An almost summer-like day at the end of March, had me suit up and go find out how much out of shape I was, as I climbed Green Mountain Park's trails for the first time in '10.
Answer: I could be a gold medalist in the 1000 Meter Obscene Phonecall Olympic competition.
One concerned pair of young female joggers stopped and asked me if I was alright during one of my "find and suck in every last particle of oxygen nearby" breaks; my between-gasps "yeah..my left side still works, too" convinced them they could move on, perhaps a little faster than they'd come upon me, but I digress.
Green Mountain Park (aka, William Frederick Hayden Park) has provided me with writing material before: two encounters with rattlesnakes (in '07), and a mythical tangle with a raging Girl Scout troop selling cookies at oxygen-point (in '06 or '07, I forget). But I missed it's latest offering, until the end of my first excursion of 2010 thereon.
A little background: apparently, back in the 1930s, Green Mountain was pretty "out there" and desolate, and with the proximity of Camp George West in Golden (or whatever it was called then, as a military facility; now, a law enforcement training academy), Green Mountain was perfect for the denizens of then whatever Camp George West was called.
To shoot at.
What type(s) of military ordnance was expended into the north face of Green Mountain, wasn't revealed in a story in several local publications earlier this month. But in the wake of a wild fire that consumed much of the natural cover on the north side, in the summer of 2008, hikers have begun discovering remnants of expended ordnance.
There are concerns that not everything shot into Green Mountain back then, performed as designed. Some of it might still be lying around or partially embedded in the mountain. Live.
This apparently prompted the posting of a new notice at different entrances to the park. A notice I missed when I got there, but it caught my eye as I was preparing to leave. I read it. I read it again.
And I heard that tell-tale *TOING* that gets me in trouble hereabouts.
Now, I don't think any single individual from the City and County of Lakewood's Parks & Recreation Department, is a regular reader here. So I will excuse them for not consulting with me BEFORE they had someone draft and post the memo that now adorns probably every entrance to the park.
Instead, I will post now, for my regular readers, the memo that the City posted, in its mundane entirety; and in italics, what I would have graciously added, had they bothered to consult me, first:
CITY OF LAKEWOOD
Pieces of spent artillery shells from prior to WW II have been found in the park, and this indicates a potential that unexploded pieces of artillery could be in the park and may explain why you occasionally see a deer, coyote, rabbit or snake, go flying to pieces in the area off the beaten path, accompanied by a dull *BOOM* or *POOF*.
For Your Safety:
- Recognize that old artillery shells or military munitions could resemble a baseball, a pointed pipe, a soda can, a muffler, an oversized bullet, a flare cartridge, a pie plate, a metallic tear-drop with fins from a foot long to the size of a human, a pineapple, a wrecked UFO, an R2D2 that you hope isn't whistling or chirping when you find it, or other metallic objects.
- Retreat from the item - do not touch, move or disturb the item, taking care to note that to move the item, one has to touch it, and since we already told you NOT to touch it, moving it would be demonstrating that you're either illiterate or a moron. Immediately leave the area following the same path you entered area. Do not try to compassionately herd local wildlife away from scene; you'll only wind up herding them into it, unless you're hungry and are a member of the other PETA (People Eating Tasty Animals).
- Report the item by calling 911 and resist the urge to blame George Dubya Bush, who wasn't president in the late 1930s, for you ill-educated, military-hating idiots out there.
Let's all do our part to keep our park pristine, and to avoid blowing the north side of it all to Hell or Broomfield**. Thank you.
I am sure that if anyone from the City of Lakewood gets around to reading this, they will hasten to consult with me in the future on further such memos*.
* to quote one of my somewhat regular readers, *snerx*
** a fair piece north of h'yar, but might be in reach, depending on what ain't blowd up over there just yet...
Labels: blowing up animals, Camp George West, City of Lakewood, Colorado, Green Mountain, humor, military munitions, William Frederick Hayden Park