Saturday, April 16, 2016

First-class Wilderness Architecture

This is a snapshot essay of the developments along the brand -new 3 Capes Track in Tasmania. Built over a period of 7 years, the track was a huge investment with legions of workers, over 15,000 helicopter cargo flights and 28 million Australian dollars.

I share the development instead if the nature because I was so inspired by the 
combination of function and design along the way.

This is the first interpretative bench. Hikers are provided with a booklet tbat provides safety information and trail details. Each bench/seating area highlights a specific natural and social feature along the way.  This bench looked out over Port Arthur, a prison community from the 1800's. 
First night's cabin powered by solar array and missing a small section of roof. The ranger joked about it, so perhaps the missing sheet is on the way. Or not. I'm not sure.  
Each common area had a library of interpretative materials. 

 Each night, we had a short orientation session with the ranger shortly after we arrived. These guys work for a couple weeks at a time. Our group was varied: 3 single people (me and a girl from Kuala Lumpur who shared a room each night, and an older single guy), Pensioners from Tasmania and other states in Australia with their 30-year old backpacks, newlyweds, couples and friends and families. 
A lot of the track is wood, here covered with chicken wire. Farther down the path seen in the upper part of the photo is Ellarwey Valley, named by a couple of 1970's Bushbashers who shortened it from "Where the hell are we."  
Alas, one of the members of our group knew one those explorers
 who died of Alzheimers Disease recently.  

With the helipad to the top right, you can see that these outhouses feature the flying poo, which is winched out to the edge of the platform for transport by helicopter.  

The shower at the Munro cabin, night 2.  You can add a little hot water to the 
bucket. Hoist it up and you are ready to go.  I declined. Too cold. 
Cooking gear and stoves are supplied. Look at all that gleaming steel.  
The hand pump is a great feature. 
Deck chairs, yoga mats and foam rollers for post hike relaxation. BYOB. 

Love these simple design details that transform function into art. 

Memory foam mattresses covered with a soft rubber covering. Oh hale- Alaska State Parks! 

Another particularly artistic interpretative stop that was called "Blood on the Velvet Lounge"
 featuring insights on  vicious insect predators.
These signs appear on the track every so often.  Goofy newlyweds helped illustrate the dangers. 
Wow.  The track follows the coast for most of the time. 

Believe it or not, most of the stones used in the trail
were flown in by helicopter.  There was so much craft involved in
this effort.  I found it illuminated and inspiring. 
The end the trail at Port Forescue. 

Selfie at the end of the trail down the blade.  One of the first 3,000 people down the trail!  

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