First timer? In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-four-or-five days blog), I have my computer select a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48). I call this “landing.” I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town I land near. I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above. To check out some recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”
Landing number 2285; A Landing A Day blog post number 715.
Dan: As my regular readers would strongly suspect, this is my first New Hampshire landing since I changed my random lat/long methodology. Of course, NH is a USer, although because it’s so small, my Score didn’t drop much (from 752 to 750). Curious, but don’t have a clue about “USer” and “Score?” Check out “About Landing (Revisited),” Not curious, just keep reading.
Here’s my regional landing map:
And my local landing map:
I’ll zoom in a little, just to show that there are many named peaks here in the Presidential Range:
We all remember Presidents Tom, Field & Willey. And wait, you can’t fool me! Ben Franklin was never a president!
Because I’m in a topographically-dramatic area (and topography controls drainage, even though drainage created topography), I’ll jump right in to my Google Earth (GE) spaceflight. Click HERE, and enjoy a rare trip to New England (and then hit your back button).
Here’s an oblique GE shot looking north past my landing towards Mount Washington:
It’s obvious I landed in the watershed of the Dry River (first hit ever!). Before I go to streams-only maps, here’s another GE shot, this one looking from near the peak of the mountain south towards my landing:
To chase my drainage downstream from the Dry River, here’s a streams-only StreetAtlas map:
As you can see, when it’s not dry, the Dry discharges to the Saco (3rd hit). Zooming back, you can see that the Saco makes its way across Maine before discharging directly into the Atlantic Ocean:
Returning to GE, I was looking for a Street View shot of the Dry. There’s no bridge over the Dry, but there’s Street View coverage right along the river about 4 miles from my landing, showing where the Dry enters the Saco.
The Orange Dude sees the Dry (straight ahead); the Saco is coming in from the left:
I traveled about 8 miles south of my landing for another look at the Saco:
Here’s what the Orange Dude sees:
Moving right along . . . not only is this my first NH landing since I changed my random lat/long selection method (a mere 69 landings ago), this is my first NH landing since I began blogging (a huge 715 landings ago)! In fact, my last landing in NH was landing 1532 (2285-1532 = 753 landings ago).
How cool is it that this initial ALAD NH landing allows me to feature Mount Washington?
Anyway, my first thought was more-or-less as follows: “Everyone knows that Mount Washington is the highest mountain east of the Mississippi. I wonder what the second highest mountain is?”
I found a USA Today website that said:
The highest peaks east of the Mississippi all reside in the Blue Ridge province of the Southern Appalachians, most notably in the Black and Great Smoky mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee.
Say what? How could that be? I checked the elevation of Mount Washington: 6,288. And then I looked at the top ten, going from #1 (Mount. Mitchell) at 6,684 through #10 at 6,410.
Oh my! Mount Washington isn’t even in the top 10 east of the Mississippi! I’m a geographer and a geologist, and I’ve been clueless my entire life! I’m eating both crow and humble pie. My only excuse is that I’ve never been to the Smokey Mountains.
Once I regained my equilibrium, I wanted to see where Mount Washington ranked. After a lengthy internet search, I could find no comprehensive list, ranking all mountains east of the MM. However, I did find a list entitled “South Beyond 6,000” (only showing southern mountains above 6000 feet). I got down to #15, Waterrock Knob at 6292. #16 is Roan High Knob at 6285.
So. Mount Washington at 6288 is the 16th highest mountain east of the Mississippi.
But wait! Wiki says that Mount Washington is “the most prominent” peak east of the Mississippi. I assume that “prominent” means that if you’re in the vicinity of the mountain, it’s prominence is a measure of how dramatically it arises from the surrounding landscape. Like Mount Rainier, the most prominent mountain in my personal experience.
Wiki has a technical discussion of “topographic prominence,” but it seemed quite opaque and non-intuitive, so I won’t bother with it.
Moving right along to the weather. I was generally aware (as you might be also) that Mount Washington holds (held?) the record for the highest wind speed. From Wiki:
Mount Washington once held the world record and still holds the Northern Hemisphere and Western Hemisphere record for directly measured surface wind speed, at 231 mph, recorded on the afternoon of April 12, 1934.
A new wind speed record was discovered in 2009: on April 10, 1996, Tropical Cyclone Olivia had created a wind gust of 254 mph at Barrow Island off the coast of Western Australia.
Funny how the record was “discovered.” I take it that no one had bothered to look at some electronically-recorded measurements stored on a data logger.
Anyway, Wiki goes on to say that hurricane-force wind gusts are recorded on the summit an average of 110 days per year!!
How about temperatures? Take a close look at the following table:
AYKM? The all time record high temp is 72!?! The warmest month of the year (July), has an average high temp of 54?!?
This is one cold place. And with the wind, one can only imagine the wind chills.
Time for some GE Pano shots of (what else?) Mount Washington. I’ll start with this one by Taoab:
And check out this springtime shot by ®mene of the mountain looking past (what else?) the Mount Washington Hotel. Think it’s a little colder up on the mountain?
Moving a little closer to my landing, here’s a shot by Neil-Thompson taken just up the hill from my landing (which is somewhere off to the left). That’s the Dry River valley to the left and in the distance.
I’ll close with this shot by Jim Salge, taken between my landing and Mount Washington.
That’ll do it . . .
© 2016 A Landing A Day