MT. WASHINGTON AUTO ROAD PRESENTS “ALT ENERGY SUMMIT” SEPTEMBER 13-14, 2014

Complimentary event expected to draw largest field of alternative energy based
vehicles in North America.

AR-Alt-Energy-Sparrow

PINKHAM NOTCH, NH— The Mt. Washington Auto Road continues its long tradition of supporting automotive innovation and environmental responsibility with the 39th year of the Alt Energy Summit, on September 13 and 14, 2014. Free to the general public, the event is expected to be one of the largest single gatherings of alternative energy vehicles in the country and beyond.

As a kickoff event for the New England celebrations of National Drive Electric Week, the Alt Energy Summit, led by New Hampshire Electric Co-op as the presenting sponsor, will feature major manufacturers, electric vehicle associations, industry suppliers and individual “makers” and inventors as the Auto Road continues as a proving ground and playground for new and evolving technologies.

“The Mt. Washington Auto Road has seen the evolution of transportation play out on its eight mile path to the summit.”  remarked Howie Wemyss, General Manager of the Mt. Washington Auto Road. “Considering that the first motor vehicle to ever go up was a steam powered Stanley Locomobile in 1899, it seems very appropriate that we showcase how alternative energy technologies have evolved since then.”

Among those manufacturers, builders and organizations planning to attend are: The New England Electric Auto Association; Bill Buchholz, with his Dirigo front wheel drive, 90 mpg diesel tadpole trike; the MIT EVT team with their electric Porsche and latest electric motorcycle; Olin College’s REVO Team; Zoombikes’  electric bikes; Robert Worobey of Black Sparrow Industries, back with his unique, 3-wheeled board, the Tribey; Ben Rich, Cross-Country EV adventurer and KickgasTV, to show off his Zero Motorcycle ride; Smart Energy of New England’s David Belanger, showcasing their line of solar electric, solar thermal, pellet boilers and wind generation.

Additional organizations in attendance will include: Outrider USA’s Kevin Breslend to show off their line of three-wheeled electric/pedal power vehicles; Chargepoint’s John Gilbrook will be there to answer questions about charging stations and infrastructure; The ALT E Store to explain what you need to know about renewable energy systems and supplies; Foxfire Energy will be teamed up with SolarFest to display their Off-Grid Solar Generator trailer; Dragonfly Aerials; The Maine Chapter of the Nat’l Electric Drag Racing Assn. with an electric motorcycle and Cobra drag car; and The Granite State Clean Cities Coalition‘s Dolores Rebolledo hosting a presentation on Community-based Charge Stations, and spreading the word on municipal renewable energy solutions.

Presenting Sponsor, NH Electric Co-op, represented by Gary LeMay, will be on hand to answer NH renewable and sustainable energy questions. And “Stage” sponsor, Twin State Ford will display an assortment of the latest Electric and Hybrid vehicles available for purchase.

Presentations and workshops will also be available on both days. On Saturday at 2:30, join Dave Olivera of the New England Electric Auto Association, Ben Rich, longtime EV owner and cross-country electric motorcycle rider, Tim Letourneau of Twin State Ford and Mike Mercer of Banks Chevrolet will discuss the ins and outs of  “Real-life Electric Vehicle Ownership”. At 4:00 PM a workshop led by John Gilbrook, of Chargepoint and Carl Vogel, national Board member of the EAA and president of the NY EAA chapter, on “Community-Sponsored Charging Stations will be presented. Saturday evening at 6:00 PM there will be an under-the-stars screening of two soon-to-be-classic EV films “KickGas” and “Charged”.

On Sunday morning at 10 AM, EV builder and author Ted Dillard and independent PV Solar installer Bevan Walker will be joined by the ALT E store’s Jocelyn Angel and Mike Marchilli to do a hands-on DIY workshop called “DIY Off-Grid Solar EV Charging”.

What to Expect:

  • Saturday morning is our first look at the field of participants.  At 10AM we’ll have The Alt Energy Parade and Drive to the Summit – watch and cheer on our “Alt Energy contestants” as they make history on Mt. Washington.  Everything from home-built electric bikes, cars and motorcycles to the sleekest high-performance plug-in vehicles on the road today will be on hand.  Watch for some truly unusual solutions there as well, including some top-secret “unmanned transportation” research projects currently in development.
  • Mid-morning until noon, join us on the mountain to see the vehicles in action.  There will be ad-hoc gatherings along the route as well as the summit where you can check in on our participants.
  • By early afternoon, the main field will be full of vehicles, exhibitors and participants with cars, bikes and motorcycles, as well as other interesting inventions for you to check out… and possibly even try out.
  • Saturday afternoon and evening look for our speakers and panel discussions, impromptu home-brew music, and in the evening screenings of KickGas and Charged movies under the stars.
  • We’ll wrap up with the hands-on DIY solar charging station workshop on Sunday morning, and informal summit bids again throughout the day with a mid-afternoon wrap-up and send-off.
  • Throughout the weekend: Expect a thrilling look at the future of transportation, a hands-on show of what is here now, along with a peak at some of the history of alternative transportation on the Mount Washington Auto Road:  the first Alt energy vehicle to ever ascend the Mt. Washington Auto Road—the original, steam powered Stanley Locomobile that made the trip from Newton, Massachusetts to the summit of the mountain in 1899.

For more information about or to register for the “Mt. Washington Auto Road Alt Energy Summit” event at the Mt. Washington Auto Road, visit www.altenergysummit.org, email Event Director Ted Dillard at ted@altenergysummit.com, or call at (978) 621-5178.

Links:

Mt Washington Alt Energy Summit: www.altenergysummit.org

National Drive Electric Week: https://driveelectricweek.org

New Hampshire Electric Co-op: http://www.nhec.com

Mt Washington Auto Road (main site): http://mtwashingtonautoroad.com

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Help Solve a Mt. Washington Mystery- Who Are These Stage Drivers?

PINKHAM NOTCH, NH- The faces stare intently at you, as if the curtain of time has been drawn back and you can speak to the ten men assembled in this picture.
Stage-DriversWEBThe Mt. Washington Auto Road is seeking the answer to a question that has been asked for more than a century-who were the stage drivers in this historic photograph? It is hoped that members of the public might recognize an old family member and shed some light on this mountain mystery.

The year is certainly pre-1900…The men are dressed in uniforms–somewhat formal, yet well worn three piece suits and each wears his hat in way that shows unique personality. The group has gathered on and around the front of a Concord Coach (one of New Hampshire’s most famous early exports and a regular sight carrying travelers on the route through Pinkham Notch).

The same barn roofline which is evident in the background of the picture can still be seen at the base of the Auto Road today. Unfortunately, one cannot see which of the three Glen House Hotels which were there over the years is open for business (which would have helped date the photograph).

“Some early photographs are so compelling because of the expressive faces that can seem so familiar. The men pictured are clearly a professional and interesting looking bunch of characters, which is something they certainly share with the men and women who drive stages on the today’s Auto Road!” noted Steven Caming, Media Director of the Mt. Washington Auto Road and Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center. “There are so many amazing archival images that exist for a business that opened to the public in 1861, but this stage driver photograph has always been very special and we’re hoping to find out more about who these men were,” he added.

Individuals who feel they might recognize anyone in the picture are encouraged to contact the Mt. Washington Auto Road at (603) 466-3988 or online at www.mtwashingtonautoroad.com

 

Posted in History | 1 Comment

Costume Characters Welcome Monday May 27th on Auto Road for Alton Weagle Day

Mt. Washington, NH-Be the costumed character you always wanted to be on the Mt. Washington Auto Road this Monday, May 27th at 6:00 am as part of the 3rd Annual Alton Weagle Unusual Ascent Day. This always entertaining event is part of the kick-off celebration for the Road’s 152nd operating season. The event will commemorate the many unusual ascents made on the “Carriage Road” since it opened to the public in 1861. While in past years the event has been more oriented to “first ascents”, this year anyone in a costume is welcome to participate.

Another special element of this day will be the unveiling of a folk art American Flag made entirely of wooden sticks found on Mt. Washington. This impressive four by nine foot creation by artist and adventurer Ben Hvar will be dedicated at 12 noon and will be on permanent display at the Auto Road. Hvar will also be making a descent of the Auto Road on Alton Weagle Day in a “Tubemobile” of his own creation, fashioned from inner tubes.

Throughout its century and a half of operation, the Auto Road has always drawn unique individuals eager to make unusual ascents and this tradition continues on Alton Weagle Day. “Year after year, Mt. Washington inspires certain individuals to try something different-some are athletic or vehicular firsts, others are just uniquely entertaining, but they all make history in their own way,” noted Howie Wemyss, General Manager of the Mt. Washington Auto Road and Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center.

This spirit of fun and adventure was perhaps best captured by day’s namesake, the late Alton Weagle of Walpole, NH. Weagle was a great advocate for safe and sustainable enjoyment of the White Mountains, who became known for awhile as “Mr. Mt. Washington”, thanks to his entertaining exploits during the 1950s. At various times he had run up the Auto Road barefoot, backwards and blindfolded (up and down) and he had pushed up a wheelbarrow with a 100 pound sack of sugar without setting it down; Weagle climbed up and down Tuckerman Ravine, along the Cog Railway and the Auto Road (30 miles) in 14 hours 28 minutes and even got married on the Cog Railway in 1955.

In recent years, several unusual “first ascents” were accomplished, including one person who made the climb on a unicycle, two on roller skis, a trio who Irish stepped danced their way to the top and one man who backed his vehicle from base to summit along the winding 8 mile road to the northeast’s highest peak, 2 people riding tricycles; one Star Wars scout trooper; a fireman in full fire fighting gear including SCBA and hand tool and a buckskin character going up in a go-kart, among others.

For more information about this and other events at the Auto Road visit online at: www.mtwashingtonautoroad.com

Anyone interested in participating with an unusual ascent of their own is required to contact the Auto Road at 466-3988 for schedules and more information.

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Alton Weagle Day 2012

Alton Weagle Group bridge

Alton Weagle Day 2011

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A Ride on the SnowCoach with Exciting Weather!

It is great to be driving the SnowCoach again thanks to the Nor’easter on Feb 8th and 9th! Here is a brief overview of my trips last week:

On Tuesday, passengers got to experience a sample of the “world’s worst weather”. The first trip had gusts over 50 mph with the winds on later trips approaching almost 70 mph (with blowing and drifting snow)! Awesome weather and you wouldn’t really know it from the sunny conditions at the base. As the day progressed, a large snow drift formed just below “OMG Corner” which became a great visual of what can happen with the right conditions in a short amount of time.

Friday saw warm and mostly sunny conditions. Clouds did increase over the day but the weather highlight was the soft and beautiful rime ice on the branches at tree-line. I also dropped off a couple who snowshoed down from winter the turn-around point and try to do this a few times a year.

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Saturday’s trips experienced a slowly rising ceiling. During the first trip, we were among the clouds starting about 3,000 ft making for a beautiful New England winter scene. Stepping out at “Gov’t Sign” was actually relatively warm (still below freezing) with a nonexistent wind. By the final trip of the day, the sun was trying to peek through the clouds and the base had risen just enough to almost completely reveal the northern presidentials. I also had a future meteorologist on one of the trips. :-)

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Looking forward to vacation week!

 

Posted in Kids, Mt Washington Auto Road, Winter | 1 Comment

The Green Glow of the Night Sky!

One of the cool things about living up in the Notch is access to the night sky for photographs. Monday night November 13th was one of those nights for sure. I actually got the heads up about a Northern Light Show that had begun from a Mt. Washington Weather Obs Facebook posting. I’ve seen the show in the sky several times before, but never for this long. I went out to the parking lot at the Mt. Washington Auto Road around 11:00p.m. and could immediately see the Aurora Borealis out on the horizon north towards Gorham. I got a few shots off, made some camera adjustments and sat on the grass to enjoy the light show. After midnight, the pillars began to shoot up and into the night sky. The whole scene became brighter the later it got.

A spectacular green haze bank across the sky formed. My exposures ranged between 20 seconds and 2 minutes. This shot of the Snow Coach was a tough one, as I wasn’t sure how to light up the van. The colors in the sky were brilliant and I decided to wave a few passes of light from my Petzl headlamp onto the vehicle. It took a couple of tries, but it did the trick.

Look forward to the next round of color from the north! -Ernie
See more great shots at Ernie Mills Photography.com or on his Facebook page.

Click thumbnails to enlarge.

Posted in Great Glen Trails, Mt Washington Auto Road, Northern Lights | 3 Comments

The first snow….

is always so exciting. We know it’s not going to last when it comes this early in the season but it still makes for a delightful sight. Driving into work from below the notch was disappointing, there was no snow! As I climbed in elevation through Pinkham Notch -learn more about Pinkham Notch here my eyes grew bigger and the frown turned into a huge smile. It was snowing pretty hard and about two inches blanketed the area.

Arriving at the Auto Road made my day – a Winter Wonderland!  I was attending the Northern NH Tourism Conference in Crawford Notch and couldn’t stick around to enjoy it, but Ernie, Regina, Susan, Mike, Nate and Chara had a blast playing in it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The snow piled up to about 4 inches and made for a fun day!

 

 

 

 

Check out more of our photos on Facebook by photographer Ernie Mills.

Posted in Great Glen Trails, Mt Washington Auto Road, Winter | 2 Comments

Pumpkin People!

It’s that time of year when the days are becoming chilly and the forest seems to be on fire with the changing of the leaves. It’s also the time of year for Pumpkin People! We participate in the annual Return of the Pumpkin People Festival now in its 25th year and create a scene using pumpkins. Along with 73 other business’ who have worked hard brainstorming, creating, building, gluing, and painting we have come up with a scene we titled -

Old “Pumpkin” Man of the Mountain.

It took 222 small pumpkins and one gourd to make the Old Man come to life. The family enjoys the crisp air while gazing up at the profile and the little boy even has binoculars. The scene is complete with an audio recording of first and last interview with the Old Man before he left us in May 2003. Come see the Old Pumpkin Man of the Mountains and enjoy the foliage!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To take a trip on a self guided tour click here for a complete list of participating properties.

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The Sun!!

After days and days of rain and clouds the sun has returned to shine on the mountains again. What a beautiful sight! The gravel section of the road is drying out and firming up for safe travel. The sun made its debut wonderfully this morning. Photographer and stage drive Ernie Mills took an early trip up to welcome the morning and was able to capture some amazing views.

 

The next few days are looking great for a visit to the Auto Road!

Posted in Sunrise | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Once Upon a Fox…

The summit has been socked in for days, but today the clouds finally lifted. Photographer Ernie Mills and I took the opportunity to drive up to get some fantastic photos and shoot some video.

We loaded the van with all our gear; cameras, tripods, lens, hats, gloves and plenty of layers-the temp read 32 and winds were in the low 30’s. We were ready for anything but nothing could prepare us for what we came upon nearing the two mile. A small fox had just popped out of the woods, stood for a few seconds, looked at us, and began trotting up the side of the road. When he turned to cross the road we noticed something hanging from his mouth. As he continued up the road we got a better look-it was his lunch, a red squirrel. He trotted alongside the van for about a 1/2 mile, never once considering ducking into the woods to eat it. He’d stop every now and again probably wondering what this huge object was following him. After Ernie took about 600 shots and me keeping an eye out for traffic, we decided to leave him be and let him eat.

Just as a motorcycle rounded the corner behind us, he finally veered off into the woods probably never to be seen by us again. We stopped at a pull off and quickly looked at the photos Ernie got and were blown away at the whole experience. As we traveled up the road we were both awestruck at what we just witnessed. People see fox but to see one after a successful hunt -incredible. Don’t worry we felt for the squirrel (a little). We stopped again at 4.5 mile to get some more footage and it was unbelievable, right on cue the same fox still with squirrel in mouth, came up out of the krumholtz and crossed the road right in front of us. Ernie jumped out and cautiously followed him up the path to grab a few more shots before the fox disappeared for good. My camera was still attached to the tripod so I was only able to get this one shot of the two of them. What an amazing experience!

As we neared the 6 mile we could see the remains of the 5 inches of snow that fell over the past few days preventing safe travel for the public. I was so excited, I absolutely love snow!! We reached the summit and there were patches of snow everywhere. Of course I made a snow ball and had to throw it as far as I could. The winds were weak and the temps pretty chilly but it felt so good on the skin. Ernie continued snapping away, so intrigued by the mountain and how different it is every single time he goes up. I love the mountain too but I really, really like snow. We headed over to the observatory deck and found the snowman they had made and I had to get my picture with him! On the way back to the stage I couldn’t resist jumping in the snow to make a snow angel. We got what we needed and both agreed we did not want to leave…..ever.

No matter how many times you travel up Mt. Washington by car, by foot, by train, by any other means it is always an incredible adventure! I can’t wait to see whats next.

A few more photos from the day can be seen on our Facebook page. You don’t need to have a Facebook account to look at the photos. ~ms

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Auto Road Now Open To Summit!

PINKHAM NOTCH, NH—The Mt. Washington Auto Road is now open to the summit of the Northeast’s highest peak. Visitors to the nation’s first manmade attraction can take either a guided tour or drive their own vehicle on this remarkable and historic road, which has been in operation since 1861. Motorcyclists should call ahead for the latest Road conditions since early season road and weather conditions affect our ability to be open to them.

The Auto Road is now open from 8 am -5 pm, as is the base lodge and gift shop. Beginning on Memorial Day weekend, the Summit Stage office will be open (and be offering hiker shuttles). Saturday the 26th will also mark the opening of the newly dedicated Douglas A. Philbrook Red Barn Museum, as well as the Glen View Café, the Outfitters Shop and Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center. Alton Weagle Day, which features and celebrates several unusual first ascents of the Auto Road, will also be held on the 26th.

“We are delighted to be open to the summit for our 151st season here on Mt. Washington. Although we experienced a mild winter, our spring Road opening turned out to be quite challenging, we’re particularly proud of the work our Road Crew has accomplished in the past several weeks!” noted Howie Wemyss, General Manager of the Auto Road and Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center. “As always, the Auto Road operation is heavily weather dependent at this time of the year so it’s often best to call ahead”, he added.

Included on the schedule for the coming season (in addition to the aforementioned Alton Weagle Day) will be events as diverse as bicycle races, footraces, sunrise drives, a colonial muster in the mountains and a 1920s speakeasy casino night. For more information about Mt. Washington Auto Road operations, schedules and events please call (603) 466-3988 or online at www.mt-washington.com

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