The Mount Washington Cog Railway near Bretton Woods is well known for providing some beautiful views of the White Mountains.
But some tourists have been getting upset because they were seeing far more scenery than they wanted.
NHPR correspondent Chris Jensen has the story.
RADIO TRAFFIC OF DISPATCHER SAYING THERE WILL BE 52 PASSENGERS AND INSTRUCTING ENGINEER TO BLOW THE WHISTLE, WHICH HE DOES.
There’s a lot to been seen by taking The Mount Washington Cog Railway up the ever-so steep flank of Mount Washington.
The Presidential Mountains.
Yes. The moons. Until recently some hikers were routinely flashing their gluteus to the maximus at tourists riding the cog railway.
Laura Hardiman is the station master.
“I think it is a really long-standing 20 or 30-year tradition, if you want to call it that, for some of the through hikers. After being a brakeman myself I realized how frequently it happened. A lot of people get really offended.
Hardiman says some tourists actually think it’s part of the show and that the railway was having people do it.
But she adds, the staff does warn people.
“Sometimes one of the more tactful brakemen will say there is one more thing we need to tell you about. Be prepared, whether this means covering your eyes or getting out your camera, I am not sure, but we do have hikers who potentially could be mooning the train.”
At the end of the summer it seemed to be getting out of hand.
“People complained. They were horrified. Little kids cried. Some people cracked up and thought it was funny. But a lot of people were highly offended.”
Following a complaint from the Cog railway an off-duty state trooper and a ranger – dressed in hiking clothes - started riding the train.
When the pants dropped, the train stopped. Out came the badges.
After a couple of weekends a total of eight unhappy hikers – including one woman - found themselves getting a summons to pay a fine or appear in court in Concord.
And that’s Federal court, because the “crime” was committed on federal property, the White Mountain National Forest.
Station master Hardiman said since the arrests there haven’t been any more complaints.
As for the arresting officers, it turns out that the dream of catching a bad guy with his pants down is not always as terrific as one imagines.
The arresting officer, who wouldn’t go on tape, said it wasn’t a pleasant sight.
On a recent, chilly morning, waiting to board the train, James Hamilton, of Cohasset, Massachusetts, had a theory about the mooners’ motivation.
“Well, I guess this goes along with the original history of the train, which was when the Marshes decided to build it, I believe they called it The Railway to the Moon. Perhaps those chaps, lads and lassies, who might have been exposing their nether regions were history buffs.”
For NHPR News, this is Chris Jensen.