Environs

Transport Across Turnback Creek

Turnback & Forth Self-Serve Ferry

The creek that runs across our property cuts it in almost two equal sections.  The south section was difficult to access from the north section, which is where the living quarters are located.  Early in our tenure here, a suspension bridge was contemplated, seriously enough to lay supporting cables and a tower.

Reality prevented further construction and a ferry was constructed instead РMUCH cheaper and easier to replace in subsequent floods.  Below is a short video showing the first edition of TB&F SSF in use.

The passage of time has proven the wisdom of a ferry over a bridge.  Too many times to count, the ferry and/or its components have been driven downstream with high water that would have also seriously damaged any reasonable bridge we could have constructed.  The flood water provides the energy, but the floating debris is the hammer that causes the destruction, often riding several feet higher than the water level.

A few examples of Ferry vs. Flood:

On multiple occasions the ferry has washed beyond the dam, but thankfully recovered and put back in service until recently.

Turnback & Forth Zipline

Regrettably, the TB&F SSF was washed away for the final time in a 2018 high water event.  It is strongly suspected that the remnants are now somewhere in Lake Stockton, serving duty as a fish haven.
A zip line was constructed as a substitute.  It has proved to be much quicker and can carry a similar load.  In fact, there are TWO zip lines; one for the north-south transit and a parallel line for the south-north.  
Moreover, the first trip across is sorta fun for the more adventurous visitors, although it doesn’t meet the standards for handicapped access.

Enjoy the video below, showing Peggy Tilden, one of the first visitors, to use the new transport device.

Trails for Exploring

There are about 1.5 miles of trails around the property, shown in the image below.  The conditions range from strolling on level, weeded ground, to rocky steep pitches, sometimes aided with hand rails.  Occasionally, a stretch occurs with leveled rocks or embedded rock steps. No rock climbing or rappelling required!


During the growing season, most of the trails are sprayed with herbicide by the Maintenance Staff to minimize chigger and tick habitat.

Mystery Cairns

There is a collection of at least 27 rock cairns found along a bluff in an area of about 3 acres on the property.  Their origin and purpose remains a mystery, despite examination by three archaeologists and numerous curious lay folks.

A blog at Mystery Cairns reveals all that we know about these features, which is probably TMI for most people.  Any theories that might occur to readers will be most welcome by the BMF management.

Below is the largest, by volume, of the 27 identified piles.  In the right background is another of the larger cairns.