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The solitude of the long-distance sledder

Lone sledder at Millennium Park

Mary Ellen was at Millennium Park enjoying the snow yesterday when she spotted this lone figure going uphill.

OK, the sledder wasn't really alone in the wilderness:

Sledders at Millennium Park
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But the Red Herring is in thinking that there is a “real” wilderness area in Mass…perhaps, like the Great Gulf for example (WMNF)…quintessential “wilderness”…interestingly, the only designated Wilderness area in Mass is the Monomoy refuge which is not really a similar landscape at all, even if “cropped.”

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While personal danger should be a requisite for defining something as 'wilderness', the fact that your chances of being killed by a wild animal are highest in the state if you're swimming around Monomoy make it feel appropriate.

Monomoy is probably also the place you can be in Massachusetts and be the farthest from the nearest residence? Maybe one of the Quabbin Islands is more remote.

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Check it out - my neighbor sails out there. Almost like falling off the edge of the world.

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It depends on your definition. The latest Smithsonian has an article discussing a number of old-growth woodlands in the Berkshires. Old-growth, meaning never cut down, back to pre-Colonial times. Until recently, no one believed such a thing existed in MA.

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Designates wilderness areas, I reckon.
Not the Smithsonian.

Technically, 179 Lamartine could be a wilderness of sorts but like you say, it’s relative…

Also, if you did not know there is old growth in the Berkshire’s you might not be well.

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Also, if you did not know there is old growth in the Berkshire’s you might not be well.

Most people who know any history know that the white pines of New England were the "King's pines", cut down for ship's masts, so there's no real reason for them to think that old growth survived here - it's got nothing to do with not being "well". There are old growth trees (not all white pines, I know of some hemlocks also), which survived only by virtue of being inaccessible.

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As the Smithsonian article discusses, the guy who found the old growth in the Berkshires had a lot of skepticism among the experts to overcome before his claims were accepted. When I studied American History, it was accepted that all of Massachusetts was deforested in the 18th and 19th Centuries.

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When I studied American History, it was accepted that all of Massachusetts was deforested in the 18th and 19th Centuries.

...which, if you're interested in the natural history of New England, the Harvard Forest in Petersham is definitely worth a visit.

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.

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They found it when they were surveying to expand the ski area. It was nearly overlooked because the environment and geology are extreme enough that the trees weren't large like people think they might be.

https://www.midstatetrail.org/about-the-midstate-trail/old-growth-forest/

Massachusetts was not completely logged off - some smaller patches were simply too remote or the terrain was too gnarly to bother.

This Audubon article talks about the Wachusett stand, as well as others in the state:
https://www.massaudubon.org/our-conservation-work/policy-advocacy/protec...

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There's one in Franklin Park, and it's called that, so it's gotta be true.

https://www.franklinparkcoalition.org/wilderness-hiking/

I mean, nothing would ever show up on a map in Franklin Park that isn't accurate, right UHubbers?

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Really easy to get to via the Newstead 23Z bus.

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Beautiful.

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