This was part of our haul on a short hike up the Sam Merrill Trail Monday. Most other days there isn't much trash. But after the weekend, when the non-regulars, dilettantes and drinkers have been there, you don't have to go far to find this much—about a mile and a third, what locals call "to the towers".
The photo doesn't include three more plastic bottles and an oreo cookie we found on the way out of the park, perched next to the "$1000 Fine For Littering" sign.
You, my dear readers, do not litter. Of course not. So ranting here will be lost on you. I'll be grateful, though, if you'll allow me to get it off my chest.
Why do you suppose people litter? What makes them think it's okay to drop a plastic bottle just anywhere, when it's going to take a thousand years or more for the thing to biodegrade? Why can't they take it with them and recycle it, or at least put it in a trash bin? Surely a person strong enough to hike up a steeply graded hill still has the strength to carry an empty bottle to the trash. I'm especially amazed by runners who charge up and down the hill and toss bottles into the bushes when they're finished because carrying it might interfere with—what? Rhythm? Speed? Pace? Which is more important, the planet or one runner's perfect mile?
If you'd seen us coming down the trail Monday morning, our pockets full of plastic bottles and paper cups, you'd have thought we'd been up there on the mountain hydrating all night. We have to leave behind the stuff that's too precarious—either too far down the escarpment or stuck high up in branches. The park rangers, or nature, will have to deal with it.
There you go, your tax dollars at work cleaning up after some lazy #%$& who can't be bothered to carry a teeny weeny plastic bottle. Well, you know how burdensome an empty bottle can get. I carried two or three of 'em the other day myself. Whew.