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Marty, Marty, he's our cat!

I first heard about Mount Washington Observatory from debgeisler a couple of years ago. The observatory claims Mount Washington is the "home of the world's worst weather" and they have some chilling statistics to back them up. The 231 mph wind recorded there in 1934 still stands as the all-time highest surface wind speed on record.

Today, I hope Mount Washington is setting new records -- records measured in website hits, voter turnout, and membership revenue. For they're in New Hampshire and they're running an amusing primary of their own -- one to select a new feline mascot for the observatory. Many thanks to timill for bringing this to my attention.

Voting is open to all until 7pm EST today. And, as I discovered after casting my own vote for Marty -- the only candidate who seems to have the slightest chance of surviving a deliberate or accidental trip outside the confines of the observatory --they're also offering a 1-day discount on observatory memberships.

To my eyes, this is a brilliant marketing move on their part. I was especially pleased to learn they're a member of the Association of Science - Technology Centers, which has a travel passport program that includes admission at other ASTC locations across the US and in 14 foreign countries including Australia, Canada, and the UK. There are a couple of restrictions -- it's for general admission only and you have to be at least 90 miles away from home. I'm good with that.

Now that I'm a member, I'm thinking a fair-weather visit might be in order. As if there is any such thing as fair weather on Mount Washington. Most websites list things like hours the places are open under Visitor Information. The MWO website links to a page on lightning safety and another on Surviving Mount Washington that includes lists of everyone who's died up there. And several obituaries. Really.

Then again, they have a cog railway! Yep. Definitely gotta get up there!


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 8th, 2008 10:01 pm (UTC)
You should be OK visiting in June or July. The White Mountains are lovely.

During my hiking days eons ago I got caught in a Mt. Washington snowstorm in early October.
Jan. 8th, 2008 10:07 pm (UTC)
I voted for Sarah because she looks like two of our cats. I first heard of Mt. Washington in the 70's as being the "Windiest Place on Earth."
Jan. 9th, 2008 12:56 am (UTC)
It's great to go in early May, and bring your winter coat. In the valley, it's in the 60's, but at the top, you can have snowball fights!

Be aware that the car road is scary, though safer than it seems. The cog railway is very expensive -- $50 last I looked. When you go, pick a nice, clear day, and spend a night in North Conway as well (which has a much more reasonably priced scenic train). May through October, you can take the Kangamangus Highway through the Presidentials for an outstanding view.
Jan. 9th, 2008 05:36 am (UTC)
Thanks for the info. I recently became aware that I seem to be collecting roads the way some people collect countries.

Yes; the cog railway prices for last year were $59, with a small discount for the first or last trip of the day. There's a 1-hour winter trip that's $31, but...but...but it's winter....and I'd rather have 3 hours for $59.
Jan. 9th, 2008 02:33 am (UTC)
Depending on when you plan your outing, I'd go with you!
Jan. 9th, 2008 05:37 am (UTC)
Sounds good!
Jan. 9th, 2008 04:15 am (UTC)
I think I would have voted for Sarah. In general, I think tuxedos are more adaptable than other cats.

My brother once set a record ice-climbing Mount Washington, but then he became a missionary and didn't do interesting things anymore.
Jan. 9th, 2008 12:38 pm (UTC)

I walked across Washington in shorts & a T. It's not always nasty. Then again, there was grafitti in the dungeon (the "safety shelter" they leave unlocked year round) from a group that did a early Feb traverse of the entire presidential range. I bet those guys got cold.

If you'd like a longer visit; you can walk a fairly level trail something like 2 miles to the nearest Hut. Bunks, dinner, breakfast, and "hut crew" intertainment await. It is something like $60/night, but you'd have some awesome views...

--Pi (aka Bill)
/Wishes I'd gotten to vote; Sarah ftw!
Jan. 9th, 2008 01:14 pm (UTC)
Jan. 9th, 2008 02:16 pm (UTC)
How can you not vote for Marty? "A steadfast optomist who loves to have his tummy rubbed" I hsve a new role model!
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )


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