HIKE FOR EQUALITY: North and South Baldface
Hiking/Walk DATE: 06/09/2018 - 06/09/2018
Trip/Event Location: North Chatham, NH
Max # People: 15
Trip Guiding / Event Fee: No, I will not be asking participants for money
Difficulty Level: Moderate to Strenuous
Our Pride Hike to one of the most magnificent hikes in the White Mountains with a fun social mixer to follow at a local restaurant!
From I-93 just past Cannon Mountain take exit 35 onto US Route 3. Continue through the Twin Mountain junction crossing US Route 302. Still on US Route 3, make a right onto NH 115 in Carroll. Follow NH 115 to US Route 2. Make a right onto US Route 2 and follow it to Gorham. Stay on US Route 2 to the junction of NH/ME 113 just a little past the Maine border. At 113, make a right turn and follow 113 to the trailhead in North Chatham.
From Conway, drive east on NH Route 113 as it joins US Route 302 and approaches Fryeburg, Maine. On the outskirts of Fryeburg, turn left [north] on Route 113 and follow its various twists and turns through farmland intervale as it weaves back and forth across the Maine/New Hampshire border and rises into the foothils of North Chatham, NH. The Forest Service parking lot is 14.5 miles north of US 302 and 0.15 north of the access to the AMC Cold Water Campground.
A Forest Service parking lot for the Baldface Circle Trail is on the east side of Route 113.
Warm sun, beautiful day, 4 miles of above treeline hiking, and 5 gay hikers with rainbow flags. Who could ask for more?
We set off on our 9.8 mile hike from Evans Notch, NH and climbed moderately to Baldface Shelter. We then tackled the amazing granite slabs requiring some technical scrambling to the Baldface Knob marked by an interesting cairn. During the day we observed Bunchberry, Lady Slipper, Labrador Tea , Rhodora, Trillium and Bluebead Lily. We continue onward onto yep, more granite! Our hike above treeline provided sweeping mountain views unfolding with picture-perfect-postcard vistas of the Presidential Range, Carter Range, Mount Chocorua; just to name a few.
It’s important to celebrate pride in the extreme places and the mundane. Every person who celebrates is another example of who queer people are and what we can do. It’s a chance to remind the world, and ourselves, that our potential is limitless and is in no way inhibited by our sexuality or gender identity.
After lunch on the summit of South Baldface, 3,570 feet, we continued on our trek over to North Baldface at 3,610 feet with smooth sailing. We had no lost or misplaced souls on our trek. In fact, with our rainbow flags flapping in the breeze, our souls were filled with pride and appreciated the words of support from the hikers we met during the day! We don’t have to just go to the gay pride events to celebrate Pride. We can be open and out anywhere, and that means hiking up mountains with rainbow flags flapping in the breeze and meeting our gay brothers/sisters and allies. It’s good to know we are not the only gay people hiking that mountain on a certain day.
Eventually we dropped down to a green tunnel of beech trees with a quick stop to Emerald Pool before returning back to our vehicles. Upon our return, we changed shirts, threw our bare feet in some sandals and took off with the wind blowing in the windows as we drove through Evans Notch…ahhh!!!
We drove to Gorham, NH and sat on an outside deck along the Androscoggin River at Mr. Pizza for a well-earned beer and delicious meal. We then drove back to Mike and Jon’s house [Mad River Lodge] for showers, more good company, snacks, drinks, and watched some gay pride type entertainment on TV.
Many thanks to all for joining us and for making the day so pleasurable!
Jon and I have many other spirited hikes posted on the website for this summer so we hope you can join us!
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Scorpione Jun 11, 2018 at 1:16 PM
Best New England hike in my memory. Thank You M&J. Kin, congenial, small group conducing to conversation, vocabulary improvement (bald knobs of various nature); and silence, soothing in the last segment of the descent in "a green tunnel of beech trees" before the beautiful emerald pool with the friendly,sinewy ephebe cavorting, slithering on the rocks, then jumping in the green water (72/75). Trop jeune pour moi. Luciano
Robert.L Jun 11, 2018 at 10:07 AM
What a gift this hike was... from a meandering ascent through a pine tree forest... to rock scrambles that brought us to a ridge like no other... a stunning display of natures purest beauty... the alpine gardens along this four mile journey filled my soul with pure joy... this is a keeper friends... thank you so much for a brilliant excursion.