This year, on August 6th, the Mt. Washington Auto Road is celebrating its 150th birthday! Mt. Washington is the tallest elevation in the Northeast United States, rising to the summit of 6,288 feet in the Presidential Range of the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Known as the site of the "world's worst weather" (the wind at the summit has reached 234 mph), the mountain and surrounding area is part of a beautiful national forest, blazing foliage in the Autumn and providing outdoor recreation year-round.
The Auto Road opened in 1861 as America's first manmade tourist attraction. Originally traversed by horse-drawn carriages, the road has allowed private vehicles access to the summit of the mountain since the invention of the automobile, like the one in the postcard above, and you may well have seen bumper stickers on cars around the northeast boasting "This Car Climbed Mt. Washington." At an average grade of 11.6%, the road rises a total of 4,618 ft. Click here for a blog entry about the trek from someone I don't know.
I've also included the bottom postcard, which is a view of the Mt. Washington Hotel at Bretton Woods, a grand dame hotel in operation since 1902. The hotel is set at the base of Mt. Washington and is a glorious throwback to another time. This coming week is not only the anniversary of the Auto Road, it's the anniversary of my wife and I (29 years), and we spent our honeymoon at the Mt. Washington! Happy Anniversary, Honey!
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