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Re: The Great Sentinel Dome Dump

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The Great Sentinel Dome Dump
September 30, 2012 01:50PM
We drove up to Yosemite on Wednesday. Faced with a couple of hour before we could get into our lodge room, we went up to Washburn Point to photograph and scout a proposed ring-around-North Dome hike set for Friday (As it turned out, getting down the flank east of North Dome involved needing to rope down over slick rock and through man-eating bushes to get to Washington Column...it is not something that either of us would ever do again.)

Anyway, this gave us an opportunity to do some urban archeology on the dump that I had spotted last Spring while hiking on Illilouette Ridge.



It's only about 250 yards from the road. To get there, drive about a quarter mile past the Taft Point / Sentinel dome parking lot and park. Lots of people park in this area, to shorten the Sentinel Dome hike, or to climb the little dome next to the road.

The dump is at N 37.7124, W 119.5800. You can park near N 37.7142, W 119.5827.

Some years ago, a bulldozer dug a trench about six feet deep and a couple hundred feet long. No doubt the intention was to dump things for a while, and then cover it over again. The oldest deposits are tidy: Rusted cans in one end of the trench and glass bottles at the other. Cardboard and other organics are long gone.

Then it got sloppy. Perhaps the broken glass made it unattractive to drive right to the edge of the trench, so things got dumped farther and farther up the hill. Other bigger things, like tires and wire rope and metal equipment, were dumped. A bit closer to the road you can find sheets of corrugated steel, which Mr. Bear occasionally turns over to expose grubs.

Then the Glacier Point Hotel burned down in 1969. One of purposes of this hike was to see if anything of later date shows up in the dump. I'm no archeologist, but I think not. There are lots of cans, including soda cans, but none contain any aluminum or any pop tops. They have all been opened with what we used to call a "church key". None of the usual soda bottles are in evidence....they were generally sent back for refilling in those days. But there are a couple of broken ones that I have never heard of. See photo.









There are cups and saucers and plates of institutional china by Sterling of East Liverpool Ohio. Have you ever heard of Bireley's Soda?

I will spare you the photos of the steel culvert pipe and the sheets of corrugated tin. And many, many more tin cans. The string of tin cans is at least ten times as long as you can see in the photo.

If this dump were 160 years old, it would be an important historical artifact. At 50 years old, it is just an eyesore. Down in the valley, they were handing out bags and picker-uppers for clean-up-the-park week. They would have had lots to do up here at Sentinel Dome....



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/03/2014 01:53PM by wherever.
avatar Re: The Great Sentinel Dome Dump
September 30, 2012 02:36PM
Quote
wherever

If this dump were 160 years old, it would be an important historical artifact. At 50 years old, it is just an eyesore. Down in the valley, they were handing out bags and picker-uppers for clean-up-the-park week. They would have had lots to do up here at Sentinel Dome....

If you feel that this old dump should be cleaned up, I would suggest that you email Yosemite's Park Superintendent Don Neubacher (Don_Neubacher@nps.gov) with the description and location of the dump and a link to your photos.

I'm sure someone will respond to your email.

.
Re: The Great Sentinel Dome Dump
September 30, 2012 04:24PM
Bireley's is apparently still available in Japan (and eBay)
http://www.angelfire.com/tn/traderz/bireleys.html
Re: The Great Sentinel Dome Dump
September 30, 2012 04:43PM
In the aftermath of the 1969 fire that destroyed the Glacier Point Hotel, I was aware of hotel debris being placed in a dump in the general area that you indicated, but I thought that had been cleaned up in the 1990s. I wonder if you have found an older dump. I also stumbled over an extensive dump in the meadow on the north side of "swinging bridge" in 1969. At the time, I had the benefit of an older colleague who was born in 1906 who informed me of there being a large dump at that site.
Re: The Great Sentinel Dome Dump
October 23, 2012 11:54AM
Quote
plawrence
Quote
wherever

If this dump were 160 years old, it would be an important historical artifact. At 50 years old, it is just an eyesore. Down in the valley, they were handing out bags and picker-uppers for clean-up-the-park week. They would have had lots to do up here at Sentinel Dome....

If you feel that this old dump should be cleaned up, I would suggest that you email Yosemite's Park Superintendent Don Neubacher (Don_Neubacher@nps.gov) with the description and location of the dump and a link to your photos.

I'm sure someone will respond to your email.

.

It took a long time, but after three e-mails I got a reply. The gist of it is that they are aware of the dump, but have no plans to clean it up at this time.

So I guess that it will be left for now to the collectors of broken bottles and fragments of dishes.
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