Reported by Yu Zhang in Boston
As time passes by, something happened in the past will fade out gradually in our memory, but our trip to Mt. Washington and Maine sea shore is the one full of happiness and unexpected excitement which is not easy to be forgotten.
Early in late September, when our 7 Boston guys met in a spacious sunny lounge room in MIT’s Tong Hall and playing “TRACTORS” excitingly, Lei Ming and Tao Kao brought out this plan to see around the beautiful fall scenery of New England. As US new comers as I, Xiaofeng Liu (who is a super photo taken fan) and Miss Tian, we were all exited and applaused this good idea, and then the background labor works were undertaken by our kind hearted forerunners, Lei and Tao. Two weeks later, everything was ready and since Oct.13 (Monday), happens to be the Columbus’ day, that means we have a long weekend, it is ideal time to take this trip.
Having heard some messages, some PHYS’89 guys in DC and NY also wanted to join this trip. They went to an anti-revolutionary meeting in New York first, then hurried to Boston to join us. So we started on Sunday morning. As I heard, seven people crowded in Lei Tao’s room that night before the trip and they talked splashily till 3:00am. And at 7:00am, they have to get up to get the rented cars! Every thing was in a rush that morning, 10 people showed up at last except Mr. Feng Donghai dropped for an interview. They are: Lei Ming, Tao Kai, Wang Jun, Huang Xiaomin, Duan Gang, Liu Xiaofeng, Tian Lin, Zhang Yu, Shi Ping and Zhang Qian. Shi Ping is a Phy91’s student and now lives very near to Lei Tao. Zhang Qian is Wang Jun’s high school classmate and is now in BU EE. Regretfully, Xiu Wang and Huoyan Ming, the two among the initial 7 guys didn’t show up, because of their busy work. Although their work progressed, they missed a great chance to enjoy the life, enjoy the beautiful nature with long missed friends.
There were three cars on this trip, two were rented, and Wang Jun droves his car here. I can’t help to say something about Wang and his car here first. They were both the most labored fellows during this trip. Wang is an unbeatable expert driver, He is the only one who can drive manual-controlled cars and his car happens to be the car only he can drive. So even there were some license holders besides him, he had to drive from New York to Boston, then without much sleep, drive to northern New Hampshire, up and down Mt. Washington, to sea shore
Portsmouth, to Maine Portland, back to Boston, and back to New York in mid-night! You can imagine he and his car would be after that, no to say that since tiger maybe in a nap sometimes, our expert driver made a little mistake and nearly burned his car!! You can understand what I mean if you read though this.
Now we ten in three cars were really in good conditions. After hurried put everything on, we headed to NH by the highway named 93. Since in this trip, most time were spent in the car, I can’t say something about the cars and highways first. Traveling on highway was very fast and comfortable, yet we should try not to lose each other and to identify the proper way to go. In this case, Huang Sir is an inborn old horse. He has the instinct feeling to go to the right place by the right way and even right lane. This ability was particularly valuable when that night we were looking for a motel to live in Portsmouth. We had totally no idea where to go, but Huang Sir always directed properly where we should go. In the end, we eight males slept in a small two-bed room. To my surprise, the reception clerk said they didn’t care when Lei said he had 7 friends outside. We were too tired to talk much that night. So it was a good sleep.
“Driving on the highway to enjoy the fascinating scenery is really a marvelous experience.” Lei said so with great excitement during his driving. It could’t be true, the beauty is beyond my description. Along the highway, you can see nothing more than trees, trees. We only saw a little stone and soil once in a valley entrance. Trees’ colors varied form each other greatly. They were not as green as they were in spring, but colorful. They covered nearly the whole range of color from white, pink, red, orange, and yellow to light green. They also had different distance, so the different stratums and hues. It is so beautiful and can capture your eyes to keep on watching and watching being absorbed. It is typical scenery of New England. I never saw it in China. Also, we couldn’t help talking with the excellent conditions of highways. It keeps on stretching to the endless distance, as if where you want to go, it can lead you there. It maybe the common sense in US, but it is hard to imagine in China. And Wang Jun joked that he always drove on highway No.95, no matter he was in Miami, FL, DC, NY or now in MA and Maine.
Driving car is an exciting experience. Speed makes you feel more excited. I can’t drive myself. But after I sat behind one of our drivers, Lei, and an excellent interpreter, Huang Sir for hours, I learned a lot about driving. Lei used to drive in a rush, compared with the composed fellow, Tao (who is really a cool guy). But I like to ride on Lei’s car, it’s a new American car (Sorry that I don’t know its mark), purely red. When it started under Lei’s control, liked a taking off plane! It was the header of the three cars during our whole trip, even it ran into wrong ways now and then. Although Lei prefers to strength and speed, he is an indeed a careful driver. He is the only one who protects his car from being hurt during the mounting trip.
Huang Sir is not only a good director, but also a good companion sitting besides the driver. He knows during the long trip, drivers turn to be tired and reacting slowly, so he kept on talking with the driver some funny stories which makes the driver awake again. He is also willing to help drivers drink a cup of water or light a cigarette. He did these, excellently. So he was regarded as the kindest man to the drivers, also to rest of us. You can see he is really amiable guy from the photo which he was eating lobster near the seashore of Maine!
The most important feat in this trip was that we climbed to the top of Mt. Washington, which is the highest mountain in northeast of US. Its height is more than 6000 feet, about 1900m. The road to the top of the mountain stretches 8 mile. It is steep and narrow for exactly two cars. It was really a hard trip, especially for cars instead of us. It was exciting to us, for climbing a high mountain by car was a new experience to most of us, and also, the scenery around was just so beautiful. (See our picture).
When we arrived at the top, the most amazing thing we saw was that trains! Steam Trans!! Came up from the steep tracks. In fact, the train drags its up by a huge cog in the middle of rails in stead of its wheels. Obviously it is a project for tourists. But it is also shows the human’s aspire to conquer the nature, and can always achieve it if trying hard. We’d better always keep this spirit in mind. Mr. Lei felt the driver of the train was unbelievably dirty and ancient, so I took a picture of him with that guy! I think it is a valuable picture in this trip.
Though we were stayed comfortably in cars, the trip up and down the mountain was really a nightmare for cars. From the start of climbing, we knew that engines would be too hot for such a long acclivity. So we stopped occasionally to let the engines cool down. We saw some cars were unable to move on the road and smelt rubber’s malodorous now and then. We thought our cars were lucky to be normal. But we didn’t realize that our cars also became victims of the steep declivity. When we got off the mountain, Tao Kai and Wang Jun’s cars’ breaks were nearly burning. Wang’s break was totally ineffective and the shells of the front wheels were totally damaged by heat. The temperature was hundreds of degrees high. What a poor car!! Later we understand that it is due to their keeping using the breaks during the declivity. When car goes down a declivity, drivers should set the cog to LOW GEAR instead of let it be free. For low gear can act as a decelerator so you needn’t use breaks often. This is not a common knowledge but it was told in the instruction paper and tape when we entered the mountain. But we were just busy in enjoying the trip and ignored them. Lei is a really careful driver and during the trip, he read the instruction and followed it. I had ever shouted to others when we were getting down the mountain to read instructions. But I didn’t know the result was so serious. Luckily enough, the breaks recovered after they cooled down. It was a severe friction but not damage. So we were able to continue our trip after an hour’s lag. The experience we got from here is, “ALWAYS READ INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY”.
The interesting stories in our trip are enormous. I expect some others to tell us more. Now I just want to tell you the last one. Lei told us that we should be back at 6:00pm on Monday to return the rented cars back near Boston airport. We originally planned to be back at 4 or 5pm to Lei Tao’s apartment, after they returned cars, we together had a good Chinese dinner. But since we drove too far away and start a bit late, we decided to go to the airport to return the cars first. Enter to Boston, we met heavy traffic to airport. Time was up, and we finally returned the cars at about 7pm. Then all of us except people in Wang Jun’s car took Boston’s blue-line and orange-line subway back home. (Huang Sir commented that Boston’s subway is not good, but our experience to take it is really not bad.) By then, it was 8pm and there was no time for supper, because New York and DC guys were eager to be back during night. So we ate some delicious pizza instead.
Do you know what’s happened then? Later Lei told me that we needn’t return our cars so early?! The due time was the next morning!!! (Forgive me to divulge your little secretes, Mr. Lei, but I think everybody will forgive you, for it is really a good trip, a memorable trip, which proposed by you and Tao).
OK! Dear classmates. That is all for my report. I take this response and also be willing to write something about our trip, not only because it is an interesting trip and wish other of you to enjoy it with us, but also want to stir our multiway connections among us, though internet, which we may depend on for our whole life. I know, and I am experiencing the study and life pressure in US as a student, we are all busy and lack of time to communicate with others. But we also know that it is important and is part of our happy life. So I wish every one of us deliberately spend some of our leisure time write something to rest of us. It is fun and contributive too. Of course, it depends on your will and if you are busy. But it is better than nothing. Mr. Duan has both beautiful homepage and good movie talk topics. Although I seldom watch films and can’t say something about it, I still enjoy reading occasionally Duan’s work. There are also a lot of big soccer fans in our class, I have ever read some BBS articles about recent games, and was deeply moved by them. (Such as JinZhou Mei You Yan Lei). I wish some time you may also write one like that. Other computer and software experts may write something to enlighten us. (I am pleased with the discussions in these topics).
What is in my mind is that I always believe our phy89’s classmates are really a lovely assembly.