Wednesday, November 29, 2017

RVing and Leaf Peeping in the White Mountains

On  a Thursday afternoon in late October we hitch up the RV and drive to Danforth Bay RV Park on Lake Ossipee, New Hampshire . This is a very pretty RV park. Although it is late in the season the leaves are still very peepable . Should be past peak but it’s been warm.

We set up the dog pen by the fire pit overlooking the lake. Pretty! Lee cooks chicken for dinner and we fall into bed early.

In the morning I do a short run around the park. It’s big, twice around gets me 3 miles.

One of the things we want to do while we are up here is drive up the Mount Washington Auto Road. But it’s awfully windy on Mount Washington today, with gusts to 95mph! Mount Washington is notorious for crazy weather. It holds the record for the strongest winds ever recorded in North America, 231 mph back in 1934. In the winter the combination of very cold weather and crazy winds can result in wind chills in the  -40 to -50F range. Its nothing like that today, but still 95 mph winds could very easily blow our little dogs away, to say nothing of us! So instead we go for a hike. We decide to hike to Champney Falls off the Kancamangus Hwy. 

The leaves are just spectacular along the Kanc, even though it is late. The hike goes gradually up, up, up for a couple miles. Our dogs are so game. They trot right along, happy to be out in the woods with all the interesting smells. The falls are a bit of a disappointment; it’s been dry. But I get some good pictures of falling water all smoothed out.

We meet Carol and Joe for dinner at Jake’s Seafood. Yummy! Carol and I split a hot fudge sundae for dessert. Oh my.

On Saturday the weather cooperates so we drive to Mount Washington. This is a nice drive through Jackson and Pinkham Notch. 

The Auto Road from the Summit

I elect to be the person to drive up the auto road. The road is very narrow and very steep. Meeting other cars descending the mountain is terrifying in a white knuckle sort of way.  Its hard to believe that they hold a road race here every June. The incline is at least 8-12% and in places reaches 22%! At over 6200 feet, Mount Washington is the highest point east of the Mississippi. The road travels seven miles to the summit, passing the tree line and entering an alpine meadow. When we started our climb the temperatures were in the 70s. By the time we reached the top it was in the 40s with 40 mph winds. We park, and put on down coats, hats, and gloves. The dogs are game at first then not so much when they realize just how crazy the weather is outside the car.  We climb the steps to the summit where it is even windier. Heather balks about half way up and I have to carry her part of the way. After taking their picture at the summit sign they are grateful to get out of the wind and back in the car.

After the dogs are safe I gingerly get out my camera and snap away. I can hardly walk and can picture it flying away and me with it.

Bretton Woods in the Distance

The views are amazing but it’s very intense.

Then we go to Carol and Joe’s for lunch. Our silly dogs are delighted to play with their dog’s toys and chase the chipmunks in their yard. Ruby and Pia regard our dogs with mild interest and can’t figure out what they are so excited about.

Left to Right: Heather, Harper, Ruby, Pia, Cosmo Staring at Chipmunks

We drive home that afternoon on a very warm fall New England day. We’ve managed to experience a 40 degree difference in temperature in the course of a single day without a front blowing through. Impressive.

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