On a camping trip in March, while hiking the Art Loeb Trail, a friend and I found the defacement seen here at Tennent Mountain, NC (which I've written about previously). It was the first and only vandalism I had noticed anywhere near this vicinity.
A few weeks ago another friend and I were camped near Graveyard Fields and we came across a great campsite by a nice river located between a couple of waterfalls. Someone had built a really nice fire pit beside the river. Unfortunately in the pit we found seven or eight water bottles and beer cans, a condom wrapper, and a Bi-Lo bag full of something that neither of us were willing to investigate. So we were left with the task of cleaning up the site and hauling all of this out. To make matters worse, about two hours after setting up camp I walked back up the trail and noticed where three people had left human scat, uncovered, toilet paper and all, within about four feet of the trail, on the uphill side, about fifteen feet from the river. That's disgusting.
Yesterday I was back on Tennent Mountain and discovered where several young girls (judging by their 1990's names) had continued the tradition started by Jonfun and Devo. In addition I also picked up an empty water bottle and empty beer can (Pabst Blue Ribbon of all things) on the same trail.
So all of this has left me pondering a couple of things. First of all what the hell is wrong with people? Are they simply so self-absorbed that they don't care about anyone else or the natural settings they are in? Secondly, is it possible that somehow this little blog has helped to create these problems? I don't get a ton of hits but I did get 6038 unique visitors in 2008 and have 5300 so far this year. Is it possible that I actually led these people to these spots with my little postings? I sure hope not. My goal has always been to bring these great spots to the attention of people who will also appreciate them and protect them, not destroy them.
So if you read this blog and decide to explore these places please respect them. Pack out all trash, and pick up trash you see left by others. Make sure all fires are extinguished. Don't pee in the streams and rivers and if you have to squat in the woods do it at least 70 paces from any water source. Dig a hole first with the heel of your shoe and then cover it afterwards. And for godssake, if you're going to haul beer in at least take something more drinkable than Pabst Blue Ribbon.
Here are a couple of resources for anyone spending time in the wilderness:
And if Jonfun, Devo, Shashy, Sam, Ellen, Megan, Chloe, Kendall, Aubie, Abie, Kellie, Taylor, Sasha or Lexi happen to come across this, please redeem yourselves by contacting one of the following and offering to assist in trail cleanup and maintenance.