Thursday, September 24, 2009

About A Mountain and Some Moose

On Friday, plans were made to go up on top of Mt. Washington, via the cog railway. There are many things that are only learned through experience, and this was one of them! For starters, we had already reserved our tickets, and there are no refunds or changes. (As you can imagine, on a day with bad weather, this isn't the tourist attraction of choice.)

Another thing we didn't know, but learned through experience, is that Mt. Washington has a web site, with information about the temperature and general weather conditions on the mountain. At any rate, we had our tickets, so we set off on this adventure.

It was about 59 degrees with some fog and cloud cover early in the morning. But being the optomist that I am, I was sure the fog would burn off, and it would be a great day on the mountain. It would be an understatement to say that my prediction fell a little short of what we actually encountered.

Going up on the train was pleasant enough. We could see the scenery and mountainous terrain as we went up. This was our engineer for the ride up. You can see the tracks going up--and this was at the beginning of the ascent.

Never let it be said that we did not meet our goal of reaching the summit. The weather was great!--if you like 60-90 mile-an-hour winds, with zero visibility, clouds and a rainy mist. Did I mention, the temperature at the top was 35 degrees with a wind chill factor of 18 F. We literally could not even see the visitors building from the train when we got off and it was probably only about 500 feet away. (that's an estimate from someone who knows very little about distance.).

This sign pretty much says it all! We were told that they do have some really beautiful, clear days at the summit, with a great view, but they also said there are a very low percentage of these days. (As a side note, if we had waited until Monday to go up the mountain, it would have been 57 degrees, with 5 mile winds and a clear view. But who knew?)

This was a picturesque brook at the base of the mountain. You can see by my hair that it was taken after we got back down! I would highly recommend this adventure, but you might want to check the web site first.!

That evening, we decided to go on a Moose hunt. No--not with guns, or anything! We just wanted to see a real live moose, as they are apparently prevalent in that area. We boarded a bus with about 25 other people, and our driver and our guide set out to try to find some "wallows" where some moose might be hanging out.

We boarded the bus at 7 pm, and drove a while, with no success. After a brief stop at a little store (where we were told we must try the homemade fudge--and we did!) we continued on our search. At about 9:30 pm, one of the ladies said, "I see one!" and sure enough, she had. We turned the bus around, so as to be on the same side of the road with the moose. The guide shined a spotlight on the area. There was a bull moose and also a female (called a cow). I could not believe how huge these animals are! The driver said the bull was probably about 800 lbs and the cow probably 600 lbs. Both of them stayed there for several minutes, so we all got a good look at them. We also heard a "moose call" as they called out to each other. After several minutes, they wandered off together, back into the woods. Our driver said most likely romance was in the air.

Unfortunately, our camaras did not work well in the dark, so I had to resort to someone else's picutures. The bull moose we saw really looked almost exactly like this one. We continued to be on "moose alert" on our own, the rest of the trip, but didn't see anymore. Apparently, they are not out as much at this time of year. We were very excited that we at least got to see both a male and a female moose. The only thing better, would have been to see a baby (calf) moose also.


Dee said...

I have always wanted to see a real moose.

beckymc said...

I remember visitng my mom once when she lived in Maine, my brother lives there now with his family, but any how I remember a moose in the small cove behind their house. It was stuck made the news they had to rescue it.

Joyce said...

My husband would be so jealous...we just returned from a trip to Maine and Canada and he was desperate to see a moose! Not a one though.

Did you go as far north as Bar Harbor? I loved that little town.

Rebecca. Harlan, IN said...

It just keeps getting better! What incredible memories you now have. I like that "worst weather sign." Thankfully, that is not true of Indiana this past summer!