10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1,0 days and counting - Eclipse in Northern NH - Where you going to be ?

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peakbagger

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Given the long term local weather statistics give a 30% chance of sun, its more than likely to be bust but for those not planning to make a major excursion (Tom Rankin) what is your choice for a local spot to watch?. GIven the April date, logging roads will probably be gated and not lot of options. No NH 4Ks (Cabot is just outside totality) Not a lot of open viewing summits.
 
Probably at work, right in the middle of the zone of totality. I’ll only climb for nocturnal astronomical events.
 
Original plan was Roger's Ledge, but given it's the only trailed peak in the Whites in totality and now on the 52, there's not a chance I'll be there. Plan now is to either get an AirBNB with favorable viewing or camp in the 100-Mile if I can get to the winter lot. The mud season timing is really limiting options that provide privacy and accessibility.
 
Original plan was Roger's Ledge, but given it's the only trailed peak in the Whites in totality and now on the 52, there's not a chance I'll be there. Plan now is to either get an AirBNB with favorable viewing or camp in the 100-Mile if I can get to the winter lot. The mud season timing is really limiting options that provide privacy and accessibility.
April 8 *should* still be snowy and cold enough for the logging roads to be open and the trails not too muddy or busy. On May 13 2022 I hiked up Coburn Mountain to camp and there was still 4-6 feet of snow on the woods trail 2/3 of the way up. Same with Number 5 Mountain a little farther west (Spencer Rd will most likely be passable at least to mile 17.) Temps were in the 80s and I needed the snowshoes I brought. There wasn’t enough snow for snowmobiles to still be out, but too much for the casual hikers. As easily accessible and easy as the trail is I didn’t see another soul. Unless black flies have souls, in which case I saw a few billion souls. They weren’t biting, though. Make sure to take the hiking path through the woods after the radio tower, though, it was cool enough in the woods that there were no flies.





Depending on how much snow is still on the summit there’s room for 3 or 4 2P tents. This was about 6 weeks ago.
 

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April 8 *should* still be snowy and cold enough for the logging roads to be open and the trails not too muddy or busy. On May 13 2022 I hiked up Coburn Mountain to camp and there was still 4-6 feet of snow on the woods trail 2/3 of the way up. Same with Number 5 Mountain a little farther west (Spencer Rd will most likely be passable at least to mile 17.) Temps were in the 80s and I needed the snowshoes I brought. There wasn’t enough snow for snowmobiles to still be out, but too much for the casual hikers. As easily accessible and easy as the trail is I didn’t see another soul. Unless black flies have souls, in which case I saw a few billion souls. They weren’t biting, though. Make sure to take the hiking path through the woods after the radio tower, though, it was cool enough in the woods that there were no flies.





Depending on how much snow is still on the summit there’s room for 3 or 4 2P tents. This was about 6 weeks ago.


Thank you for the info! If you had any pointers about car camping in the area that might be accessible to high clearance 4wd that time of year I'd be forever grateful. Trying to figure as many options as possible and I am pretty ignorant to what's passable to where that time of year.
 
Interesting thread. My house is on the path of totality in northern NY just by the border. A small group of us will probably do a local hike depending on the weather and trail conditions!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!
 
Basically camping is allowed anywhere that’s not posted and isn’t interfering with logging or the Corridor work.

In the West Forks/Caratunk area some logging roads that *should* be passable at the time (if nobody is logging along them they may not be plowed) and have suitable spots for camping are Boise Rd (off Lake Moxie Rd in West Forks), Lower Enchanted Rd (W side of Rte 201 leaving W Forks) and any of its side roads, Enchanted Mountain Rd (W side of 201, about 6 miles from Lower Enchanted) and any of its side roads, and Hardscrabble Rd (aka Spencer Rd, W side of 201 about 3 miles past Enchanted Mtn Rd) and any of its side roads. (The Coburn Mtn trail is a few hundred yards to the right at the T at the end of Enchanted Mtn Rd.)

Both Lower Enchanted and Hardscrabble go a long way into the middle of nowhere, have many side roads and branches that get very confusing, and have nonexistent cell coverage after a mile or 2, so either download the maps ahead of time or use an actual GPS.

If you have the time I recommend checking out the Spencer Lake POW camp memorial (mile 12 Hardscrabble Rd) and the 1963 Elephant Mtn B52 crash site a few miles outside Greenville heading toward Lily Bay. There are signs for both.
 
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Basically camping is allowed anywhere that’s not posted and isn’t interfering with logging or the Corridor work.

In the West Forks/Caratunk area some logging roads that *should* be passable at the time (if nobody is logging along them they may not be plowed) and have suitable spots for camping are Boise Rd (off Lake Moxie Rd in West Forks), Lower Enchanted Rd (W side of Rte 201 leaving W Forks) and any of its side roads, Enchanted Mountain Rd (W side of 201, about 6 miles from Lower Enchanted) and any of its side roads, and Hardscrabble Rd (aka Spencer Rd, W side of 201 about 3 miles past Enchanted Mtn Rd) and any of its side roads. (The Coburn Mtn trail is a few hundred yards to the right at the T at the end of Enchanted Mtn Rd.)

Both Lower Enchanted and Hardscrabble go a long way into the middle of nowhere, have many side roads and branches that get very confusing, and have nonexistent cell coverage after a mile or 2, so either download the maps ahead of time or use an actual GPS.

If you have the time I recommend checking out the Spencer Lake POW camp memorial (mile 12 Hardscrabble Rd) and the 1963 Elephant Mtn B52 crash site a few miles outside Greenville heading toward Lily Bay. There are signs for both.
Thank you! I did some research on the spencer lake camp after seeing you mention it previously and I put it on the list. We went to the B52 crash in October when camping at the Long Pond near Greenville. Very solemn place.
 
My home is barely within the region of totality near the western edge of the Adirondacks. But my brother has a (formerly family shared) camp on the shore of Lake Ontario near Watertown that is directly on the center line. my daughter has a home west of Plattsburgh that is also on center line. I will travel with three well equipped telescopes to the location of one or the other.

My son lives in Texas very near center line with a new telescope system and a high probability of clear sky. I will not be going to TX for this one, but after a TX visit in 2017, I did travel to MO for center line totality after that. This will be my 4th total solar eclipse, beginning with my first in 1970. Well worth any effort or necessary travel.

If you have access to an elevated location, the sight of the approaching shadow edge racing toward you at 1000 mph across the earth will blow you away. It is all the better to see it if you are near animals. Be sure to observe their response. I was once in a field with sheep in Canada, and even under thin clouds it was interesting to watch what they did, suddenly heading in mass toward the barn. Don't miss it, the experience will change your life forever.
 
If you have access to an elevated location, the sight of the approaching shadow edge racing toward you at 1000 mph across the earth will blow you away. It is all the better to see it if you are near animals. Be sure to observe their response. I was once in a field with sheep in Canada, and even under thin clouds it was interesting to watch what they did, suddenly heading in mass toward the barn. Don't miss it, the experience will change your life forever.

That‘s something I hadn’t thought of, so I think I will make sure I’m on a mountaintop if the skies are clear.
 
There are some who like to watch an extended duration of the diamond ring effect by stationing themselves on the line of the very edge of totality. Miss it by 100 yards and you miss the beauty of totality ompletely. But for me, nothing beats being within the maximum zone of center line totality for the full effect, including observing directly through a telescope or binocs (it is completly eye safe only during full totality).

In 1970 I was at the north end of the Chesapeake Bay bridge/tunnel with an elevated overlook of the water where I could see the approaching shadow roaring toward me from the southwest. Myself and everyone else near me nearly ducked down as the sharp shadow edge overtook us, and I almost expected to hear the banging sound of heavy steel doors closing over me.
 
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I dont expect to be at the center of totality. I am just south of the path but I know someone who has a good but not great spot on the edge of the totality. If the forecast is good, I expect folks will be streaming up from the south to watch it and many will hike to well known places like Rogers ledge, so I have a few spots that are less known I am considering a bit father into the path with good SW exposure and off the road. There are some nice options in the Pittsburg area but access may be really bad given the timing as they are in on logging roads that probably will be gated for mud season. That means less company, but a 4 mile one way walk up a melting logging road. One can never predict the winter but if its mild I think the timing will be after snowmobile season and before ATV season. Might be good time for a fat tire bike. Northern NH is really lacking for tourist accomodations and expect a major traffic jam heading south after the event if the forecast is good.

Too bad Les Otten's rather optimistic statement that the new Chair lift would be open by now is nowhere near valid as the summit of the Balsams Ski Area would be a nice place to view it.
 
My home is barely within the region of totality near the western edge of the Adirondacks. But my brother has a (formerly family shared) camp on the shore of Lake Ontario near Watertown that is directly on the center line. my daughter has a home west of Plattsburgh that is also on center line. I will travel with three well equipped telescopes to the location of one or the other.

My son lives in Texas very near center line with a new telescope system and a high probability of clear sky. I will not be going to TX for this one, but after a TX visit in 2017, I did travel to MO for center line totality after that. This will be my 4th total solar eclipse, beginning with my first in 1970. Well worth any effort or necessary travel.

If you have access to an elevated location, the sight of the approaching shadow edge racing toward you at 1000 mph across the earth will blow you away. It is all the better to see it if you are near animals. Be sure to observe their response. I was once in a field with sheep in Canada, and even under thin clouds it was interesting to watch what they did, suddenly heading in mass toward the barn. Don't miss it, the experience will change your life forever.
Friendly reminder about animals in an eclipse; insects, in this case. I spent my 60th birthday in a parking lot in Tennessee watching the 2017 one that went over a lot of the US. Beautiful! Unfortunately, I started to hear slap, slap, slap. I had not even considered the mosquitoes and they were all over my daughter. Lucky this one is in April, way up north.

And it's always a small world. Family next to us was halfway through the NH 48.
 
I think the press these days is desperate for anything non election related, and one of the things they are cranking out is eclipse preparation stories. Its sort of reminds me of Y2k stories. Usually, the story is small communities planning for the worst case and hoping they make some bucks off of it. Looking at a map of New England its pretty obvious that the populations centers routes to roughly the Canadian border are I-81, I91,I93 and I 95 with a few secondary highways. Once you get off the interstate, the majority of the highways are secondary rural highways that go through small towns. The big question is does a tourist service like gas stations with general stores stock up to serve the crowds and hope the 30% odds of sunny day offsets the costs of bust?

Luckily April 8th is a Monday, so my guess is most who are interested in eclipse viewing will make it a long weekend so that will stretch out the approach rush into an equivalent of a "super" Memorial Day weekend. Assuming the weather is good, folks will either try to rush home late that night or hang out overnight and head home Tuesday which will probably be a massive traffic jam. Note that much of the tourist industry accommodations has already cashed in on the event by collecting steep non refundable reservations usually for the entire weekend. I read recently that anyone who wants to rent a porta potty int he north country for that period of time is out of luck. Add in that the event is in shoulder season where various roads will be closed and that means a lot of normally used "bootleg and overflow spots will be limited. I read that the town of Pittsburg NH will be stockpiling snow at key dirt road accesses to block ATVs (the assumption is the snowmobile season will be over) so anyone heading up to the logical viewpoints in Pittsburg will have to be on foot. Odds are Dartmouth College Grant will be closed off tight with any accommodations or camping spots long since booked. Reportedly Jackman Maine is not planning on any special activities while Houlton Maine (and Northern Maine) in general is planning 3 days of events and advertising them.

My other guess is with media hype, if the forecast is at all less than abysmal, that a bunch of last minute visitors will head north last minute with little or no planning. Odds are they may end up watching an event (or a non event) from the side of the rural highway (based on prior eclipses).

Personally, as I have the time, I have few destinations I might do some scouting hikes to in a couple of weeks. Worse case is I have access to spot right in the edge of totality as a backup but if the forecast is reasonable, I would rather add in a bit of adventure. I know a few short cuts to get me by choke points and am well equipped if I need to do an overnight.

So for those not traveling to a far off destination, how is the planning going? Alternatively, are you just going to head out in a nearby parking lot and if its clear see an almost total eclipse and skip the traveling?
 
While my home is well within the zone of totality, I will be traveling to my brother's (formerly both of ours) camp on the edge of lake Ontario which is on the center line. Past eclipse experience shows that you will wish for every possible lingering second of totality. If not socked in by lake clouds, there is hope that the relatively cooler lake and atmosphere cooling in the first hour long partial eclipse phase may cause sinking air to help dissipate any clouds.
 
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