Leaving No Trace

Presumably this BLM Long Term Visitor Area has now reverted from paid permit-only to regular 14-day public land. I moved my RV storage reservation to the 28th due to… you know why. After that I have no choice but to travel and things should be easing up by then, hopefully.

The neighborhood has thinned out quite a bit.

Travel by motorcycle opens up more, or different, options compared to my little motorhome. Extremely remote volunteer sites at the end of long, rough roads, for example. Adding in the fact that there’s typically zero cellular service or wifi in most such places, which up till the end of last year was necessary for my freelance work, I never considered them before. Now, however, my Beemer can easily travel there and I can get by okay without the internet—I’ll just load up with downloaded movies, audiobooks, and ebooks during infrequent trips to civilization for supplies.

No, I haven’t signed up for such a position. Not yet anyway, and I might not at all this year. But I encountered something on one of the listings that pleased me:

Leave No Trace Note:
[…] is a unique place, remote, quiet, uncrowded, a place for solitude and peaceful appreciation of […]. The volunteer will help keep it that way by leaving no trace in cyberspace. It’s fine for the volunteer to tell friends and family about how wonderful it is being away from internet and running water, but that’s it–no blogs, guidebook or trail guide entries, self-promotion, other media hype, or commercial interests. Leave it as you hope to find it – silent and as wild as possible.

No blabbermouth staff allowed! Bravo! After what has happened with Havasupai Falls, et al, it’s necessary. Sure, it won’t stop people like YouTube and Instagram “influencers” from ruining a location if they discover and spotlight it, but it’s another step in building awareness of the problem and plugging the dike one finger at a time.

Adventure Riding Radio did a podcast that included this issue. It seemed to me like most of the world-traveling regulars on the show, who write lots of popular books, blogs, etc., about motorcycle travel, were a bit unclear on what the moderator was talking about at first. But they were all (verbally, at least) onboard with shutting-the-heck-up about specific locations by the end.

If and when I choose to volunteer at such a place this blog will go dark for that period. I’m fine with that. It’s an easy sacrifice if it helps keep a place as unspoiled as possible.

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