Are you afraid of heights? I’m not, but I may have mentioned that Hubby is. I rearrange our RV road travel so as not to encounter switchbacks, drop offs or steep inclines. So what was I thinking when I talked him into driving up to the top of Mt. Washington, the White Mountain’s highest peak? The seven and a half mile Auto Road has everything he hates: switchbacks, drop offs and steep inclines.
I guess my thinking was that we’d be in a car not the RV and we could take it slow. Plenty of people drive it with no problem, and since I probably won’t ever hike up it, why not drive. We had other options. There are vans that will drive you up and the Cog Rail goes right to the top. My arguments must have made some sense to him because he agreed to do it. It was a beautiful clear day and I was hoping it would stay that way for some photo taking at the top. Weather on Mt. Washington is fickle, a summer day can turn cold and foul in short order.We paid our fee and started the climb.
The road was curvy and the going was slow, a lot of down shifting going on. Things went along fine until we got above the tree line. Suddenly out in the open, we were faced with a road in front of us that appeared to drop off the face of the earth, all we saw was blue sky and clouds. Slowing down we realized the road didn’t really end, it just turned sharply left. Of course if the car didn’t turn sharply left as well we were flying into the wild blue yonder.
Hubby was stalwart. He could do this, he’d just take it slow and try not to look. Have you ever tried not to look where you are going when you are driving a car? It worked for about two more hair-raising turns. Even I was locked in a death grip with the sides of the passenger seat. The color drained from Hubby’s face and he broke into in a cold, clammy, sweat. He was having a full blown panic attack.
We pulled into a scenic view turn off. Turn back or carry forward, we debated our options. A decision was made, Hubby would stay in the overlook, sitting on some boulders, facing the road. Lissa, our Golden retriever, and I would continue on to the top take some photos and would pick him up on the way down. He does try and be accommodating of my love of mountain views and photography.
I have to admit it was not fun, that final push to the top. As I said earlier, I’m not afraid of heights but the Mt. Washington Auto Road tested my mettle. I became zen-like in my focus on the yellow stripe in the middle of the road. If I lifted my eyes to check out the scenery I would see the edge of the road, with no railing and no shoulder, dropping off to oblivion. I’d wait until I got to the top to enjoy the views. We arrived safely. Lissa and I climbed up to the summit, enjoying the unusually clear day. We looked, we oh’d and ah’d, but there was no avoiding what we had to do. We drove down, picked up Hubby and all agreed, next time we’d take the train.