Monday, September 24, 2007

Walking Tour of North Field

Sunday, September 23, six hikers had a fairly enjoyable walking tour of North Field, on Tinian. North Field was the largest US Army airbase, in the world, during WWII. Before the US Seabees constructed North Field, it was a Japanese airbase. Not much remains of the US installation, except the four huge runways and the parking areas for the B-29 bombers. From the Japanese period, there are ruins of many buildings, which is what we were off to explore.

The hike started at the old Japanese Command Post.

From the command post, we followed the road to the trail that leads to the old Japanese power station. Amanda, my daughter, is seen in the following picture climbing on the old water cooling tanks used to cool the power generators.

From the power plant, we followed the road past the Atomic Bomb Pits to the trail that leads to the old Japanese fuel bunker. One walks down a canyon until a massive doorway is seen. Inside the doorway is a huge building dug into the bedrock. Its full of burned out 55-gallon drums.

From the fuel bunker, we climbed the side of the canyon to get on top of the bunker. After getting on top of the bunker, we walked cross country to the bomb bunker. This was the most dangerous, but the most interesting, part of the hike. It was dangerous because of the numerous boonie bee (paper wasp) nest we kept encountering.

We also got to see the Tinian Monarch up close. It is a small bird that is only found on Tinian.

Making it through the jungle, we came out on the trail that leads to the old Japanese bomb bunker. On the trail there were many bird nests. During WWII, this bunker was blown up by the US bombing of Tinian before the invasion. It was just like the fuel bunker, when first constructed, but today it lays in ruins.

The picture above shows the doorway to the bomb bunker.

In the above picture, Stacy is standing next to the remains of the roof of the Japanese bomb bunker.

After the Japanese bomb bunker, we continued through the jungle toward the Atomic Bomb Pits. We came out on the road that goes around North Field, about an eighth of a mile from the Atomic Bomb Pits. It was a pleasant walk along the road from the Atomic Bomb Pits to our van parked next to the Japanese Command Post. Overall, everyone enjoyed this hike, despite the bee stings.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

September Hikes

The newly organized hiking club on Tinian will be having its first hike next Sunday, September 23. We will be doing a walking tour of North Field. We will walk from the Command Post to the Japanese Power Plant. From the Power Plant, we will walk to the old Japanese Fuel Storage Bunker. From this bunker, we will go cross country to the old Bomb Storage Bunker and on to the Atomic Bomb Pits. After the Bomb Pits we will walk back to the Command Post.

To join us on this fairly easy hike, meet at Grace Christian School at 3:30 PM.

The next hike will be on October 8th, to Lion's Head. Lion's Head is a rock outcropping on the Carolinas plateau that overlooks Marpo Valley. It is a more strenuous hike, but worth it because of the great view from Lion's Head. Because of the nature of this hike, it will be limited to only 8 or 10 people.

Please call me at 433-0625 if you want to join this hike. We will be meeting for the Lion's Head hike at Grace Christian School at 7:30 AM.

The next monthly meeting will be on Saturday, October 13th. I hope to post pictures of the above two hikes by that time and more information about this hiking club.

If you happen to be visiting Tinian during one of our hiking days, you are more than welcome to join in.