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Old 30th July 2012, 03:56   #1
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Default This car (also) climbed Mount Washington & Mount Mansfield, VT

Ever since we moved to US at the beginning of June this year, we have spent every weekend in settling down. Right from buying essentials on day 1 to getting a car to finding an apartment to buying furniture. Come to think of it, I alone must have contributed to the local economy enough to get me a medal! I can atleast sell that medal and recover some of my money!!

So, after weeks and weeks of doing the "necessary" things, we decided that we needed a break and should do some sightseeing. The first thing that popped in my head was Mount Washington. Given that we are so close to it, and that in all my trips to US I have not been there even once, I was more than keen to get there. And it being touted as the highest peak this side of the country, with the most unpredictable weather only added to the charm.

When i opened its site, i came to know that on 29th July, it will open for a sunrise drive, and that it happens only three times in a year. We decided to leave by 2AM. Yeah! Get up at 1:30 on a Sunday early morning to go on a break!! Cuckkoo

Anyway, we managed to hit the road by 2:30AM. I was somewhat certain that we will miss the sunrise. And my two daughters conspired to make sure that my doubts came true by forcing a couple of unscheduled stops.

The Charger (I am yet to name the car. Open to suggestions) behaved very nicely on the highway. Most of the times it ran in the ECO mode and thus, by the end of the trip I had achieved a mileage of 22.8 mpg. Yeah it converts to less than 10 kmpl but what more can one expect from a 370 hp engine in a car that weighs like a ton! But apart from that, even at 80 mph, there was hardly any noise in the car and the steering was also sufficiently heavy to give you a feel of the road.

One thing I really liked about driving on the interstates here is that you can set cruise control and relax both your feet! People have praised about adaptive cruise control also, a system that automatically slows the car down when you approach a slower car from behind, and it will automatically accelerate once you move to a clear lane.

Another thing I have realized is that the mobile loos at the rest areas that close down for the night can be used only if the pressure is so much that it starts getting difficult to drive with both hands on the wheel! And that puts you in a dilemma. You want to drink coffee because it gives you something to do while driving, but then it makes you want to go peepee too and all you have are those mobile loos. Well, the more busy roads have 24 hour rest stops too though, and they are much better and cleaner.

Anyway, so back to the trip.

Most of the journey was covered on the I93-North, which is a nice scenic highway. Only thing was that we were driving in the night so couldnt really enjoy the views. Next time though, I will try to count the number of Moose Crossing signs. Many signs had indications as to for how many miles the moose will be crossing. I have a question. Does the moose know that it is not allowed to cross beyond that?

So, anyway we reached the toll gate to the Mount Washington Auto road by around 5:45AM, to be informed by the gatekeepers that the Sun was already up. Talk about stating the obvious, eh. Anyway, so we paid the toll, got the CD and the sticker and started the climb up. I had switched the altitude meter on on the GPS and we were having fun watching the reading rise steadily. It is an average gradient of 12% and at a few places I had to switch to D1 to keep going. It opened the engine up nicely though. Also, in many ways, the drive reminded me of Nandi Hills drive. I mean, the gentle curves and then the sudden inclines, narrow road etc. But Nandi Hills drive is more fun.

This is the starting elevation:
This car (also) climbed Mount Washington & Mount Mansfield, VT-img_8087.jpg

And this is the reading at the top:
This car (also) climbed Mount Washington & Mount Mansfield, VT-img_8129.jpg

Cars saying hello to the clouds:
This car (also) climbed Mount Washington & Mount Mansfield, VT-img_8088.jpg

Is this where Led Zeppelin got motivation for Stairway to Heaven?
This car (also) climbed Mount Washington & Mount Mansfield, VT-img_8094.jpg

A shot of the road right at the top
This car (also) climbed Mount Washington & Mount Mansfield, VT-img_8116.jpg

The car that got us there. Next time i am going to have just a leeeetle bit more fun. Specially if i start early like this time. There were all sorts of cars up there, dominated by SUVs of course. But thats true for all shopping mall parking lots too.
This car (also) climbed Mount Washington & Mount Mansfield, VT-img_8123.jpg

I wish the skies were more dramatic.
This car (also) climbed Mount Washington & Mount Mansfield, VT-img_8124.jpg

Following are couple of shots of the view on the way back.

This car (also) climbed Mount Washington & Mount Mansfield, VT-img_8134.jpg

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On the way back, we decided to also visit the Kancamagus Highway. Once there, i remembered that someone had mentioned that the Bear Notch road is even better. And that is why we decided to take that. Honestly, I would have rather stayed on the Kancamagus higway. We didnt stop anywhere though because the kids were sound asleep and stopping anywhere would have woken them up.

We did come across a few traffic jams though. Bad Garmin did not warn us about the traffic conditions.

Oh and lest i forget, I am definitely not going to start off any drives in the middle of the night. They are just not for me. I need to see people on the road!!

That's all for now.
I will be going there again sometime in September. It will be a totally different kind of scenery by then.

Cheers
Amitoj

Last edited by amitoj : 1st August 2012 at 00:45.
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Old 1st August 2012, 03:40   #2
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Arrow re: This car (also) climbed Mount Washington & Mount Mansfield, VT

Nice!

Did the trip with cousins last year.
We stayed in North Conway and I brought back a Mt. Washington souvenir t-shirt.

The Mt. Washington climb is speed-limited as not many people in the US are used to driving on ghat roads .

Did you hit a lot of traffic, up & down?

Some people ignorantly drive down with their foot stamped on the brake pedal - you can smell the boiling pads.
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Old 1st August 2012, 04:06   #3
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Default re: This car (also) climbed Mount Washington & Mount Mansfield, VT

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Nice!

Did the trip with cousins last year.
We stayed in North Conway and I brought back a Mt. Washington souvenir t-shirt.

The Mt. Washington climb is speed-limited as not many people in the US are used to driving on ghat roads .

Did you hit a lot of traffic, up & down?
Yeah staying somewhere close by for the night would have been ideal thing to do.

Where in US are the roads not speed limited??

At the time i went, there was hardly any traffic. Just a few folks driving down after watching the sunrise that we missed
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Old 1st August 2012, 11:53   #4
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Default re: This car (also) climbed Mount Washington & Mount Mansfield, VT

Hey mate, I think The Red Charger is stealing the show from Mt. Washington, big time!

Nice crisp log but I guess we can definitely do with more pics.
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Old 1st August 2012, 12:26   #5
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Default re: This car (also) climbed Mount Washington & Mount Mansfield, VT

Nice pictures. The setting looks great. The car seems parked too close to the edge. People with fear of heights (like me) would not even venture close to the ledge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amitoj
what more can one expect from a 370 hp engine in a car that weighs like a ton!
Are you sure it weighs only 1 tonne ? Our Indian hatchbacks weigh more than a ton and so I doubt an American muscle car would weigh the same as a piddly Jap car.
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Old 1st August 2012, 15:07   #6
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Default re: This car (also) climbed Mount Washington & Mount Mansfield, VT

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Originally Posted by lordofgondor View Post

Nice crisp log but I guess we can definitely do with more pics.
I don't take too many photos. But I will be going there again in September, during the day. Will get more pics then, since the fall colors will be in their full glory.

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Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
Nice pictures. The setting looks great. The car seems parked too close to the edge. People with fear of heights (like me) would not even venture close to the ledge.

Are you sure it weighs only 1 tonne ? Our Indian hatchbacks weigh more than a ton and so I doubt an American muscle car would weigh the same as a piddly Jap car.
Hehe even i thought the same about it being too close to the edge when i was taking the photos. I guess we are a bit more cautious when it comes to our cars. As for the weight, that was just an expression. But you are right. Factually, the car weighs more than 2 tons actually!!
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Old 1st August 2012, 16:55   #7
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Default re: This car (also) climbed Mount Washington & Mount Mansfield, VT

nice one paaji! good to see you're already putting some miles on 'em tires!

in August 2001 my friends and i did a 14100ft ascent to Pikes Peak, Colorado (the land of the Rockies) in a Mazda 626 LX (nothing fancy). got myself a coffee mug and some precious stones. still got the stones, but somebody stole the mug!

btw, there is a Scorpio in our DP parking that has it painted on the rear door This Car Climbed Mount Washington. yeah, riiiiiiiiiiiiight!
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Old 1st August 2012, 22:58   #8
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Default re: This car (also) climbed Mount Washington & Mount Mansfield, VT

Well, this brings back memories of my trip. We visited this place during Fall colors and what a splendid site. It was a riot of colors. This is something that should never be missed and I would strongly recommend you to do it during Fall again
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Old 1st August 2012, 23:25   #9
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Default re: This car (also) climbed Mount Washington & Mount Mansfield, VT

Living in BC, you could imagine my surprise when I read the thread title that a car climbed Mount Washington...

Mount Washington (British Columbia) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

As far as I know, the only way to go up this Mount Washington is on a chair lift or by hiking.
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Old 2nd August 2012, 00:04   #10
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Default re: This car (also) climbed Mount Washington & Mount Mansfield, VT

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Originally Posted by IronH4WK View Post
in August 2001 my friends and i did a 14100ft ascent to Pikes Peak, Colorado (the land of the Rockies) in a Mazda 626 LX (nothing fancy). got myself a coffee mug and some precious stones. still got the stones, but somebody stole the mug!

btw, there is a Scorpio in our DP parking that has it painted on the rear door This Car Climbed Mount Washington. yeah, riiiiiiiiiiiiight!
LOL. He must be one big fan of this mountain to have it painted!!
Just checked google maps. Pikes Peak is more than 2000 miles from here No way will i be able to do that in my car!! But i do want to go to the Rockies one day. My travel companions will get a non stop dosage of John Denver though.

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Originally Posted by Chillout View Post
Well, this brings back memories of my trip. We visited this place during Fall colors and what a splendid site. It was a riot of colors. This is something that should never be missed and I would strongly recommend you to do it during Fall again
Yup. My parents will be here in September. Plan to take them there then. It is after all one of the "must see" places here, specially in summer/fall.

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Living in BC, you could imagine my surprise when I read the thread title that a car climbed Mount Washington...
Hahaha. Yeah thats funny. I should ask mods to change the title to add (NH) at the end of it.
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Old 2nd August 2012, 07:12   #11
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Default re: This car (also) climbed Mount Washington & Mount Mansfield, VT

@amitoj paaji - Nice TL & Pictures, thanks for sharing! Brought back some good memories of my trip back in 2001 (drove from Boston).
I still have the sticker but never dared paste it on my car in India for the fear of seeming like an alien (also have the Mystery Spot one from a visit there)
Wanted to suggest you to do another trip during fall to see and experience wonderful fall colours (colors!), seems like you've already planned that.
If you do visit Colorado Springs, do not miss Pike's Peak as IronH4WK has mentioned. Also, visit the Garden of the Gods park (can be clubbed with Pike's Peak visit).

Last edited by NPV : 2nd August 2012 at 07:18.
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Old 2nd August 2012, 10:56   #12
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If you do visit Colorado Springs, do not miss Pike's Peak as IronH4WK has mentioned. Also, visit the Garden of the Gods park (can be clubbed with Pike's Peak visit).
Wow! I totally forgot about the Garden of Gods! There two other places in and around Colorado Springs - Hanging Lake near Glenwood Springs (a beautiful lake at a height; about a mile hike up after parking) and the Royal Gorge Bridge which spans above the Arkansas river
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Old 14th August 2012, 09:08   #13
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Default re: This car (also) climbed Mount Washington & Mount Mansfield, VT

Nice writeup!!!

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Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
But I will be going there again in September, during the day. Will get more pics then, since the fall colors will be in their full glory. !
Plan your trip now itself, it will be very difficult to find acco north of Nashua late sept/early Oct. This July was the record hottest July for all of US. if the trend continues, fall will be very beautiful this year.
Also during the fall season, plan for Mt washington visit first thing in the morning. Morning clear light makes the view even more beautiful and you will escape long queues at the bottom to get in.

How old are your kids? if they are in the <7 group, plan for a visit to the storyland park in North Conway.
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Old 17th August 2012, 18:19   #14
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Default re: This car (also) climbed Mount Washington & Mount Mansfield, VT

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Originally Posted by IronH4WK View Post
...

btw, there is a Scorpio in our DP parking that has it painted on the rear door This Car Climbed Mount Washington. yeah, riiiiiiiiiiiiight!
Yeah, and in the flat lands of America, Mt Washington is considered a "big mountain". Little do they know that our humble places like Ooty and Kodai are much higher in altitude. We should have so many stickers on our cars as well...

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Originally Posted by Chillout View Post
Well, this brings back memories of my trip. We visited this place during Fall colors and what a splendid site. It was a riot of colors. This is something that should never be missed and I would strongly recommend you to do it during Fall again
Yes. And I am planning a trip with my family in September just to see the colors.

Last edited by vasoo : 17th August 2012 at 18:21.
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Old 17th August 2012, 18:26   #15
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Default re: This car (also) climbed Mount Washington & Mount Mansfield, VT

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Originally Posted by arjithin View Post
Plan your trip now itself, it will be very difficult to find acco north of Nashua late sept/early Oct. This July was the record hottest July for all of US. if the trend continues, fall will be very beautiful this year.
Also during the fall season, plan for Mt washington visit first thing in the morning. Morning clear light makes the view even more beautiful and you will escape long queues at the bottom to get in.

How old are your kids? if they are in the <7 group, plan for a visit to the storyland park in North Conway.
I am not planning to stay overnight for the second trip, since I will not be doing the Sunrise drive. But still, early morning start would be nice.

We thought of going to Storyland also, but my eldest daughter is only 3, so maybe after some time.

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Yes. And I am planning a trip with my family in September just to see the colors.
Cool. Maybe we can sync up?
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