Pinkham Notch we were soon on our trip to the summit of Mount Washington. In several spots the woman were actually gasping at the surrounding beauty, (or was it the narrow road and precipetious drops?). It was such a crisp day rime ice was forming on everything and gave the summit a metallic sheen. Conditions couldn't be more perfect, some clouds moving in and out, still having visibility to some horizons, very nice! Emma and I, after checking out the observation deck, took a hike encompassing the summit as the ladies had hot coffee inside. Initially starting down the Crawford Path we quickly turned north on the Gulfside Trail going right to the edge of the Great Gulf then turning northeast where there was a sort of trail to the auto road which we crossed and continued on to Ball Crag. From here we followed the Nelson Crag Trail back to the summit, retrieved the ladies and headed back to our flatlander world. Emma loved the summit and would return to climb to it via the Tuckerman Ravine Trail on 7/27/02 the Mount Washington Observatory's Seek the Peak fundraiser. Her other exploits on Mount Washington include climbing Huntington Ravine, going through the Alpine Garden Trail to the Tuckerman Crossover then over to Mount Monroe and Back to Pinkham Notch by Tuckerman Ravine when she was 11 months old! Also climbing Lion's Head then around the rim of Tuckerman Ravine to the Boott Spur and back to Pinkham Notch for the Observatory's Seek the Peak 7/26/03.