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 Dinner & A Show On Chocorua - 8/18/16 
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 Dinner & A Show On Chocorua - 8/18/16
Thegibba and I decided to head out Thursday after work for some redlining and a sunset/moonrise on Chocorua. After 16 trips up I still needed a couple trails to Redline the mountain, and Peter was just out for a good hike I think, so after lunch we drove up and had our boots on the trail at 4 PM. We had decided with the full sturgeon moon rising we should have dinner and enjoy the show from up there, so we brought equipment and provisions to do just that.

Target in sight as we make the customary pit stop on the ride up
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The route; Bolles-->Bee Line-->Brook-->Champney Falls
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The Bolles Trail splits off from the Champney Falls Trail just after the crossing, and follows the banks of the Twin Brook most of the way to the height of land between Mts Chocorua and Paugus. It crosses it about a dozen times but with current conditions there were no issues, as it is not much more than a trickle at the moment. Lots of great looking campsites along the first couple miles, but once past those the trail got far less traveled, more obscure and even brushed in for stretches. Easy enough to follow now (which is good because oddly there are no blazes) but it might be tricky in spring or fall with leaves on the ground, and if I've ever seen a trail in the Whites where you might pick up ticks this is the one. Maybe I'm just paranoid, as I didn't get any, and haven't heard that Peter did either.

Let the Redlining begin! :D
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Pretty obvious for a few miles
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Gets a little more overgrown as you go farther past the numerous campsites
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After gaining 1100 feet to the pass, it immediately and steeply loses every single foot, and quickly I might add, with so-so footing made up often of that coarse gravel that the Mt. Paugus area seems to be full of. Once the trail bottomed out it came to a large washed out sandy/gravely area, that may have been a dry stream bed, or not, and past that seemed to follow an old railroad grade along the Paugus Brook to the junction with the Bee Line Trail, with a bunch of questionably placed and constructed bridges, not really sure why either, unless it's for snowmobiles or cross country skiers in winter, as hikers could easily have crossed most of the spots in a single bound.

It was dark in the Paugus Brook Valley even in the afternoon
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Washed out area that may or may not have water when not in a drought
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Not sure why this is here
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Not the sturdiest of bridges
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Old RR ties??
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Screw it. Just throw down some boards and lets get out of here!
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More sturdy and useful construction
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Anyhow up the Bee Line trail we went, which was also very lightly used. Easy to moderate grades for a mile or so and then you come to a sign that I'm pretty sure is not in the right spot, letting you know you are entering the protected Chocorua Scenic Area. Either the attatched map was wrong, or it is placed too far down the trail, because it looks like you are almost at the Brook Trail junction, but the joke is on you! The trail gets quite steep and has a lot farther to go than the map shows, but after 1.7 miles and 1300 feet (much of it on the last half mile) you join the Brook Trail for the final fun filled 900 feet to the top.

Making a Bee Line for the top 8)
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Again, not a highly used route
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The gravel you fins all over Paugus
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Which seems to come from crumbling boulders
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Either the sign is in the wrong place ot the map is wrong. Not sure which, but for sure you are not 0.1 miles from the Brook Trail junction
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More like half a mile, and a steep half mile at that
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Not quite sure what the tape is trying to tell me
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The Brook Trail, unlike the first 5.5 miles of the hike, is extremely heavily used and worn down to the bedrock most of the way, with minor scrambling through the woods and then a few halfway serious ledge scrambles near the base of the summit cone where views start to appear. The sun was setting at this point, and we alternated between taking pictures and rushing to get to the summit in time to catch it's drop below the mountain tops to the west. At one of the last viewpoints we realized we were going to miss seeing it from the top by about two minutes, and stopped to enjoy it before climbing the last 100 feet or so up the mountain. We passed two people on thier way down from the summit who had stayed up there to watch the sunset (and hula hoop apparently) before departing, and when we arrived a minute later we had the place to ourselves.

Headed up the heavily used and eroded Brook Trail
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It's a steep, rocky climb but gets to the views in no time at all
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Going up into the sunset
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View ledge to the south with the lakes and Ossipee Mountains
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Racing the sun to the top
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Stopping every couple steps to take photos of the sinking star
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The race continues
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Sooooo close...
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But we finally admitted defeat and watched from a hundred feet short of the summit
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Going...going...gone
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Then onward we went to the top of the world
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The full moon was rising to the east but with some low clouds on the horizon and haze in the air took a few minutes to show itself clearly, but when it did the sunset in the west gave the moon in the east a nice reddish glow, that turned to pink, orange and yellow before the normal white color high in the sky. While that was all happening we set up shop, fired up the camp stove and made dinner (which was steak tip kabobs) had a drink and enjoyed the show. The mountains had shadows in the moonlight it was so bright, the lights of Portland and the moon reflecting off the Atlantic and lakes was plain to see with the naked eye, and the lights of places like North Conway, Tilton and more filled in the darkness below. The one downside of the bright moon was next to no stars were visible, but that was a small price to pay for the rest of what we got to see up there.

Sturgeon Moon rising to the east at dusk
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Looking more moon-like after rising for a bit
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We had to do something to entertain ourselves for an hour and a half as the sun set and the moon rose, so we cooked dinner
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Kabobs in the moonlight
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Kabobs under the stars
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Moonlit views to the north while we cooked
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And south
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Portland, Maine and a moonlit ocean
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North Conway
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South along 16
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Moonlight so bright Chocorua casts a shadow
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One last look around and VFTT
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We made sure to LNT, packing up everything of ours and then some other trash from the popular summit before heading down. It was probably bright enough to make our way down the first half mile of bare summit ledge but we used headlamps anyhow, and once we hit the woods it was surprisingly dark for a full moon night. I guess it wasn't high enough in the sky yet to hit the Champney Brook Valley. We detoured to the falls which were not much more than a drip, mostly to check out the new stone work and steps we'd heard about and were told to come marvel at. Well, lets just say we saw them but didn't spend much time marveling at them before moving on and uneventfully returning to the car which was the last in the lot at 11:30.

Look back at the summit cone on the way down
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Last ones in the lot when we finished up
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I'm surprised the Bolles Trail gets any billing, but it does
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So that was that. Some new trail and a new experience on an old mountain. I had forgotten how nice the approach from the southern trails is, as I hadn't been over on those trails in probably a decade. Not as much bare rock as coming from the north but still more than it's fair share of ledgy goodness. I can't say much for the Bolles and Bee Line trails, but they made a loop possible, and I'm glad we did it counter clockwise, otherwise there'd have been a rather unpleasant 1100 foot climb at the end of the trip. Instead it was just one big, no enormous, PUD that made for a nice little warm up. Totals for the hike were 10 miles with 3300 feet of elevation gain. Not bad for a mountain that's only 3475 feet high.


Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:11 pm
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 Re: Dinner & A Show On Chocorua - 8/18/16
Granite Guy wrote:
Screw it. Just throw down some boards and lets get out of here!
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:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Sun Aug 21, 2016 10:16 am
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 Re: Dinner & A Show On Chocorua - 8/18/16
Granite Guy wrote:
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V-E-R-Y nice Derek!

You guys were stylin' up there, for sure. Great way to spend an evening, on an old favorite.

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Sun Aug 21, 2016 10:18 am
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 Re: Dinner & A Show On Chocorua - 8/18/16
Granite Guy wrote:
Thegibba and I decided to head out Thursday after work for some redlining

B'ah, redlining is no fun and is for losers. Don't bother. :lol: :wink: :oops: :D

Quote:
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I find this tastier than any of the food photos. 8)

Brian


Sun Aug 21, 2016 8:27 pm
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 Re: Dinner & A Show On Chocorua - 8/18/16
Nothing like a restaurant with a view! Us slow ladies should do this as an overnight, maybe for next year's Perseids Shower!


Sun Aug 21, 2016 9:14 pm
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 Re: Dinner & A Show On Chocorua - 8/18/16
Just a quick afternoon dayhike up Derek's Mountain! :lol:

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Yes I was just out for a good hike. We gambled and the dividends paid off. Some sites said cloudy but mountain weather forecast said sunny skies. There is something to be said for getting a great nights sleep, a leisurely spent morning sipping coffee and reading or whatever before leaving for a hike. Sure, I got home at 3AM. But at least i got some sleep. These are the trade offs for hitching up sunset. The Bolles trail is certainly not a fantastic destination. Its a good trail, don't get me wrong. It just doesn't as Derek said, deserve the billing the street sign gives. It's a North to South connector old logging road Intersected by snowmobile trails. The woods were great though. It's Shadowed by Paugus to the West.

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Here is an example. The hiking trail goes right and the snomo trail goes left and appareantly intersects later on down the way. This also explains all the cruddy bridges we encountered. There is a logging camp somewhere along the way south of the beeline trail. Eventually I'll end up coming back up Chocorua from that direction. Sometime.

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The Beeline trail was more of the same really, easy grades most of the way, good woods. But it teases you with the sign that says you are almost there but beats you with steep stuff than goes on forever.

The star of the show was obviously the sun.

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the shadow of Chocorua
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The reds dotting the landscape
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Its a repeat of GG's pic but hey, the setting sun over the Tripyramids was pretty awesome looking. Goodnight Sun
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There is nothing like fine dining up on the peaks. Sunset, Moonrise. Bolles, Beeline what? None of that mattered. We were here and living life. That's all that mattered. Foodg, booze the Sun and the Moon. I don't mean to be greedy, but we had it all. I only wished I had matching Shorts and pantlegs.

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Cookouts on the 48? I dunno. I can see this happening a bit more. no need for tail gating. We now have peak gating. 8)


Sun Aug 21, 2016 9:37 pm
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 Re: Dinner & A Show On Chocorua - 8/18/16
Why not? The Herr Ladies have done "Desserts on the 48," "Burgers on Wherever," etc.


Sun Aug 21, 2016 9:42 pm
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 Re: Dinner & A Show On Chocorua - 8/18/16
New Hampshire wrote:
Granite Guy wrote:
Thegibba and I decided to head out Thursday after work for some redlining

B'ah, redlining is no fun and is for losers. Don't bother. :lol: :wink: :oops: :D

Quote:
Image


I find this tastier than any of the food photos. 8)

Brian


I got a long way to go, but I'm too far down the red rabbits hole to turn back now! 8)

The sunset was tasty for sure. Paired with the food and moonlight it was a pretty tasty evening for sure. :beer:

Peter!! Cookouts on the 48??!! Have you forgotten everything you've learned about me on our trips??!! Why would I want to have a cookout and stare at crowds of people and pine trees all the time??!! :wink:


Sun Aug 21, 2016 10:17 pm
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 Re: Dinner & A Show On Chocorua - 8/18/16
Great stuff! I've said this many times as well, can not get myself to do more sunset hikes. I've only done 3. 2 on K-North and on Loon. This one looks real tempting. There's a guy who was or still id on Rocks on Top (Dave Bear) that was known for his carrying grills up mountains and cooking steaks. Now there seems to another. We now know who to invite on the next, if there ever is one, trail magic adventure. :D

I don't know this for sure but I think snowmobiles are allowed on some or all of the Bolles Trail. I did a loop last December using it, Beeline and Brook. This is the what the bridges are like on that side.

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Last edited by JustJoe on Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:18 am, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Aug 22, 2016 7:41 am
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 Re: Dinner & A Show On Chocorua - 8/18/16
Granite Guy wrote:
Peter!! Cookouts on the 48??!! Have you forgotten everything you've learned about me on our trips??!! Why would I want to have a cookout and stare at crowds of people and pine trees all the time??!! :wink:


So you had a cookout on one of the few mountains that is often more crowded than the 48 ;)


Joe: no image :(

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Mon Aug 22, 2016 7:44 am
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 Re: Dinner & A Show On Chocorua - 8/18/16
madmattd wrote:


Joe: no image :(


Man, this Google BS is really starting to piss me off. :evil: How about now? Here I was thinking I'd got it somewhat licked but I was only seeing an image because I was signed in to Google. Sign out, nada. Now I guess I've several others to fix.

Sorry about the drift GG.

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Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:22 am
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 Re: Dinner & A Show On Chocorua - 8/18/16
No worries about the drift Joe. Pretty sure I did it to your Acadia thread too! :D

More crowded depending on the route and timing Matt. But we took the road less travelled to avoid the crowds (saw just 2 people on the Bolles and 2 more near the summit) although I admit they would be gone from the summit by sunset on most mountains, 4K or otherwise. The pine trees are a bigger problem for sure, by my count less than half the 48 have open summits we could cook out on and still enjoy the view! :D


Mon Aug 22, 2016 9:58 am
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 Re: Dinner & A Show On Chocorua - 8/18/16
thegibba wrote:
Just a quick afternoon dayhike up Derek's Mountain 8)

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Everything about this says: "A man on a mission."

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Tue Aug 23, 2016 9:01 am
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 Re: Dinner & A Show On Chocorua - 8/18/16
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VERY cool shot Peter!

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Tue Aug 23, 2016 9:02 am
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 Re: Dinner & A Show On Chocorua - 8/18/16
I'm not sure I can claim this as Derek's Mountain just yet, as I still need a mile or so of the Weetamoo trail to redline it, and Joe has probably hiked it as much as I have. But, if I am ever bestowed that honor and can stand shoulder to shoulder with Kathy's Mountain I'll gladly take this one. 8)


Tue Aug 23, 2016 10:57 am
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