270 forum posts
Well here's a backcountry problem I never expected to have. Asbestos!
I followed coastline into a nice little cove with a gravel beach. Noticed that many of the rocks had shiny white veins, which I figured were quartz. The brook that ran down to the beach was very low (dry summer) and a lot of gravel was exposed, making it easy to walk up into the woods to check out the birds. There was a grey substance that looked like laundry lint all over the gravel, and I puzzled over it.
Finally it dawned. I was downstream from an asbestos mine that closed about thirty years ago. The land is now Crown land again (i.e. Canadian government) and isn't closed to the public in any way. It's just remote enough I guess that nobody bothers to go there.
So I walked back down to the beach over the asbestos lint, and then along the beach over all that raw asbestos ore. I ended up convincing myself that while the lint should probably be avoided, the rocks weren't likely to do me any harm. So I stuck around and did my birdwatching thing.
Was I right? I've googled 'asbestos exposure' but of course all the information is about mining and building materials. Nothing about hiking on it, can you believe that? :)
Thing is, the birdwatching was excellent, and I got a few new names for the life list. Can I go back?