Tierra de los Sueños / TdS*Posta
Commemorative / refrigerator art series
Bob & gac & Anya & Nori & mommy & dad ride steam cog railway to top of Mt Washington New Hampshire USA
saturday 29 June 2013
Yesterday gac (great aunt cynthia) and I drove from our house, and mom and dad and Anya and Nori drove from their house, and everybody met at the Mount Washington steam cog railway, which has been reliably taking humans of most sizes & shapes, since 1869 A.D., to the summit of a gentle, peaceful, warm & fuzzy idyllic bucolic New England 1-day trail-hike mountain which has murdered about 49 dumb hikers so far, their names and expiration dates are on a big plaque at the Trailhead. I know it's in English, but thoughtful rangers and officials might have also provided this chronicle in several other lingos. That might have helped a little, but
Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens.
Against stupidity, the Gods struggle in vain.
Several of the hapless victims belonged to an outdoor training society whose motto is: Be Unprepared
I don't know if the county coroner listed these deaths as Suicide, but that is not an original critique of the wilderness & mountaineering skills and IQ of these tragic people, some of whom were Old Enough To Know Better, you'd think.
But like the amazing Queensland And Northern Territory Aerial Services, which as Raymond excitedly pointed out has never lost or mislaid or maimed a paying passenger since it was founded to fly throughout Earth's atmosphere
It is often claimed, most notably in the 1988 movie Rain Man, that Qantas has never had an aircraft crash. While it is true that the company has neither lost a jet airliner nor had any jet fatalities, it had eight fatal accidents and an aircraft shot down between 1927 and 1945, with the loss of 63 people. Half of these accidents and the shoot-down occurred during World War II, when the Qantas aircraft were operating on behalf of Allied military forces. Post-war, it lost another two aircraft with the loss of 17 lives. To this date, the last fatal accident suffered by Qantas was in 1951. [Wikipedia]
... The Cog Railway has never snuffed or failed to return a human being since it started chugging up the mountain in 1867.
You buy your ticket at the base (clean rest rooms, snack bar, Coke machine (the latest all-digital accept-credit-cards & paper model), ice cream treats & sugar baked goods, wait for the next UP steam cog train, the guy yells All Aboard, you get on the train, the train chugs & huffs and advances cog by cog up the mountain.
The diesel engine, which runs on recycled French Fries / pommes frit / vegetable oil, was recently manufactured by John Deere (makers of farm tractors since early 19th century), and has replaced the originals, which boiled water from burning 1 metric shitload (= 0.0377 English shitload) of coal in each direction. Halfway down the mountain the Old Engines stopped to take on a new load of water to boil. The water tower is always filled automatically from Natural Mountain Springs. Birds often sing and please do not feed the foxes, they are wild dangerous animals, not tourist attractions. Thank you.
I don't know what wages these people pay the young men and women (and a couple of Old Guys too) to live intimately with these amazing 19th century Steam Trains that climb (in places) the world's steepest angled grades, to lube them, to love them, to put them to bed every night & sing lullabyes to them, every day of the year -- but if the phone rang and they offered, I would do it for cheap. I would pay them.
I have a possibly unhealthy set of Feelings about trains, and steam engines, and steam trains, and such James Watt Newcomben Diesel Tom Thumb loud noisy wonderful things of The Age of Fossil Fuel & Real Hot Occasionally Exploding Metal Transportation Systems. There have been hints that My Feelings are a recognized symptom of a designated neuropsychiatric disorder.
Once after the old Wales coal train came back to the bottom of the mountain, my companion tried to hide behind a rubbish bin while I asked Mister Engineer if I could Toot the Horn. If you understand why I committed The Unpardonable Guy Sin just to ask the engineer to toot the horn, please Leave A Comment.
He understood, he let me Toot The Horn.
So anyway we got on the Sustainable French Fry Local No. 4 @ Platform A and for the next 55 minutes [passengers are advised to dump fluid before departure, the passenger car has no on-board dumping facilities] chugged up Deceptive Surprise Serial Murder Mountain. (Within sight of the Summit House you can see about a half-dozen white crosses to commemorate dead hikers, & don't miss the trailside Monument to Lizzie, the first Human Adult Female to perish hiking Mt. Washington.)
I think my grandnieces had Fun. The train attraction provided several rainbows [v2 adds a Rainbow], and we ascended the mountain mostly inside a genuine Cloud. (We all brought and wore Foul-Weather Rain Gear. Mom remembered to pack a winter cap. I couldn't find mine.)
We had been planning this Scheme For Mirth & Happy Woodland Summer Picnic Merriment for about a year, but only now finally tried to make it happen. Both of them speak words and communicate complex ideas clearly enough most of the time, when they are not sleeping from exhaustion.
When he was about their age, one of their uncles wandered up to adults and announced loudly: ivant2sukyrblud It took weeks to finally figure out that he had accidentally seen a Dracula movie on TV, and had been instantly mesmerized by The Count. (The arithmetic puppet on Public TV known as "The Count" would never tell kids he wanted to suck their blood, the kid must have gotten a peek at The Genuine Transylvania McCoy.)
To make a long (and genuinely thrilling and fingernail-biting) story short, couple of hours later, we were all back in the parking lot, one niece was snoring and mom carried her to the car, everybody hugged, home again home again jiggety jog. Our round-trip that Saturday was about 500 miles. (Ya need that in metric? Leave A Comment.)
This is the 3rd stamp in the TdS*Posta Refrigeratorkunst Series.
(Oh, yeah, I mailed a gift-shop Cog Railway postcard from the Special Unique ZIP Code Itty-Bitty Post Office at the Sherman Adams Observatory on the Summit. Mailed it to myself. If you wanted one, you should have told me on Friday and sent me your snailmail addie. I'll let you know when or if (this is USPS) it gets here.)