Mount Washington

A buddy placed in the top 50 in their hill climb race in 1995. A couple of us joined him in 1996. Unfortunately the race got cancelled due to high winds. The race officials let us drive to the top, since we already paid the Auto Road fee.

Back then the Auto Road was almost all unpaved. Today there’s only a short stretch that’s not (yet?) paved. Given the extreme weather up there, the ground supporting the pavement can erode, so if you aren’t paying attention, your tire might drive a few inches or a few feet, and you’ll be stuck, or worse.

Headlights are required in both directions, and the speed limit is 10MPH. Going uphill is best done in low gear, and the same goes for coming downhill. Luckily I’m in a Jeep, even if it is automatic, I put it in 4L and manually shifted to control my speed. I didn’t have to use the brakes more than a few times.

Luckily the wind on Sunday was only 20MPH, the temperature was about 55°F, and it was raining lightly. I had a raincoat on, so it wasn’t too bad. I had to carry paper towels to keep the iPhone lens dry. I managed to get some pictures at the summit and on the way down.

Tip Top House is amazing, the walls are made of rock, and the door is very strong. Not sure about the windows though, they seem a little on the flimsy side, but who knows, maybe they put shutters when they expect extreme weather. From the videos they have in their information center, the groups that stay at the summit do one week rotations. Doesn’t sound like fun.

The fee per vehicle was $39, plus a few dollars more for passengers. Having been here before, it was a lot more fun this time around. If you’ve never gone there, its worth the trip.

Jericho Mountain OHV Trail (NH)

I was able to find a camp spot a few miles from Jericho Park. Nice place, platforms for tents, plenty of space to park your vehicle, for $28/night plus $5 for some firewood.

I practiced setting a fire before I left for my June month long trip. Practice makes perfect.

I’m getting faster at setting up the tent. Or maybe its the platform, with the loop bolts on the edges, that makes it easy to get things set up. I set up the fire first, since I knew it would start raining soon.

Once the fire was going, it was time to pitch the tent. I never pitched a tent on a wooden platform. Every campground that offered platforms gave you a gravel rectangle, so you had to drive stakes. I just needed to run the guylines to the loop bolts. Easy peasy.

I’ve got to admit, this is a very good tent, very impressed by it. By the time the tent was pitched, it started to drizzle, then it started to rain, then it started to pour. It didn’t stop pouring. It poured all night. There was no wireless at the campsite, but I had four bars (ATT) so I was able to upload the photos for this blog post. I set the alarm for 0600 and went to sleep.

The plan for Sunday was to first do Mount Washington (the earlier the better), then go to the trail, however the priority every morning is breakfast then a shower. Well, as it turned out, the campground didn’t have any showers. That might explain why they weren’t full. Since it was still raining, and I knew I wasn’t going to stay two nights (without a shower!), I tore the tent down, packed the Jeep, and found a local hotel.

I had a couple nights available, so I used one of them that day. The following morning I hit the nearest diner for breakfast, then I headed out to the trail.

Since I couldn’t check in until 3PM, I went ahead and drove up Mount Washington. I got done early, so I hit the trail. The guy who manages the place advised me to do the Green trail first, before trying any of the Blue trails. Because “Our Green trails are like the Blue trails at Rausch.” Ah, ok, I’m fine with that. He wasn’t kidding.

The Green trail was challenging enough to get out and pick a line several times. I may have scraped a bit, but it wasn’t bad at all. I ended up doing the Green trail from the gate, to mid way to the West. I didn’t do the extended Green trail that heads West, since it turns into a Black trail, without an easy way to turn around. So I did the Green trails at the East side of the park.

After finishing the trail, I headed to the hotel. I brought the tent kit and some rope to the room, so I could find a way to hang the tent kit, so it could dry overnight. It all dried up by morning. I packed the Jeep again, and headed to the diner for breakfast.

They make great omelettes, and even greater coffee. After finishing breakfast, I hit the road. Apple Maps gave an ETA of 8.5 hours to get home, which after all the fuel/rest/food/bathroom stops ended up being 11 hours.

It was a fun trip. I got another Badge Of Honor (BOH), and I’ve already decided to go back once I get my 35″ tires and 2″ lift installed.