Clear Creek River CleanUp with Trout Unlimited - September 16, 2006
Not much to report here. Kind of sad about the turn out we got - not a whole lot of people and most were up in age. I'm also disappointed by how much trash we picked up - not the fact that we picked it up, but the fact that there was still a lot there.
We cleaned up the same stretch 2 years prior - yes there was a lot of trash then, but that stretch had never had trout fishermen cleaning it up.
The majority of what we cleaned up was McDonald's trash, beer cans, styrafoam coffee cups and cigarette packs. The beer of choice for the littering folk is Budweiser. The two extremes were either Bud or Milwaukee's best. The cigarette of choice was Marlboro (shocker). Needless to say the people doing the littering are inbred Bud drinking, Marlboro smoking losers - yeah that's right I said it - and you know who you are and you should be ashamed of yourselves. The McDonald's trash is due to there being a McD's in Idaho Springs and this must have been the main exit point. But there is still no excuse!
Volunteers also bother me. Not because they are usually an older crowd, but mostly because a bunch of them were there more for the free food, for the socialization or the raffle - rather than being there to pick up trash. For example - I was working Stanley Road as I was instructed and came across three orange bags that were blown into the brush by the wind - here I am carrying a bag full of garbage that weighed close to 40 or 50 lbs - I'm thinking, how can these bags get blown off the road? Well, I pull them open and someone had stuffed them with weeds, tumble weeds to be exact. The bags weighed about 1 lb each and there were three of them! What a damn waste! So, I unpacked them and stashed them in the truck for later.
Another time a couple drove by me in their Lexus, they had said that they had picked up the area below, but when it got to steep and rocky next to the river that they decided to stop. They drove up further (to where I was) and said that it looked like the whole road had been picked and they were all done - they said they were headed back to the park - they were done. I think they were looking for some kind of agreement from me, or some sign that I thought that was ok for them to do. I looked at my watch (10:30 - basically an hour and a half after we started - and an hour and a half before we were supposed to meet back at the park), so I told them "WHATEVER!". Of course, further up the road there was trash all over - so basically their trip was short.
The third thing that happened was also kind of deflating. Greg (the guy I was teamed with) had been told by a guy that he had worked the opposite side of the road from the river all the way up - so Greg and I grabbed the river side and walked about a quarter mile (we met another group that was working still further up) before turning around due to a 50 mpg wind and driving huge rain drops. We tied off our bags and left them next to the road (as instructed) - then we headed back on the far side of the road. We had left this stretch alone because the guy said it was done. Well, Greg and I started walking past some trash, at first we thought he just missed some - nope, finally I said "hey Greg, I have one more bag, I can't keep walking by this stuff" - Greg said "yeah I know, it's killing me too" - so we started picking - and started picking hard - getting behind the trees and picking up at least 120 beer cans and other stuff. We filled a bag between the two of us in the 1/3 mile stretch we had been told was done. Amazing.
Ok, so I'm a sore volunteer. Two years ago there was young teenagers helping us and they pulled a ton of trash on their own. The kids of today (well two years ago) basically were the work horses - but there weren't any volunteering today. So what does that say for the rest of us oldies (or midlifers)? I guess most are just interested in making an attempt, but their main interest is in the ass kissing and free stuff at the end. Sad.
For the record, I ate 1 brat, drank one water, didn't take a free t-shirt, and didn't stick around for the raffle (you had to be there to win). I wasn't there for the people, I was there for the fish/river/trash. I came, I saw, I picked up, I left.
Ok, I'm off my soap box. I hope others had a better experience than I did.