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Thread: Franconia Struggles

  1. #16
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
    Ha, Good Point!

    My sport bike does get 55 MPG though!!

    cb
    I get it. One has to be on only 2 wheels to be kool.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  2. #17
    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzbo View Post
    I heartily agree we are all petroleum based life forms - some more than others though. I miss the space my old SUV had, but love love love my new ride that gets 32.5 mpg. I'm contributing to thread drift and bad feelings so will say no more on this topic.
    I think it's a worthwhile sub-topic in this conversation. I always joked with friends that I'd drive 250 miles to hike for 15 (or drive 4 hours to hike for 8), but [obviously] the experience overcomes that absurdity. While the hike is often the destination, the towns we go through are not. Some of them offer amenities if you're staying there, but otherwise are not on the radar in which to spend your time. There isn't anything special to warrant the side trip. Brewery's seem to warrant side trips for people if that beer and atmosphere is good, so I'm optimistic about the new place. I have friend's that go out of their way to go to Schilling, so that fact that the new place is closer means it will get at least a few visitors - especially apres-ski at Cannon.

    So, while one's time is a big part of the equation, so is the fuel cost. If I drive my car up to Gorham I get about 40mpg on average and it's about 175 miles, so round trip is about 9 gallons of gas. If I drive a truck that gets 15 mpg while towing, then I'm using 30 gallons of fuel (not distinguishing between diesel and gas). If a UTV get's 20 mpg, someone could easily add 5-10 more gallons (depending on number of machines and miles ridden).

    Given the need to haul the UTVs (if not renting), and the fact that the activity requires more fuel in addition to just getting there, I think it's safe to imply that such forms of recreation use more petroleum than hiking, all things being equal. Of course, carpooling (4 people in a truck with 2 UTVs vs 1 person in a Subaru) could equal out the emissions per person, but that's variable is unknown, so I think it's fair to assume the carpooling habits are equal among populations.

    So, while ChrisB might use Petroleum to get where he's going, it does feel fair to imply that UTV enthusiasts use more petroleum for their recreating activities; however, it's not a judgement or a condemnation of the participants, as that is only a small aspect of one's overall carbon footprint! The worst thing one can do is have children.
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  3. #18
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    I have ridden my bicycle to many mountains in southern NH, hiked up and down, and ridden home. No petroleum was harmed during these recreational activities.

    Tim
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

  4. #19
    Senior Member B the Hiker's Avatar
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    When I used to lead AMC trips, I would go up for the weekend and stay at Subsig. I was amazed that if I had a Saturday trip and a Sunday trip, both would fill, but there usually was no overlap whatsoever--completely different groups, other than us leaders.

    I think most hikers want, or need, a day at home to do laundry, mow the lawn, see friends, and so on. So most hikers, I suspect, aren't staying up north at all, they drive up, they hike, and they go home.

    This leaves us with the folks who go up for the weekend.

    A lot of sociable people go to Subsig, heck it's $10 a night, or they stay at one of the hostels. I think very few camp, as a percentage. I suspect of the "frequent hikers" Subsig and the hostels take up the lion's share. For those who aren't frequent hikers, if they have young kids, there's the Highland Center, and without kids, there are some really lovely B&Bs or the Mt. Washington Hotel.

    In between are motels, and it doesn't matter when I'm driving by them, very few of them ever seem close to capacity. I don't mean during bike week or the holidays, but, it's hard to see where motels fit in, especially if they aren't dead smack in the middle of North Conway or Lincoln.

    The few times I have stayed at one, especially in the winter, it is near impossible to get hot water. Why would one stay at a motel when there are so many better options? Is it really surprising that Franconia is struggling? I just don't see what it has to offer hikers.


    Brian


    Brian

  5. #20
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    FWIW, it is exceedingly rare that I spend any time up north other than hiking (or skiing, or cycling.) Very occasionally, I will pick up some fast food, or a Dunk's. More often, I will buy gas at exit 24. If I do stay up north, I have friends with extra beds and if those are full, space in the backyard to pitch my tent. So, it is safe to say that I contribute very little to the north country economy, and that my destination is always the trailhead and rarely any surrounding towns.

    When I go to Maine, or should I ever embark on an Adirondack Journey, that would involve spending more time away from the trail and money on creature comforts and necessities.

    Tim
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

  6. #21
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    I must admit long ago when a friend and I was doing the 100 highest list, the vast majority were day hikes although we were really stretching it for Equinox and Stratton where the drive was far longer than the hike. The exception was the BSP peaks. We dayhiked the 4 pack (now six pack). My only defense is I run econoboxes that get 40 mpg. I left a fair share of tourist money in Milliinocket recently.

    As mentioned earlier, the ATV and snowmachine crowds tend to leave a lot more tourist and gas dollars on their trips. Most are up for the weekend and some for an extended weekend starting on Thursday. One of the more usual wasy to tap the markets are ethanol free gas stations. There is a loophole in the rules that small dealers can sell ethanol free super premium. Its expensive but folks with small engines and recreational vehicles try to use it in their toys as it does not turn to gum in the fuel system when the equipment sits. There is a recently reopened gas station in Berlin that opened up and ethanol free figures prominently in their advertising.

  7. #22
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJsName View Post
    I think it's a worthwhile sub-topic in this conversation.)
    When I use the phrase "petroleum based life form" I refer to folks who cannot recreate without an internal combustion engine doing most of the work.

    As hikers we of course burn hydros getting to the trail head, but once there turn off the key and walk under our own power.

    And that's a big difference.

    cb
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    Strange days indeed -- most peculiar, mama
    .

  8. #23
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
    When I use the phrase "petroleum based life form" I refer to folks who cannot recreate without an internal combustion engine doing most of the work
    With all do respect this is coming real close to sounding elitist. Let's remember there are folks that cannot hike for any number of legitimate reasons. Participating in petroleum based activities may be the only way some can enjoy the outdoors. Just because someone is doing it not under their own power does not make them any lesser of a life form.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  9. #24
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    A few random thoughts on this thread:

    1. The White Mountain National Forest: Land of Many Uses.

    Enough said....

    2. Tribes

    It is a generalization but I presume most would agree that the groups Motorcyclists, Snowmobilers , ATVers, and Jet Skiers probably have a lot of overlap as do the groups Cyclists, Snowshoers/XC Skiers, Hikers, and Kayakers.

    We may want to believe that these two general groups can also be neatly divided by political lines but I am not so sure about that. For example, in my family, the fishermen and hunters fall into both general categories and both political tribes.

    3. Franconia

    As other stated, not enough year round local population to support downtown businesses with Lincoln so close by. Not enough unique local attractions to pull people from other towns.

    4. Spenders

    To add on to Peakbaggers point comparing the spending habits of the groups, I hike for solitude and to be in the forest. So I will always prefer a bag night in the woods over a local hotel or motel. Staying at a campground on the Kanc on a winter weekend is as close to civilization in the Whites as I want to get. I stop for gas and coffee and maybe some fast food for the ride home. I spend a fair amount of money at the Steve's bookstore in Lincoln & buy a Hike Safe card. That is a pittance compared to a family going out to dinner in Conway or Lincoln or Gorham.

    I assume that going out to eat is part of the planned weekend fun for the ATVers, the same way it is for my family when we go on vacation for a week in the summer.
    Last edited by Tom_Murphy; 09-21-2018 at 01:46 PM.

  10. #25
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    I cut a sunset hike short yesterday so I went home the scenic way so I cut through Franconia during "prime time" (about 5:45PM) just to check out the town with this thread fresh in my head. Was fairly quiet. I came in by Rte 18 North. Were a few places on road that had a handful of cars (Saloon On The River or something like that and another Chef Somethng place). In "downtown" a restaurant called Dutch Treat was pretty full and the Iron Furnace Brewery was absolutely packed with cars and the bar looked 2 deep through the front window. Clearly adding some business to the area. Seemed like the place to be.

    In contrast, a short drive down to Woodstock and that area was crazy town. Cars and people everywhere. I'm sure the Highland Games was a factor but clearly no overflow left that area to go to Franconia. No reason to take the 10 minute ride. Nothing there.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 46/48; NY 46: 5/46

  11. #26
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    I've gone through a three stage cycle in my years going North to hike. For many years I camped, mostly at the Forest service campgrounds. As I got older, I started staying at hotels. Now, I strictly day hike. I never go to restaurants, I go to places where I can grab some slices or places like Wayne's market for their deli. I travel with my dog, so that has some bearing but not much. I'm also going through another transition. Since my injury, I'm off the 4k's. I'm going for surgery, but regardless of my outcome, I really don't miss them. I'm excited to do many of the small peaks I've ignored and also travel trails I've never done, even if they stay in the valleys. I don't contribute much to the economy up there, but sure have over the years. The problem these small towns have is the seasons. I stayed for years at the same hotel in North Conway run by an old couple. I had to sit in the parlor when I got there and catch up, lol before I could go to my room. They explained the seasons and resulting effects on cash flow. Running some kind of a business in the mountains for most, is no walk in the park.

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