By Don Nelson
I came across a mystery – at least to me – last week while driving back down to the valley floor after hiking to the top of Goat Peak (it was gorgeous, and Lighting Bill Austin showed us his new acoustic guitar).
At the Goat Wall overlook on U.S. Forest Service Road 5225, we came across what looked like three music stands or lecterns, made of rock and concrete and firmly imbedded for permanence, that clearly once had signs attached. The stands are aligned toward different directions over the valley, and it seems they once offered information about what you’re looking at from that vantage point.
The signs are long since gone, maybe worn out by the elements or perhaps stolen. All that remains are rusty metal plates.
So, a couple of things.
I’d love to know the history of the information stands – who put them there, when, and what they said. It’s a pretty impressive project and obviously took some effort. But now they are just non-natural objects jutting up from the rim of the overlook.
And I’m offering the newspaper’s help if some organization or some person wants to restore the information signs, perhaps as a junior or senior project for a Liberty Bell High School student. The stands themselves are also weathered and in need of some patchwork. We could help with materials and possibly in other ways as well.
I’m one of those people who likes to know what they’re looking at, and I’m sure I’m not alone. As much as I think I know about the valley and its landmarks, there is still much to learn. It was disappointing to find nothing but corroded metal rather than useful information.
Why this particular project? I don’t know, it just appeals to me. Restoring the information stands would be a relatively small addition to the wealth of materials already available to tourists and locals alike, but the small things add up and help make the valley a welcoming place.
I know I would drive up there to read them. The overlook is one of many unique perspectives from which to view the valley, and is relatively accessible for most people.
Let me know if you are aware of the history behind the information plaques. And if you are interested in looking into restoring them, send me an email at email@example.com or call 997-7011.