By time you read this I will be on my way to Vermont with some friends so we can take part in running the Vermont ‘Covered Bridges” half Marathon on Sunday. Even more so I’m looking forward to running it for fun and not time.
Lately I feel burned out and that I need a break. Running seems to have morphed into a job and I miss just running for fun and social engagement. Just this past week I’ve dropped my mileage considerably and will continue to do so throughout the summer. It feels great! Last August I learned a valuable lesson during the Catherine Valley half marathon, I hate the heat and humidity. As the warmer weather approaches I get quite obsessed with my passion to be out in my canoe or kayak either by myself or with family and friends. There never seems to be enough hours in a day to do all the things we would like to.
My goal right now for this summer is to run 3 or 4 days each week, logging maybe 25 miles. Im just going to let my body and mind run the show.
So this Sunday’s race will conclude any racing for me until the fall and then again maybe until next April. I firmly believe we all need a break periodically.
I love history, more so if it involves historic photographs. I recently acquired a “Red Border” Kodachrome slide for my collection taken between 1950 and 1955 of the Mt. Washington Cog Railway in Bretton Woods, NH. I did a little research and discovered something I had never known. This particular locomotive was involved in a fatal accident in September 1967 in which 8 people were killed and 74 injured. I’ve taken this trip several times in my 44 years on this earth and each trip was amazing. However I’d be lying if I told you the thought of something going wrong never crossed my mind.
Here is an account of what happened that fateful September day in 1967.
Mt. Washington, N.H. (AP) — A mountain-climbing
rail excursion car jammed with Sunday sightseers
lost its engine while backing down the historic cog track on 6,288-foot Mt. Washington and leaped into a gorge, killing eight persons and injuring at least 74.
Gov. John W. King, who rushed to the scene, ordered an immediate investigation by state Public Utilities Commission officials. The 98-year-old railroad, a popular tourist attraction on this scenic centerpiece in the White Mountain Presidential range, spans 3 1/2 miles – 3 miles on trestle.
State Police identified the victims as:
BEVERLY RICHMOND, 15, Putnam, Conn.
ERIC DAVIES, 7, Hampton, N.H.
MARY FRANK, 38, Warren, Mich.
KENT WOODWORTH, 9, New London, N.H.
SHIRLEY ZORZY, 22, Lynn, Mass.
CHARLES USHER, 55, Dover, N.H.
A 2-year-old child identified only as the “GROSS child of Brookline, Mass.”
An unidentified female was the eighth victim.
At Mary Hitchcock Hospital in Hanover, CHARLES GROSS, 31; his wife GABY, 34, and their 3-year-old daughter MELANIE, of Brookline, Mass., were undergoing treatment today. Their relationship to the dead GROSS child was not determined immediately.
Three passengers on the ill-fated car were in critical condition at the Hanover hospital. They were RICHARD LESLIE, 49, of Madison, Ohio, a skull fracture and other injuries; NORRIS BLACKBURN, 68, of Memphis, Tenn., spine and other injuries, and MRS. MARIE BUXTON, 49, of Clifton, N.J., back injury.
Most of the injured were taken first to the Littleton Hospital, where doctors put a disaster plan into operation and called all available help. Some 25 doctors and about 40 nurses worked through the night.
The injured were rushed over twisting back mountain roads to the hospitals in northern New Hampshire and Vermont.
Teams of rescue workers needed some four hours to bring the injured and the dead to a base station.
It was not immediately determined how many were in the excursion car when it broke free and rolled down 500 feet before soaring from the cog track and crashing.
The accident happened about one-third of the way down the 3 1/2 miles of track along the west side of the 6,288-foot mountain in the center of the Presidential Range of the White Mountains.
The descent is usually made at four miles an hour with the locomotive in front of the one passenger car backing down.
A passenger, Bertrand Croteau, 32, of Thornton said that when the train reached the first switch Sunday “the locomotive began to shake and just fell off the road.”
He said the passenger car began rolling free “and the brakeman tried to put on the brakes. We went about 500 feet and then we went off the tracks.”
He said he was thrown through a window and
“buried under a pile of bodies.”
Ralph Este, a technician at the transmitter on top of the mountain for WMTM-TV of Poland Springs, Maine, said the engine jumped the track at a point where there is a spur track.
He said the passenger car derailed at a shallow curve just before the track plunges down the steepest incline of the railway, a section called Jacob’s Ladder that has a grade angle of 37.41 per cent.
The passenger car was made of aluminum and reportedly was one of the railway’s newer ones.
INJURED ON MT. WASHINGTON.
Mt. Washington, N.H. (AP) — Here is a partial list of persons injured when an excursion train fell off the Cog Railway and into a gorge on Mt. Washington Sunday:
RUSTY AERTSEN, 19, of Bucks County, Pa.
FLOYD BAILEY, 40, his wife LOUISE, 41, and son KENNETH, 12, of New London, N.H.
MR. and MRS. ANTHONY BERTELLI of Haddam, Conn.
ROGER CARDIN, 47; his wife RITA, 42, and son ROGER, JR., 21, of Newmarket, N.H.
NATHANIEL CARTER, 23, of South Woodstock, N.H.
RICHARD CASPINIUS, 63, and JENNIE CASPINIUS, 60, of Falmouth, Maine.
GORDON CHASE of Lincoln, N.H.
BERTRAND CROTEAU, 32; his wife, EDMAE, 30; daughter DEBRA, 11; and son BERTRAND, JR., 6, of Thornton, N.H.
CAROL DAVIES, 9, and LORETTA DAVIES, 5, of Hampton, N.H.
EVERETT DEMERITT, 30, of Wolcott, Vt.
CAROL DORSAY, 26, of Woodstock, Vt.
JEFFREY GAINES, 2, of Rockport, Maine.
PAULINE GOTCHREAU and DAVID GOTCHREAU, 64, of Putnam, Conn.
CHARLES GROSS, GABY GROSS, 34; and MELANIE GROSS, 4, of Brookline, Mass.
GEORGE KALOCERIS, 28, of Lynn, Mass.
CHARLES KENNISON, 18, of Jefferson, N.H.
ROBERT PROVENCHAL, 31; and daughters, LINDA and SUSAN, of Biddeford, Maine.
JOHN RICHMAN, 12, of Putnam, Conn.
HAROLD ROGERS, 44; his wife FRANCIS, 34; and son DEAN, of Campton, N.H.
GRETA SCHOPE, 33, of Bridgeport, Conn.
JOSEPH VALLIERE, 59, of Methuen, Mass.
BERYL WARREN, 27, and his son PATRICK, 1, of Craftsbury, Vt.
MR. and MRS. JOSEPH LAURENDEAU and daughter LINDA, 3, of South Barre, Vt.
MR. and MRS. JAY WITMER of Roxbury, Mass.
MR. and MRS. MORRIS BLACKBURN of Memphis, Tenn.
A. RICHARD LESLIE of Madison, Ohio.
MR. and MRS. GEORGE BUXTON of Clifton, N.H.
A cool breeze filled the room where I was sleeping in West Newbury Vermont, it was 4AM and you know what they say “The early bird gets the worm” or in this case “The Moose”. After throwing on some clothes I quietly went into the boys room, they were sound asleep. I woke them and asked them if they wanted to come with Ian and I to Long Pond in search of the elusive moose. They responded with a a groggy NO.
Downstairs Ian and I are prepping for our morning adventure. Coffee, breakfast and a ton of expensive camera gear. Canoes had been loaded onto his truck the evening before. It’s 5AM as we make the forty minute foggy trip through the Upper Valley to Long Pond in Benton New Hampshire. Long Pond is a remote 96 acre body of water in the White Mountains with an average depth of 4 feet and a max depth of 8 feet. Its so remote that you have to drive a 3 mile dirt road in order to launch your canoe or kayak. We arrived just before sunrise and the pond was extremely still, the only sounds were the erie call of the Loon. I took a real short video in order to capture their sound. In our canoes, we quietly paddle out into the pond. https://youtu.be/iN8NE9Zs_xI
Long Pond is abundant with wildlife. Otters, Beavers, Hawks, Osprey, the occasional Bald Eagle, Loons, Ducks, King Fishers, many species of birds and Moose make their residence here. I’ve been on the hunt to photograph the elusive moose in the wild for three years now with no luck what so ever. As Ian and I made our way around the pond we decided to split up in order to work several different coves. Paddling my way towards the south end I came across two adult Loons and their chick. I spent the better part of a half hour working with them before moving on.
I’m at the south end sitting in the shadows as the sun begins to highlight pockets of the pond. The water is like glass and I am just floating, thinking and taking in my surroundings. Actually I was really trying not to fall asleep. Then all of a sudden to my unbelieving eyes a young bull moose walks right out of the brush and into the shallows of the pond. I began to shake with excitement! I actually froze for a moment and then slowly reached for my camera. I was still shaking as I clicked off a few frames, my lenses imagine stabilization motor working making a humming noise as it works. The moose finally took notice of my presence and began to move around the shoreline. I clicked off a few more frames. The light was horrible but I didn’t care as this was my moment. This moose would stay in sight for about 10 minutes before disappearing back into the woods.
Putting my camera down, grabbing my paddle I raced back up the pond to find Ian with that triumphant feeling. A feeling of utter accomplishment that I have longed for. I found Ian sitting behind one of the many rock islands dotting the pond’s landscape in hopes of photographing the playful Otter’s. As I approached I was fist pumping and Ian knew right away what I had just photographed. We spent a few more hours on the pond pursuing the Loons, watching the Osprey fish and the King Fisher’s scramble like fighter planes on an aircraft carrier.
We would spend the next several mornings on Long Pond with the hopes of photographing another moose. Our hopes weren’t enough and we didn’t see another moose. However we the privilege of photographing more of the Loons in depth. I’ve been drawn to the Loon for quite sometime now as they are truly an interesting and beautiful animal.
At the end of this month Ian and I will embark on a trip through northern New Hampshire and Maine again in search of the moose.