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The Eleventh Essential: A Trash Bag?

Posted by Andrew Engelson at Apr 06, 2009 11:50 AM |

It was a great weekend to be outside--my family had a sunny day at the beach at Camano Island State Park--not exactly a hike, but a great early spring outing.

Where did you go on this balmy weekend? If you went for a hike, be sure to file a trip report. Spring is an important time to file reports: your fellow hikers want to know where the washouts are, what's the snow level like, or how the road to the trailhead is. How's the wildflower bloom out in Central Washington? Send us your reports!

Trailhead shooting gallery

Sadly, sometimes when hikers show up at a trailhead, we encounter trash from an impromptu party, or a shooting gallery like the one pictured here. One thing you might consider before heading out for the trails is taking a trash bag (biodgradable, of course) as your  "eleventh essential." The shooting gallery was found by a sherriff's deputy at the Heather Lake trailhead near Mount Pilchuck--the road had only been plowed for a few days when the yahoos arrive to blast away at TVs, toys and assorted junk.

Dog picking up trash

So, when you arrive at the trailhead, consider helping tidy things up. WTA member Steve Thomas reports that he does this at every trailhead--and lately, he's seen an increase in trash recently at Mount Si. He even enlisted his trusty dog to pick up a few bottles and such during an outing to Rattlesnake Mountain. A big thank you to hikers like Steve who do their part to keep our trails and trailheads looking beautiful. Have stories of cleaning up trailheads? Post a comment.

Photos: top: target shooting trash at Heather Lake trailhead, by Greg Rasar. Bottom: picking up trash at Rattlesnake Mountain, by Steve Thomas.

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