Last weekend I went down to a local wilderness area with some friends where we hung out, camped a few days, ate great food and in the evenings sat around the campfire and played music together. They had horses, and one of them was kind enough to let me go out on a trail ride on one of his mounts.
It was really very nice, riding along through the woods on his gentle horse, Festus by name. I learned very quickly that it was important to watch what was coming ahead, as you are much higher up and low branches can be a real danger. We moseyed along, and got back to camp after a while. It seemed to me that the horses really were in no big hurry. I thought I could probably walk as fast as them, perhaps.
I also thought that my dog would love this hike without horses, and I determined to take her down the road to the Big Piney River the next morning, while all the horses were being packed up to go back to their respective barns and pastures. We would have the trail to ourselves and no horses and mules would be annoyed by her.
That is exactly what I did. And I was right, I made the round trip faster than the horses. Of course, I did get sort of out of breath and build up a sweat on the climb up out of the river bottom, which I did not do when I was on the horse. But sacrifices must be made.
One of the things I noticed as I was walking was the amount of trash that was strewn about on the mile and a half path to the river. Unfortunately, I did not have a container with me, so with great reluctance I left it all there. It bothered me all week.
Today I made the 50 mile trek back to the Paddy Creek wilderness area, armed with trash bags and my camera. I really wanted to capture some of the fall color that was coming along. I walked past a tree that had about 15 vultures roosting in it. They were still waiting for their wings to dry after the cold night.
I did indeed pick up all the trash from the river back to the trailhead. Here it is, displayed in my back yard before I added it to my recycling.
Isn’t it lovely? Here’s a closeup of the items in the left corner.
I found these in some fire pits. People, your aluminum beer cans and glass tall boys are not going to burn in a campfire. Why throw them in there? It is just so darned ignorant.
So, I made an inventory of what I picked up. There were quite a lot of wet paper towels, a couple of styrofoam glasses, a chewing tobacco container, and a container that had bait in it originally. There was a package that had contained sunflower seeds, several pop tart wrappers, a kit kat bar wrapper and the plastic bag some jerky came in. There was an unopened package of Wet Ones; thanks, I used that to clean my hands before I came on home.
One of the oddest things I found was a stack of four quart oil containers. A brand I had never heard of: rotellat. Who goes out into a wilderness area to change the oil in their vehicle?
There were six various plastic water bottles, a gatorade bottle, 4 juice containers. Yes, Mr. or Ms. Dr. Pepper drinker, I did wade into the wild currant bush to retrieve the empty you tossed in there, just as I gingerly entered the multiflora rose for the Smirnoff Ice bottle (Strawberry acai flavor, by the way). There was a plastic coke bottle, a red bull can, 1 Michelob bottle, 1 Miller high life bottle, 1 Miller lite bottle, and 5 Bud lite tall boys.
The aluminum was a lot more proliferous. There was one Coors lite, 2 Pabst Blue Ribbons, 2 Natural lite, 3 Keystone lite, 6 Busch lite, 6 old regular Budweiser cans and the winner was 19 Bud Lite cans. One of the Bud Lite cans was on the other side of a tight barbed wire fence. I waffled for a while, but I eventually got down in the mud and leaves and ticks to roll under the fence and retrieve it.
I found it interesting that there was not ONE single high end beer represented in all the trash. And not only that, but almost every single can or bottle out there that was a beer container had contained light beer.
What does this say about the litterers of the woods? I don’t know, but apparently they don’t drink very good beer.