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Thread: More trail closings?

  1. #166
    Junior Member Chicken legs's Avatar
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    On the thread topic, I noticed two days ago that they barricaded the entrance to Diana’s Baths as I was leaving my street to go to work.
    It will be interesting to see what happens this weekend as far as people parking illegally in the neighborhood next door.
    It has been a total mess for the last couple years with a huge uptick in visitors.
    I’m always happy to see our town police writing $90 tickets for every car, some literally in front of the no parking/tow-away signs.
    The Forest Service manned booth in the trailhead should become a normal feature, much like the one at Lower Falls on the Kanc, though they haven’t dissuaded anyone from parking illegally on the main road over the last two summers.

  2. #167
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TCD View Post
    Yes. That's exactly what I am saying. Almost all people in this country are well intentioned. But there are certainly some, mostly in the government and corporate "halls of power" who would happily trade American lives for more power. You only have to watch the news to know this. Thankfully in the USA, that's an extremely small number of people. In some other countries, it's much more obvious. It's naive to ignore this.

    Useful graph. Thanks. But I do not wonder why all we see is a steady climb; see discussion above.
    We see the steady climb because the main thing being graphed is Confirmed Cases which can never go down. Maybe that's your point that the "halls of power" are only interested in exposing that number? Seems that anyone can build a graph - the data from John Hopkins is publicly available on github. I've been too busy to graph it as stacked area myself.

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

  3. #168
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    And just like that, someone sent me this: https://infogram.com/covid-data-hosp...hdw2jrjlnkd6l0 which contains the NH metrics as stacked bars which is pretty close to what I wanted

    Thanks!

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

  4. #169
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    With respect to AMC or any other public accommodations closing, I don't think there is any absolute guaranteed way of assuring that someone with early exposure will not slip into the system even if they test everyone at the trailhead. My limited understanding is the current testing requires some lag between exposure and when the test picks it up. Conceivably someone could hit the bars/party on Friday night and get exposed, head north on Saturday and get tested then head out on hut to hut and become a potential transmission vector to other guests.

    Now the scary part, for years many folks have wished that the huts go away. Here is a hopefully a once in lifetime chance for that wish to come true. Several of the huts like Greenleaf, Madison and LOC and to lesser extent the other huts has become the default bathroom break for hikers on heavily used trails. They also are the default water stop for treated water. Barring that the trails are closed, this now means a significant public health issue as people will still use the areas near treeline as place to defecate before heading above treeline. It already happens at LOC in the winter and spring as there are always toilet paper and piles of human crap piled up in sheltered areas when the crew arrives in the spring. Same with Madison, Greenleaf is normally open for caretaker basis. No doubt the "crap" line might move into the bushes and sheltered spots in the rocks but I expect human waste will be a big issue. I would also question the purity of the "lakes" at the LOC, Eagle Lake at Greenleaf and even the "spring" at Madison hut. Many casual hikers do not treat water so there is secondary health hazard. If they don't drink then its just more calls for rescue due to dehydration. The huts also act as first responders for emergencies so more calls to F&G for things that the hut crews dealt with. I expect AMC will need to hire caretakers just to keep some semblance of protection to the huts.

    Of course both the cog and autoroad are in a similar situation. Their guests will need sanitary facilities at the summit that are already overloaded. The cog proposed that they would build a "bathroom" car that they would haul up to avoid having limit on guests due to lack of adequate sanitary facilities at the summit. I guess they need to dust off the plans. I guess the autoroad would need to haul porta potties up and pay someone to pump them out and haul it down at night.

    Now extend this to the campsites along the AT, the standard joke is that someone staying at a campsite isn't paying for tentsite, they are paying for someone to shovel their crap out of the bucket in the outhouse and compost it after digging out the trash. I have seen Liberty Spring in the spring and usually the crap is at or above the seat. I expect the same with Guyot and Garfield. The WMNF can close them but unless they post a caretaker/cop they are going to get used.

    I don't think AMC had much of an option, they had to make employment commitments soon if they have not already made them. They also need to do food orders and arrange helicopter time and even with that they risked losing it all. Painful as it is, they are better off cutting their losses and doing a fundraising campaign to compensate for the lost revenue.

    This also most likely dooms the hiker shuttle used by many to head up to the whites via public transportation.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 04-30-2020 at 02:52 PM.

  5. #170
    Senior Member Peppersass's Avatar
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    It would take a lot to make the huts go away. If that ever happens I hope it's not until I can take my grandkids to all of them (yes, selfish, they are Tampa kids who are learning to love my home state).

    In Florida we have just .1% of the population that has been diagnosed with Covid-19. But that amounts to about 31,000 people. We are a big, populated state and there have been 20 cases in my zip code - not a lot. But.....the numbers are ALWAYS cumulative, which serves a purpose I guess because we have lots of people of all ages who think there are 31,000 people who are sick right now and are panicking because the number is going up and up. That number started early March - many are recovered but they dont see that.

    Looking at cases diagnosed daily, the numbers way down statewide, and we are well headed down the slope of the bell curve. Now, anyone interested can get tested, no symptoms necessary. The governor - not my favorite person by any means - will be allowing 25% capacity for restaurants. And beaches are set to open Monday. Very good news.

    From the looks of the graph in the link, NH numbers are also cumulative.

    I think the media coverage of spring break freaked out state leaders and caused them to close the beaches. What happened in NH.... well same thing for us, except FL is not in close proximity to any city that is a hot spot - NH has Boston and NYC to worry about - Adirondack region too. But still we had hoards of people crowding into tiny city parks and bike trails to recreate. No way I'll be critical of any governor or state official at this point. No way I'd want to be the decision maker - balancing safety with economic hardship.
    Peppersass - NEHH, NHW-13/48, NE111-91/115, State HPs-32/50

  6. #171
    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
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    A couple of FL counties are not opening up in the next couple of days. It's been reported that perhaps the FL State Govt is not reporting all info. See URL: https://thehill.com/homenews/state-w...th-data-report The Hill may be a bit slanted, however they are quoting a Tampa Newspaper.

    CT just announced their plan for reopening 5/20 and it sounds encouraging. I try to time my stops on my NH trips to on the way up, that's what fast food restaurants are floor, I'm glad I've never looked at the pits at the campsites. (I may have to drink that image out of my mind peakbagger.) We may see whether the FB and Instagram crowd come up less often with a closed hut system or if it will be a zoo this year.
    Have fun & be safe
    Mike P.

  7. #172
    Senior Member Peppersass's Avatar
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    I haven't been looking at Covid deaths but I think it's 3% of the cases in this state. We have more than the usual share of elderly and infirmed. And yes, there are three counties: Dade Broward and Palm Beach (think Miami area) that are still at a high rate of infection. Interestingly there are counties in and near the panhandle that have few or no cases. Many, especially small business owners are screaming for an opening, others think it's too soon.

    It will be interesting with the huts closed and no Highland or Pinkham til 7/1. And, if Maine continues with the 14 day quarantine thing, that may bring more hikers to NH. Just got a notice of all the current closings in NY from DEC. A month is a long time. Things may be very different by June 1.
    Peppersass - NEHH, NHW-13/48, NE111-91/115, State HPs-32/50

  8. #173
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike P. View Post
    A couple of FL counties are not opening up in the next couple of days. It's been reported that perhaps the FL State Govt is not reporting all info. See URL: https://thehill.com/homenews/state-w...th-data-report The Hill may be a bit slanted, however they are quoting a Tampa Newspaper.

    CT just announced their plan for reopening 5/20 and it sounds encouraging. I try to time my stops on my NH trips to on the way up, that's what fast food restaurants are floor, I'm glad I've never looked at the pits at the campsites. (I may have to drink that image out of my mind peakbagger.) We may see whether the FB and Instagram crowd come up less often with a closed hut system or if it will be a zoo this year.
    The MATC refers to overflowing privys as "code brown"

  9. #174
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    ...aaaannnnnd now they are reopening some previously closed trail heads....
    Yikes.

    https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/whitemountain/home

  10. #175
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Full Announcement


    White Mountain National Forest to Open Trailheads
    CAMPTON, NH May 1, 2020 – The White Mountain National Forest has re-opened several trail heads that were closed last week. The decision was based on safety concerns due to illegal parking while trailheads were closed, and to alleviate congestion on other locations during a continued demand for local recreation.
    The White Mountain National Forest will continue to implement a phase-based opening of the Forest in alignment with the State of New Hampshire. A limited number of sites will remain closed as the Forest continues to coordinate with local communities, the states of New Hampshire and Maine, and partners to address concerns before safely re-opening. A complete list of what is open and what is closed, including those sites still seasonally closed, can be found at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/whitemountain/home.
    Everyone is urged to take the precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019...revention.html. These safety precautions will help to maintain a safe environment for employees, visitors, and local communities. Many amenities, such as restrooms and garbage, at sites remain seasonally closed. Visitors should be prepared to pack in and pack out.
    White Mountain National Forest offices remain open virtually to protect the health and safety of employees and members of the public during the COVID-19 outbreak. Customers needing information, permits and maps are encouraged to call Forest Headquarters at: (603) 536-6100, Saco Ranger Station (603) 447-5448, and Androscoggin Ranger Station (603) 466-2713 during regular business hours.
    Trails listed here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/whitemountain/home


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

  11. #176
    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikehikeskifish View Post
    Sure - the graph is only as good as the data, and the data is only as good as the reports, and the reports are only as good as the tests and people reporting them . . .

    What else do we have that is better? Even with faulty data, I do like this graph, as it allows me to zoom in on the Northeast rather easily. Either VT is doing something more correct than average or they aren't testing/reporting.

    I am left wondering why nobody is presenting a stacked area graph (Note: I have looked, but not found this, let me know if you know of one please!) which includes

    1. deaths
    2. severe cases
    3. mild cases
    4. recovered cases

    All we see is the steady climb. The recovered number is missing. At least stacked area shows you visually the state of total cases over time.

    Tim
    I have been downloading and plotting the data pretty much since it began in the US. Most of the sources just enumerate the cumulative diagnosed cases and deaths. Many (if not most) mild cases are not recorded and and the only source of data that I have found on recoveries is for my home town.

    Some data sources:
    Massachusetts (with detailed breakdowns): https://www.mass.gov/info-details/co...onse-reporting
    CDC (US): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019...ses-in-us.html
    COVID Tracking Project (US and all states): https://covidtracking.com/
    NY Times (US, all states, all counties): https://github.com/nytimes/covid-19-data
    WHO (all countries): https://www.who.int/emergencies/dise...ation-reports/

    BTW, the log-log plot can get pretty messy with real data and does not give one a sense of the progression with time. I generally prefer a plot of (smoothed) new cases vs. time (the date).

    If you want to see how it should be done, check out New Zealand or Australia (data from the WHO).

    Doug

  12. #177
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikehikeskifish View Post
    Full Announcement


    White Mountain National Forest to Open Trailheads
    CAMPTON, NH May 1, 2020 – The White Mountain National Forest has re-opened several trail heads that were closed last week. The decision was based on safety concerns due to illegal parking while trailheads were closed, and to alleviate congestion on other locations during a continued demand for local recreation.
    The White Mountain National Forest will continue to implement a phase-based opening of the Forest in alignment with the State of New Hampshire. A limited number of sites will remain closed as the Forest continues to coordinate with local communities, the states of New Hampshire and Maine, and partners to address concerns before safely re-opening. A complete list of what is open and what is closed, including those sites still seasonally closed, can be found at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/whitemountain/home.
    Everyone is urged to take the precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019...revention.html. These safety precautions will help to maintain a safe environment for employees, visitors, and local communities. Many amenities, such as restrooms and garbage, at sites remain seasonally closed. Visitors should be prepared to pack in and pack out.
    White Mountain National Forest offices remain open virtually to protect the health and safety of employees and members of the public during the COVID-19 outbreak. Customers needing information, permits and maps are encouraged to call Forest Headquarters at: (603) 536-6100, Saco Ranger Station (603) 447-5448, and Androscoggin Ranger Station (603) 466-2713 during regular business hours.
    Trails listed here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/whitemountain/home


    Tim
    While I'm glad they're reversing their decision (for the most part?), I think these announcements will have a worse effect than if they had just left things alone.

    It will get enough headlines that some who otherwise would not have considered a trip may now think, "oh, the National Forest is open!" For those who follow rules (however ridiculous the rules are), it will be difficult to figure out what's open and what's not.

  13. #178
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    As usual, way to late to inform the public for this weekend. I expect the FS employees are shaking their heads at this. I guess the WMNF figured out that they were not in synch with NH government.

    I do note that Dianas Baths and South Moat are still closed. I guess they really dont want to deal with the politics of Dianas Bath yet.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 05-02-2020 at 06:01 AM.

  14. #179
    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
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    Do most of the Diana's Bath crowd recreate and exercise or sightsee? I know, with a car spot up South and over the Moats & down to Diana's Bath is a great hike, I did it a few years ago. The near roadside attractions like Diana's Bath & Glen Ellis Falls along with Tucks are amongst the most attractive nuisances, along with the Swift River. They also would tend to attract older people and those with other related issues. (Not sure how they open the Sherman Adams Building, I guess they could take five to ten people up by train car, however the summit photo line would be half way down the road if six feet apart waiting your turn. I suspect port-a-lets and facilities will be rare.
    Have fun & be safe
    Mike P.

  15. #180
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    The vast majority of people who visit Diana's baths are tourists who have to check if off their must see list. It usually does not impact hikers as they usually spot cars early in the AM when its less busy with the tourists. In the spring before Echo Lake State Park opens up there is a way of parking at Echo Lake and taking the Cathedral ledge trails from the Red Ridge trail. No such luck with North Moat.

    I agree reopening Mt Washington State Park facilities are going to be problematical. It already happens to an extent on the autoroad on busy weekends as the parking lots at the summit have limited capacity, the state park could do the same by limiting the number of guests from both the cog and the autoroad. No doubt the cog and the Autoroad will be butting heads on which one has the "right" to deposit visitors on the summit. At least the Cog cant complain about the AMC huts giving him unfair competition. I mentioned in one post that the owner of the Cog had claimed he was going to build a potty car for use of his guests. This was in response to the possibility that overall visitors to the summit would be limited due to lack of septic system capacity. He also offered the state the option of building a sewer line from the summit down the cog right of way and installing leach fields at the base station. This was when he was planning on the cog hotel so it would have been convenient to have some other entity kick in on the cost. From an engineering point of view it would be a pretty interesting and expensive project as the pressure in the line due to the elevation change would be significant at the base station, a real rough number would be around 1700 psi based on 4000 feet of elevation differential. Great place for a hydro turbine but it would require very thick pipes and would decidedly be unpleasant to work on.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 05-02-2020 at 03:27 PM.

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