A Hair Raising Experience!

I'll bet that woman has hairpins in her hair. What woman you say? Well that's this week's Sepia Saturday prompt. (see below)

Voila! I have have found an old postcard of a hairpin turn right here in Massachusetts. One doesn't think of Massachusetts as being mountainous but the Appalachian Mountain chain rises right through the western part of the state. This is the hairpin turn on the  famous tourist highway called Mohawk Trail. It is also State Route 2.

hairpin turn, mohawk trail, north adams, massachusetts, postcard
Looking South
Photo: Boston Public Library - Flickr
The grade up and over the mountains from North Adams eastward toward Boston was to steep a slope to take in a straight line so they built switchbacks into the it. This hairpin turn is the only one in the state. 

There is also a lesser curve, not quite a hairpin, at the top of the grade over Todd Mountain. In the autumn of the year the leaves on the trees turn bright colours and the Mohawk Trail becomes a parking lot at some places. (middle photo)

hairpin turn, mohawk trail, north adams, massachusetts, postcard
Looking South
Photo: Google Earth Street View
At the top of the downgrade a sign advises truckers to check their brakes and to run in a low gear on this grade. I check my brakes here anyways and I don't even drive a truck!

There is some hair raising excitement here as you drive your car. You will be constantly stepping on the brake hard on the way down or hearing you engine rev and struggle on the way up. Coming down the grade, as you can see from the lower photo, there is no truck escape ramp. If you've lost your brakes here you are going right over the cliff!

hairpin turn, mohawk trail, north adams, massachusetts, postcard
Looking North
Photo: Google Earth Street View
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