As I wrote about the quest, I experienced much of the same excitement I felt when I reached goals and found positive evidence. My first view of the overgrown wagon road and robbery site clearly indicated that I had properly transferred recorded details to the reality of the present forest setting. The hunt for treasure quickly changed from an area involving a square mile or more to a limited space of an acre or less (depending on the shape of that acre). My equipment changed from a hiking stick and walking boots to the use of metal detectors and a permanent camp site.
I’m proud to add that after more than thirty visits to the same camp, my forest footprint isn’t noticeable. Perhaps campers should have to obtain a licence stating they will remove the debris they bring with them. Or perhaps there should be a social contract, a social conscience of sorts where anyone camping, hunting or visiting outdoor recreational areas promises to leave no evidence behind. My quest allowed me to see how the past century of use has shown a disregard for our natural world. In this electronic age of connectivity, as our oceans fill with plastic debris and our water supply contains the worst of all chemicals, a movement should sprout in our fertile, compost heap of life and encourage all to vow to clean up our planet.
The enemy is at our gates, and we are it. Are you for our long-term healthy survival or against it?