On New Year’s Day, 2012, a handful of hikers ascended Lowell Mountain and arrived at the Camp Site inside the Nelson property line at about 12:30 pm. The mountain was covered with fog. One of our number stepped onto the path where it trespasses onto the Nelson property. A GMP security contractor immediately came out of the fog and began filming our party from a pick up truck. Per custom, he said nothing.
We proceeded south and followed the crane path down around the corner to the site of tower 8; stopping to eat our lunch along the way. The crane path crosses a high altitude wetland that formerly had water flowing in both directions. Now, the height of the wetland is buried directly under the crane path. A small stream still flows out of this wetland north towards the Access Road Junction. The wetland remains a seep on the south side until it gets to where the serpentine crane path comes back around to it. Previously, groundwater had run down a steep gully on the south side of Bald Head becoming a small stream. This stream is now buried under an estimated 8 ft. of fill for several hundred feet.
A pole loomed out of the dense fog near the proposed site of Tower 9. It had a ladder attached to it and a wooden sign with what looked like a backwards “P” on it. We hypothesized that this sign designated Powell’s Perch. A place of quiet solitude where she can observe the devastation she and her associates have wrought.
We walked over the buried stream towards to the south until we came to a small but deep quarry next to the edge of the road. Beyond the back wall of the small quarry was a very deep quarry that had an excavator parked in the bottom of it. There were blasting cones in the top of the ridge separating the two excavations.
A little further along the ridgeline the crane path petered out and became a muddy, rutted skidder track. We followed this path to the second Met Tower. There was a pile of logs in the road before the Met Tower. We continued a bit further south past the Met Tower then moved down off the mountain, heading back to our cars.
It is changing up there every day, and not for the better.