Did you ever have one of those days when you know nothing will ever be more spectacular?
Today was that day. We took the cog train up to Mount Washington. If you're not aware, Mount Washington, in New Hampshire, is the highest point east of the Mississippi, and, other than a freak tornado a few years ago, the location of the highest wind speeds ever recorded on earth - 231 miles per hour on April 12, 1934.
Wayne is a meticulous vacation planner. He picked today for our trip to Mount Washington because the weather was the clearest, and he knew I would want the best possible view from the summit (turned out to be 110+ miles - employees of the Mount Washington weather station told me it was the clearest or among the clearest days they had ever seen).
We took a cog train up the mountain. It's a small car - holds maybe 75 people, and it remains on the track by a cog that keeps it from sliding back downward. The views from the train are amazing. The ravine made me nauseous, but I loved seeing the plants change from deciduous (mostly white birch) to pine to shrubs to grasses to mosses and then, near the top, to nothing but rocks. There's a reason New Englanders call us Jersey folk "Flat-landers" - nothing in our State even comes close. The summit of Mount Washington is 6288 feet - small compared to the Rockies, I know, but the highest point east of the Mississippi.
Here's Mount Washington from the bottom.
It is (very, very, very) rare that I'm left speechless, but when I stepped off the cog train onto the top of Mount Washington, I was moved to tears. I couldn't compose myself for about 30 minutes and then all I could say was "Wow."
And I remain speechless. I don't think I'll ever have words to describe this, so a picture will have to do.
This is facing north toward Maine.
And facing south toward New Jersey.
Here's a short video from the summit facing east toward the Atlantic Ocean.