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Maroon, Mothballs, and a note from the USFS

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Maroon, Mothballs, and a note from the USFS

Postby Paula » Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:09 pm

A couple Saturdays ago I attempted Maroon with some friends, and like so many of us do, threw a box of mothballs around my car because I have an affinity for my brakes not being munched on by porcupines. After getting rained off at the saddle, I came back to this note on my car:

Pretentious in Pink.jpg
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Whatever, I'm not a treehugger by any stretch of the imagination and am bound to disagree with the forest service here and there. I pick up my mothballs, throw them away and move on with my life.

Except my car smells like mothballs.

Thinking that having mothballs next to my car for 12 hours was enough to stink it up, I leave and drive with the windows down until I get back to the highway. I spent the night at my parent's house instead of driving all the way home. Lo and behold, I wake up to the garage and the entire first floor of the house smelling like mothballs. Great, now my dad is pissed that I just stank up his house and reminded him of his mother in law. At this point, I'm baffled as to why the stench of mothballs is so strong when I've thrown all the mothballs away over 100 miles from where my car is parked. I had a second, unopen box in the car and logically, it had to be this box even if it was still wrapped in plastic, so I took it out of my car and put it outside of the house. The smell of the garage is still getting worse. I give up and go home before my dad gets even madder.

For the next couple days, the car stinks. By this point, I'm getting annoyed at the person who invented moth balls to begin with.

Wednesday I go to the airport to pick up my buddy, Greg. Greg right away comments on the mothball smell emanating from my tailgate (then broke his iphone, but that's a whole different tale). I tell him the story to that point and we drive to Aspen. Thursday we overslept and decided to just go to Maroon Lake to take some pictures and prepare for the next day. On the way in, the USFS employee taking my money to park asks if I have mothballs in the car, I explain that I don't and that my car still smells from using them the prior week. After paying and getting a lecture and a death stare, we drive to the lake and wander for a bit. Weather forecast sucks for Aspen Friday, so we drive to Lake City and put North Maroon off until Saturday.

I'm sure you're keeping track of the hundreds of miles I've spent in a mothball stinking car at this point. It's a lot.

Sitting around our campfire that night (on the ground, because my camping chairs had disappeared when we ran into town to call our friend who was meeting us in the morning), Greg mentions that he noticed the smell was worse when my air conditioning first turned on, and finally, it hits me like a ton of bricks: there's mothballs in my air intakes. I immediately open my hood to find a handful of mothballs below both corners of the windshield.

USFS: a note would have sufficed, although unnecessary as I'm a believer in LNT. Trying to poison me in my car: not cool.

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Re: Maroon, Mothballs, and a note from the USFS

Postby MUni Rider » Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:34 pm

Now we know where to deposit used mothballs on THEIR vehicles from now on and forever. :lol:
"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy course; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat." (Theodore Roosevelt)

"Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit." (Edward Abbey)

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Re: Maroon, Mothballs, and a note from the USFS

Postby gdthomas » Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:40 pm

When I was at the lot earlier this summer, there were mothballs all over the damn place and they stunk like hell. It was one of the most annoying displays of selfishness and littering I have ever seen.

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Re: Maroon, Mothballs, and a note from the USFS

Postby zdero1 » Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:41 pm

I wonder if this is even a legit USFS note. I would anticipate any documentation being on some sort of paper with an official letterhead and/or a name and contact number. This could be a passive aggressive note from a disgruntled camper or something. A quick google search did not reveal any forest service policy against mothballs.

I think others on this site have suggested chicken wire as an alternative to mothballs.

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Re: Maroon, Mothballs, and a note from the USFS

Postby pvnisher » Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:47 pm

Mothballs in the air intake. Nice touch.
I "know a guy" who once drained a can of tuna into someone's air intakes as they were leaving university to go home for the summer (and hadn't paid rent to said "guy"). :-"

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Re: Maroon, Mothballs, and a note from the USFS

Postby 12ersRule » Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:36 am

gdthomas wrote:When I was at the lot earlier this summer, there were mothballs all over the damn place and they stunk like hell. It was one of the most annoying displays of selfishness and littering I have ever seen.


And that gives rangers the right to damage one's personal property instead of educating in a more reasonable manner?

Who knew that the champion of that pristine summit of Bross, and that bastion of environmental purity known as Vail Resorts would have such an issue with a few mothballs?

Re: Maroon, Mothballs, and a note from the USFS

Postby forbins_mtn » Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:43 am

we all have met forest rangers. I highly doubt they would do this. and why would they just instantly start now? people have put mothballs around their cars at Maroon for years. i guarantee there is nothing new in the science of mothballs that has come about in the last month that would give rangers the anger to put mothballs in someone's intake. Besides the fact that no government agency would want their employees doing something that people could sue over.


it's gotta be some douchebag

Re: Maroon, Mothballs, and a note from the USFS

Postby forbins_mtn » Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:46 am

and the fact that this is such a common practice that rangers would post huge obvious notices all over the entrance to not use them anymore.

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Re: Maroon, Mothballs, and a note from the USFS

Postby ed20320 » Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:02 am

I'm with Forbins on this one. I would highly doubt the rangers would 1) leave an unofficial note on your car and 2) would intentionally damage anyones property. maybe someone's dog got a snoot full, brought it into their car, pissed off the owner and they retaliated a little. I was just up at the rock of ages TH and someone had left box of mothballs in a plastic bag by the port-o-john for others to use and many did. I don't personally see the need to use them, but i also don't think they are harmful to the environment (if i remember my chimistry correctly).
In the immortal words of Socrates, “I drank WHAT?”

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Re: Maroon, Mothballs, and a note from the USFS

Postby Gareth » Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:20 am

Has Ed Abbey come back to life as a member of the monkey wrench gang and is now working at the Maroon Bells? :mrgreen:
"Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they've got a second."
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Re: Maroon, Mothballs, and a note from the USFS

Postby prestone818 » Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:33 am

pretty messed up. probably a texan who was confused by why the hell someone would put mothballs around their car.

Re: Maroon, Mothballs, and a note from the USFS

Postby Mountain Ninja » Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:34 am

Hey Paula,

This sure is a funny story, even though it cost you miles and miles of smelling like a grandma's house! I definitely had to drive with the windows down for several days after using mine, but I never had anyone put them in my intake.

Hope your dad forgives you ;)

Brad
A little pain never hurt anyone.

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