No doubt the greatest impression of that thrilling ride by rail, from the base to summit of Mt. Washington, is left by the crossing of Jacob's Ladder and that pause for a view beside the awful depths of the "Great Gulf." It is a long and massive trestle, over which the train ascends slowly on its most formidable grade, 1,980 feet to the mile, and at times thirty feet above the rocks. Here the tree-line is passed, and the area of sub-alpine vegetation begins. The air grows cold and colder, while the August of the valley becomes the November of the heights. In every direction nothing is seen but gray and frost-splintered rocks, with dull mosses and hardy Alpine flowers. It is well that we are assured of the undoubted safety of our train appliances, and yet it is with relief that we enter upon the last mile of the journey to the summit which rises but 800 feet, and are soon upon the comparative level of the summit itself.

From Sea to Shining Sea | Contents Page

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