Dwight Peck's personal Web site

Winter 2015-2016

Retirement is still as much fun as ever



You may not find this terribly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.

The Crêt de la Neuve amid scenes of desecration

One of our favorite little-known paths through the Jura -- oops, gone now.

We're setting out, 21 October 2015, from the Col du Marchairuz in the Swiss Jura mountains, for one of our favorite winter and summer paths, the old (former) Chemin des Crêtes international hiking path a few hours out to the Crêt de la Neuve.

Something's definitely wrong here. Our path, unsignposted and seldom traveled, is a narrow and scenic little idyll, and it doesn't look at all like this.

The forestry chaps have been through here since our last expedition, with their huge machines that leave ruin and destruction behind them.

Dr Joe is suitably dismayed. This mess is not what we came for.

Who knows why they had to commit these aesthetic crimes in such a wonderful place? I read in the annual report of a local village I was living in at the time that the forestry works in the commune's territory just broke even -- no profits for the town at all.

Biologists like to say that leaving this sort of mess behind is actually environmentally sound practice -- over the next century or so, the local biodiversity will profit from the shelter and rot. Human hikers can just go stuff it.

Finally, through the Spectacle of Waste and Debris, we reach the Crêt de la Neuve, looking much as it always does, thank goodness.

There they go -- a great load of their ill-gotten treasures headed down the mountain.

At the farm of La Neuve, a depot of arboreal carnage. We came out on the semi-secret former Chemin des Crêtes, but we're going to walk back by the present Chemin; the long-distance hiking path is a major tourist draw throughout the region and presumably off-limits for the more destructive economic interests.

Nope. This used to be the beautiful, fairly pristine Chemin des Crêtes hiking path. Now, not so much.

The tree thugs have done a fairly complete job of things here.

Kilometre after kilometre of a Big Mess

Finally, well along, the machines' tracks have turned down into the Combe des Amburnex, and we can enjoy the last bit of our walk.

It's good to be here, but -- all told -- it's been an unpleasant experience.

Back to the Col du Marchairuz

We could look forward to coming back in ten or fifteen years' time and finding the forest nicely restored to its peaceful natural state, but the odds aren't real good on that for us. It's very sad.


Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 26 November 2015.


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