Monday, July 07, 2008
July 4th Vacation: Contributing to My Carbon Footprint
For the July 4th weekend, I went to the White Mountains of New Hampshire. I haven't been there in about 10 years. I'd forgotten how beautiful that part of New England can be. While I enjoyed nature's beauty, I have to say I contributed a bit to it's demise taking the easy way about.
My vacation was not very environmentally friendly. First off the trip up took about 3 hours. Driving in an SUV, although one that gets about 23 miles to the gallon, was the first contributor to my carbon-footprint-adding vacation.
Actually that wasn't all that bad. What was worse was taking the lazy way to the top of Mount Washington, the highest peak in the northeast, via the Cog Railway.
The railway was built in 1869 and these coal driven trains have been traversing the side of the mountain ever since. It was quite a feat of engineering to bring people to the top and back in about three hours. My only problem with it all (other than killing nearby trees with all the soot) was the mere twenty minutes you got to spend up top before needing to board back on.
I was a bit embarrassed getting to get to the top via railway and then mixing in among all the hikers that had spent far longer than my little ride to get up there. Oh well, for $118 trip (coal is expensive) I guess I paid the price.
The ride was most of the fun. Because of the steep inclines, at certain points of the trip the train is climbing at over a 37 degree angle which gives a strange optical illusion when you try to stand up straight: You can't! This picture doesn't do it justice but it was a funny feeling standing tall yet still at an angle.
As there were children on the trip - mainly me. We went to Santa's Village. Just imagine Christmas in July with all sort of rides and giant things. I loved it.