Saturday, September 5, 2009


This topic has been rolling around in my head for awhile. It concerns something I see all too much when we go hiking. Trash. Nothing ruins a long day of hiking to some remote piece of beauty, than seeing a Busch light can nestled in the ferns. So, I am advocating something here, and hopefully it will take off. Also, I am going to tell you a secret I have, and hope it spreads.
First, some math. Erin and I hiked Wind Mountain in Washington the other week. Great hike. Then, we did some geocaching. The geocache was surrounded by tons of disgusting garbage, most of which I wouldn't touch unless I was wearing a bio hazard suit. It made me sad. Well, what we decided to do was pick up, at the very least, the recyclable cans and bottles, and take them back to town, cashing in on the deposit. It isn't much, but it's something. We ended up with a pound or so, a mix of about 10 or 12 bottles and cans. From which, we will get around .50. Ok, not much, granted. But, it's a pound of trash that isn't in the wild now. Plus, we get a free game of two-player Ms. Pac Man at Clinton St. Pub.
So, what if...what if..25 couples go hiking on an average day. Obviously, a lot more do, but let's say 25 couples. They each pick up a pound of trash. Now let's say, those same couples go hiking twice a month, and each time they pick up a pound of recyclables, that's 50 pounds out of the forests. That turns into 600 Pounds a year. 600 pounds less of junk, junk that will never rot, out of our pristine forests, lakes, creeks, watersheds, and mountains. The things that make the Pacific Northwest what it is. Now, I am no math genius, but the way I figure it, that 600 pounds, turns into about 600 two player Ms. Pac Mans. All for one couple, taking 2 pounds of recyclables, a month, from where it doesn't belong.
Now, my secret. I have found some cool trash (pictured above). All through the Columbia River Gorge, I have found dump sites, filled with our forefathers garbage. I have started a large, classic beer can collection from only what I have found along some popular, and not so popular, trails in the Gorge. I will be happy to share the locations with anybody, if they promise to take what they want..and a little extra. Oregon State Parks has said they do not plan on cleaning it up, as it may be "historic trash." Bull shit, it's a bunch of cool Rainier, Heidelberg, and Olympia cans from the 50's.
I guess, all I am trying to say, is if your out, try to pick up a little something. Just think, once you do, no one will ever see that piece of trash there ever again. Sure, you may go back a month later, and see more trash, but someones got to start somewhere. And I propose, that beer lovers, are Oregon lovers, or are Washington lovers. Like us, you may like to hike, then hit up a micro brew . Well, try picking up after other people, people who are so careless, thoughtless, and do not care about anyone or anything but themselves. By doing so, you show your love for this area. And, who knows, you may even find something cool along the way.
That's it, my hippie rant is over. I promise not to do it again.

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