Today we took a family hike along the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Complex. We followed the beach 2.6 miles south to a huge sand dune, climbed the dune, explored, and enjoyed a wonderful picnic lunch before heading back. Though today's trek wasn't about deed doing, I figured it'd be easy enough to do this one.
WOW...I sure did "misunderestimate" this one!
Pick up trash during a family hike.
2 hours (We only picked up on the return trip of this out-and-back route. The entire trek took us 6 hours.)
Whenever we visit any beach (or public open space or park of any description, really) we find trash, and usually plenty of it. I'm sure most of it simply blew away from picnickers and hikers, day campers and fisherfolk. Other folks are just plain rude and leave it behind. I figured it wouldn't be a big deal to bring a garbage bag with us and pick up trash on our way back to the car. Good thing I brought a 16-gallon bag!
Worth it?Well, I'm glad we picked up the trash. Someone needed to do it. Most of it was plastic and will never decompose (or at least not soon enough).
Did you know there's a gigantic garbage drift in the ocean swirling, swirling, full of plastic that just won't go away? It's called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and it measures hundreds of miles across. While our cotton and wood rot and our metal eventually rusts, plastic goes on indefinitely.
In the end, we filled a 16-gallon kitchen trash bag with 13 pounds of trash, and also removed 5 pounds of scrap wood (plywood and nailed wood - we quickly decided to limit our effort to items generally along our path, and to leave most of the wood to nature). Most of the garbage we collected is actually recyclable, so once we arrived home, I spent a few minutes sorting into appropriate bins for delivery with our own recyclables. Our collection included:
- 3 shovel handles
- 4 broken toy shovels
- multiple plastic grocery bags
- 1 Mylar balloon featuring faded Disney princesses
- 1 boot
- 1 clog
- 2 flip flops, but not a matched pair
- 2 bleach bottles, one with bleach still inside
- countless beverage bottles, most plastic, but a few glass
- 1 pair of mittens
- 2 more mismatched mittens
- fishing paraphernalia
- gift ribbons and bows
- food wrappers
- 3 beer cans (2 Coors, one Bud) that dated back to pull-tab days
Day 737: Lost and found times two
3 weeks ago