Serial Bus

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East of Mississippi & North of Carolinas

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In what seems to be a faithful recreation of the actual event that took place in 1899, the picture below depicts Mr F O Stanley and wife Flora’s arrival on the first auto trip to the summit of Mount Washington in the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire. 

Mrs & Mr Stanley atop Mt Washington

Mrs & Mr Stanley atop Mt Washington

The mountain, I keep reminding Nidhi, is the tallest in the US, east of the Mississippi river and north of the Carolinas. As Nidhi and I panted and puffed our way up the Tuckerman Ravine on 06Sep09 and finally came upon the exact spot that the trekker in this picture supposedly did in 1899, we found plenty of autos there. The trekker in the picture seems there by accident: he is not quite taken in by the somewhat regal carriage of the Stanleys or even Flora’s scarf that is blowing in the wind. We were not so impressed by the number of cars up there either, 110 years since the cloud-covered day at the home of ‘the worst weather in the world’. Of course, it was not until 1934 they recorded a gale of 231 miles per hour at the top, the highest ever recorded anywhere.

The Stanleys in the picture seem quite nonplussed by their own arrival at the summit despite the feat it must have been. When we got this card from the Stage Co. office at top, we were also more interested in what was scribbled behind the card i.e. a ticket aboard the 1:30pm hiker shuttle to the base of the mountain. After climbing over 3000 feet in 4.5 hours, hauling our rusted un-exercised bodies to the top, our foremost aim was to ensure we do not trek down the craggy hill. Here was the nirvana:

Ticket to Ride - One Way

Ticket to Ride - One Way

It was only much later that I noticed the blurb at the bottom of the ticket and pored over the picture overleaf with fascination. My sympathies and kudos remain with the unassuming trekker in the picture though; the Stanleys clearly had a joyride.

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Written by serialbus

September 14, 2009 at 9:53 pm

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