Friday, December 11, 2009

Respect the Past: Advice for Explorers

A sign saying to respect the past, with an old mine water tower in the background.
Good advice.

It's a joke that we often make about hiking in the Upper Peninsula: "It just isn't a hike until you've seen a major kitchen appliance." Sadly, it's also very true. Even in the middle of (what feels like) nowhere, miles from the nearest town or even a house, any deep ravine will inevitably contain a rusty refrigerator, a broken-down sofa, or maybe a toilet.

In the last year or so, new signs like this one have popped up all over the Quincy Mine lands, reminding people to respect these ruins. I like the signs quite a bit, because they make it clear that we (as visitors) are still welcome to explore the ruins -- just don't be stupid about it!

To that end, here is some advice -- both positive and negative -- for explorers (especially in the Copper Country).

  • Never leave any garbage -- large or small -- behind. Even pack your meal garbage (wrappers, left-over food, etc.) so that animals don't get hooked on "human food".
  • When exploring ruins, never deliberately move, remove, or modify any part of the ruins. That includes removing artifacts (metal, tools, etc.), moving masonry or stonework, taking souvenirs, etc. It also means don't stand or climb on anything which may break!
  • Don't put graffiti on anything! -- duh!
  • Do report obvious damage or intentional destruction to someone appropriate -- the property owner, or sheriff's office, usually.
  • Do respect signs, especially "No Trespassing". If you contact the property owner directly and explain your intentions, you can get permission (and avoid problems!).
  • Have fun! Exploring and discovering new places is still tremendous fun, without the need for scavenging or looting. Enjoy!


Anonymous said...

Here, here!! I completely agree. And anything you can do to spread the message is a great service to the UP.


John Webster said...

That looks like the the locomotive watering standpipe just east of the Quincy & Torch Lake roundhouse. There is a nice article on this facility in Railroad Model Craftsman in the early 90s.