1861 miles on the Appalachian Trail
My aunt wakes us up at 3:00 am. We are driving up the Mt. Washington Auto Road for sunrise. The road opens for sunrise three times each summer; today, it will open at 4:30 am.
Groggily, my cousin Natalie and I wash up and roll into the car. My uncle drives us up the winding road in the pitch dark.
I’d been hoping for a clear day so my family can experience the beauty of Mt. Washington, and we completely luck out today. Mt. Washington - the peak that spends upwards of 300 day’s per year in a cloud - is nearly cloudless this morning.
And the sunrise? Absolutely worth it.
I watch as the rising sun illuminates the entire Presidential Range below.
I hiked across that! I think. It’s a strange feeling to be up here again, this time via car, experiencing the sunrise of a lifetime.
We spend some time in the snack bar - I’m impressed at the fact they’re even open this morning - before slowly driving down. My uncle stops every so often to cool his brakes, which regularly give off the odor of burning plastic.
Later, we head to Wildcat D Peak, where Natalie and I decide to zip line down. The zip line drops 2,100 feet and reaches speeds of 45 mph before abruptly stopping at the base of the mountain. Luckily, we are securely harnessed in, and after the initial shock of dropping past the gate, I enjoy the brief ride down.
We also take the gondola to the summit. Ski trails cover the mountainside. Across from us are Mt. Washington and the Presidentials; we can even make out the faint outline of the summit snack bar and cell tower.
Soon, I will climb this mountain properly, but for now, I settle back and enjoy my time with family.