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A sky-high sunrise drive

Posted by Chris Murphy  May 30, 2008 07:35 AM

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mountwashington.jpgHave you ever gotten up early to watch the sunrise? Let me rephrase that: Have you ever gotten up early to drive to the top of the highest peak in the Northeast to watch the sun come up over the Atlantic Ocean? The Mount Washington Auto Road is opening early on three Sundays this summer (June 29, Aug. 3, and Aug. 31) to allow drivers extra early access to the summit of Mount Washington. On June 29, the auto road will open at 3:30 a.m., on Aug. 3 it will open at 4 a.m., and on Aug. 31 it will open at 4:30 a.m. The regular rate applies ($20 per car and driver, $7 each additional adult, $5 for ages 5-12, and children under 4 free) as do certain vehicle restrictions. These rates include that famous bumper sticker and an audio tour on CD or cassette in English, French, or German. On a regular day, most vehicles take about 30 minutes to make the 7.6-mile ascent. Just don’t wait until the last minute to arrive. The popularity of last year’s sunrise drives showed that it may take as long as 30 minutes just to get through the Toll House at the mountain’s base. Someone once said, ‘‘We can only appreciate the miracle of a sunrise if we have waited in the darkness.’’ So what’s a little exhaust?

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