Leave It To Beavers

Today, Tuesday, found us back on the trail at a national park; this time, Argentina’s Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego.

We drove into the park on N.R. 3, the national highway, all the way to its end – the southernmost point in the world that you can travel on a public road. The road ends at Bahia Lapataia (Lapataia Bay). Two bicyclists arrived at the same time as we did. They had just finished riding the entire length of Route 3 from Buenos Aires, all the way to its terminus here, 2,000 miles!

Here we are at the end of the world.

There was a scenic boardwalk here where all the tour buses stop and drop their passengers, but there’s also a two-mile (roundtrip) trail that jumps off from the boardwalk and skirts along the bay…

…through a small forest. As we were walking, Dale noticed that many of the trees had been felled, but there were no logs or branches laying around.

Upon close inspection, we could see that the trunks had been gnawed.

And then, I remembered that I had read that beavers had been introduced to this area, so we looked for a beaver dam and found it.

There were several entrances, but we couldn’t find any of the residents; they must be shy.

One thing’s for sure, beavers sure have changed the habitat by cutting down the trees. I can see why the park service considers them a pest.

And they can really chew through wood; just look at this – as if a hatchet was used.

We continued our hike through what remained of the forest and then back to Bahia Lapataia where I went prowling along the beach while Dale listened to Mother Nature.

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