Friday, September 28, 2007

The Plane Crash

One of the things we have been looking forward to is coming up to the plane crash on the boundary. The plane literally lies about half on NPS lands and half on the adjacent landowners, with the boundary running across the wing.

When we got to the plane, we took some time to explore:

Ellen and Aaron in the back of the plane:

Tom exploring the plane:

There were random pieces of plane all of over the place:

The wing that lies on the boundary:

Sally painting a blaze on the wing:

It was kind of creepy and definitely bad footing walking over the gnarled and sharp metal of the crash site and the wing to get to the other side of the boundary. I did not enjoy it.

One thing that we were very disappointed to find was an extremely obvious social trail from the A.T. to the plane crash that went across a fragile alpine environment AND was marked with red paint. The red paint was even on the A.T. Although many locals know through the grapevine that the plane crash exists, this obvious destruction of natural resources is inappropriate. Therefore, we obliterated the red paint that was marking this social trail. Unfortunately, the amount of foot traffic on the social trail has already killed all of the fragile alpine plants on the path. These plants are unlikely to ever regenerate due to the compaction of the soil and their extremely slow growth rate.

The obvious social trail:

The red paint on the A.T. (not allowed!):

Ray obliterating the red paint with camouflage paint:

Red paint along the social trail before and after:

Here are some of Ray's close-up photos of the beautiful alpine vegetation that has been destroyed by this social trail.

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