Sunday was a very long day here at the Mt. Washington Auto Road and Great Glen Trails. Seven staff members worked diligently through the storm protecting and moving what they could. The rain at the base came down in buckets and the Peabody River began to rise. If you have not visited us, understand that the Peabody River separates the main lodge from the base of the Auto Road, several maintenance buildings, the Tollhouse, Hideaway Gift Shop and the trail system. Vehicles were moved away from our maintenance building to higher ground and the water levels were assessed. Howie and Sue drove out on trails before the height of the storm and figured they could have kayaked instead. Nate, our Paddling Director probably would have had a blast on Clementine just before the river peaked. With 8.33 inches of rain in just a few hours the Peabody swelled like no one could have imagined or had ever witnessed before. It was time to let Mother Nature take her course and the staff get back across the river to safety. On the lodge side of the road, the back parking lot, past the barn and to the paddling shack became a river. All sorts of debris was getting dragged into the culvert that runs under the road. It all finally got stuck near the paddling shack. The water was relentless and pushed the the large cement ring that supports the man hole up and out of the way, it looked like a geyser.
The rushing river of water made its own path out into the grassy field and down towards RT 16. There was so much water that it was also diverted to the other side of the paddling shack. It cored out a very large section of ground and exposed the whole side of the foundation and kept on dragging debris down the hill.
Today the sun shines brightly and we discovered that parts of the trail system have suffered severe damage. Most of our trail system weathered the storm in good shape but portions of trails near the river have been washed out and the top layer on Clementine is probably on its way to the Atlantic Ocean. Repairs are already under way and we should be open for the long holiday weekend.
Needless to say our trail system will be closed to all traffic for a few days so we can rebuild a river bank, a few intersections, and several small sections of trails.