Friday, September 18, 2009

The Last Round-Up

As many of my friends know(owing that I have a big mouth), I've been lucky enough to get a gig as caretaker at a spot with the Mohonk Preserve for a few months. Tonight I head into the city again; not for good, but as part of my transport to the Yosemite Facelift.

My flight leaves out of JFK on Friday morning at 7, and I need to be on the first bus from Grand Central in order to make the flight within my “no stress” early arrival cushion. That's a 5:30am departure....

And so, I must leave here this evening at some point, get the last train to Grand Central just before 11pm, and find ways to fill my time between 1 and 5am, when I can go to the bus pick up point. Will the police tool me, or will my white-girl, non-transient costume save my soles from their constant demand to “Keep it moving?”

Yesterday was supposed to be – SUPPOSED to be – a rainy day. So instead of climbing, I stayed near the cabin, anticipating marvelous thunderstorms and the musical percussion of rain as it tickles at, or pounds away against, the leaves of the forest trees.

It did not rain.

I tried to make do, sure that the precip was coming any time now. Bike ride, walks with Teddy, conversation with the dude manning the gate, a game of Scrabble(Me against Me 2), reading. Things like that.

Which left a lot of free time. Time which I spent walking the road and picking up trash along the way.

'Keep America Beautiful' and 'Give a Hoot, Don't Pollute' were the environmental educational phrases of my childhood era, and they were fairly well implanted on my forming mind. My parents did their part in the process; dad would have us 'police the area' when we went on country picnics, whether they were in roadside county parks or under the shade tree of a farmer's hay field. Mom always had a trash bag available for picnic pickups the moment we touched down. If a bit of wind tried to make off with paper plates from our picnic table, she excitedly encouraged us to save them before they were goners - drowned in the waters of a fast-running stream, or playing Dodge Ball with cars on the the heavily trafficked interstate we'd pulled off.

I'm going to Yosemite specifically to participate in a major clean up campaign. Sure, to climb, socialize and wonder at the wonder, too. But mostly for the Facelift clean up event. I'm happy being a picker-upper.

So it was a natural thing that I spent yesterday ...policing the area... before heading off on vacation. Scouring the roadside, bumbling through brambles, and sloshing over watery ditches, on a mission. In search of wayward trash.

Your trash....

Not “Yours” as in “You.” Buy you know what I mean.

Perhaps I should have written “Their trash.” Those despicable “They's.” It's always Them.... Or the They's and Their's. Those people who have no respect for the natural beauty of nature! No concern for the bitty fish who swallow their garbage, innocently mistaking it for food, in turn picking up the pace on their slow march to death. Couldn't care less for the cyclist who gets a flat from running over the shards of their broken beer bottle, slung from the window of the car. Let me tell you – DUI is alive and kicking, despite strong legal repercussions. Nearly all the cans and bottles are of the Budweiser brand, interestingly. Whiskey fifths are a distant second, so far as containers for intoxicating beverages are disposed of roadside. For the friends who – hopefully – don't let their friends drive drunk(but draw no distinction when it comes to littering), Snapple and Arizona Iced Tea bottles and cans are almost as abundant as their bud's Buds.

I don't really mind, so much, picking the stuff up. After all, it is part of my agreement in this situation. Well...not entirely. I'm just supposed to take care of a small area. But I have help with that. A group of regulars regularly sweep that area and, now that the summer picnicking season is passed, we're scraping the bottom of the barrel, garbage-wise. Lots of cigarette butts, to be sure. But the used tampons and rubbers, chip and cookie bags, and other such fair-weather trash has pretty much migrated to warmer climes.

And so....I wander.

Yosemite – what have you got for me!?

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1 comment:

D Mage said...

Good luck and best wishes.