Today we went hiking. It was just the pack of three; Me, my husband and my dog. We have a lot of empty space around us, so going on an adventure, just outside our backyard is easy to do. There is a ravine that is close by, and we followed it for about a half mile. There was so much over-growth, I had to bring some hedge clippers to free up the brush. (What I really needed was a machete.) Our Winter was a wet one, so a lot of weed and bushes blocked our path.
On the trail there was evidence that animals use the ravine as a thoroughfare, and so do the neighborhood juvenile delinquents. They go there to set fires, and drink alcohol. Scattered vodka, and cheap wine bottles litter the trail. Various piles of burned wood and ash are evident , as well as assorted trash. What about the TV ads: “Give a Hoot, Don’t Pollute” ? Obviously, the kids who left the mess don’t care. Eventually I will go down there, and “DO THE MOM THING” and clean up the garbage they have left behind. It’s really sad, because a lot of animals den in the area, and these kids just don’t care. Some habitats that are tunneled in the area have existed for generations. (I recommend all children watch at least one episode of Animal Planet.)
I was never one to clean up trails. However, they never pay anyone to do it out here. If a trail is free of litter and debris, it is because some crazy man or woman volunteered to clean it up. I don’t mind volunteering. My kids are grown up, and I want to hike in an environment that looks pristine. I wish we would teach our children to clean up after themselves. (You start them young and some of it sticks.) When I was a kid, cleaning up my messes was mandatory. If I didn’t, there would be a lot of yelling, and loss of privileges.
I didn’t mean to sound like Mother Teresa. I have my flaws…oodles of them. Going outside to pick up trash is a new “thing” for me. It’s a lot more fun than doing housework, and I get to breathe fresh air. Tell me how many women like to dust, vacuum, or scrub the floors? It’s a real pain. Besides, I have to do my hiking now, once summer hits Arizona it gets so hot, your tongue swells, it’s hard to breathe, and you sweat like a 900 pound gorilla. I spend most of the summer months “Praying for the Monsoons”. In the desert, only the summer rain keeps us sane.
- Hiking Trails in Anthem, Arizona (livestrong.com)