Long story short, I had to work a Saturday this week, which means taking off a weekday. Perfect opportunity to go somewhere normally crowded on the weekend, but within a reasonable distance. Ideas were bounced around, and I finally settled on mt Washington. Its about 6/7 hrs away, and its been on my running bucket list for a while. This is a perfect opportunity to get in a good ride and scout it out for a running trip later on.
Thursday, all packed up and ready to go at work:
I was finally able to get out of work around noon, and set off. My plan was to head as far east as possible, and then north, to try staying ahead of a line of nasty t-storms for as long as possible. Amazingly enough, this plan worked flawlessly. I got up to lanconia (blue dot below) and got pulled in for gas and dinner and was able to sit out almost all of the rain. I then followed behind the line watching an awesome sunset unfold until reaching my campground, about an hour from mt Washington in the white mtn forest.
Some photos of said sunset:
When I finally got to the campground, it was past nightfall and gently raining again. Threw up camp as quickly as possible and was out in minutes. The next morning, the sun was out and the forecast for mt washington’s summit was still the same, “in and out of the clouds”, and the road was scheduled to be open to motorcycles despite the storms that rolled through. Sweet!
Home sweet home for the night:
Woke up early (5 am sunrise this far north), packed up and was off into town to find some food. This is bear country, so I didn’t take any chances leaving food near the bike/camp area. Got to the mountain around 830, and made my first of two ascents. Conditions were fantastic on both trips until about 5000 feet. After that, it was entirely in the clouds, and visibility ranged from about 5 feet on the first early pass to 200 feet on the second. It was like flipping a switch on visibility. It was a truly incredible way of witnessing the power of the mountains, and just one more reason to respect them.
Bunch of pics:
300 feet was a bit optimistic!
4000 ft or so, still looking good but check out those clouds….
Still doing alright, although this dirt section was definitely a bit sketchy early on. Still wet from rain and tons of pebbles.
Right around the 5000 foot mark I believe, just got into the fog and was freezing. Threw on my rain coat and swapped to my winter gauntlet gloves for some wind protection and warmth
Up to the top! Almost no vis at this point. Theres a parked bike in there somewhere….
Yup, anchors on all the summit buildings
Man, what a view
So, the summit view was a bust but what an incredible experience. I’ll be back for sure, hopefully in fairer skies (a rare thing on this mountain). After hanging out and eating a snack on one of the viewing areas, I started to make my way back home. It was fairly uneventful, and I was trying to make good time so I didn’t take to many pictures. I did have to pull over and uturn for these sculptures though. 5 or 6 big sculptures made from soldered together car/bikes parts. Just awesome stuff.