This makes me so mad, and I bet you, too!

32
The cactus flowers were beautiful

By Chuck Woodbury
ROADSIDE JOURNAL
The other day, Gail and I hiked a beautiful trail on BLM lands in the Cerbat Foothills Recreation Area near Kingman, Arizona. It’s rained a lot lately, and the wildflowers soaked it up, producing beautiful purple and yellow flowers. The cactus, too, bloomed gorgeous flowers as you can see in the photo.

We were the only ones on the trail for the one hour we hiked it. Some buzzards flew overhead and we scared a few lizards, that sped away swiftly in the 80-degree day. We were looking for Chuckwallas, which are big lizards found around here. But no luck on this day. I was disappointed because I have never seen a Chuckwalla in the wild.

And then. . . and then, we came upon this, a discarded beer case.

I’m guessing my reaction was pretty much the same as yours might have been. It made me mad.

I am an even-tempered person. Not much bothers me. I understand there are slobs. I understand that not all humans are evolved enough to understand that dumping their trash for someone else to pick up is wrong.

So no matter how much I understand slob behavior, when I see something like this, my blood boils!

I picked up the cardboard case and carried it out. That was not my job. I wish I could somehow determine who left it so I could have taken it to their front door and dropped it there. Maybe I’d bring along the wastebasket in the RV, too, and dump that.

Oh, I wouldn’t do that, but the thought did cross my mind.

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32 Comments
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Scott Gitlin
2 months ago

Add to the new discarded items . . . face masks and tissues.

Claude
2 months ago

Hello all….
I heartily agree but not just beer cases but with anything that should be disposed of properly. However my biggest complaint is about dog owners who don’t pick up after their dog. In a good portion of the country there are laws or ordinances that require owners do so. I just breaks my heart when I see this happening to our beautiful country. 😢

Ellen
2 months ago

Everywhere we go, we’ve picked up trash. Some of it discards from picnickers and overnighters (plastic and glass bottles, cans, wrappers, juice boxes, the occasional garment or shoe, cigarette butts, on and on). Some of it stuff that blew in or washed up. Every time we walked on a beach we pick up plastic bottles, bottle caps, wrappers, zip-lock bags and more, to the point where we’ve taken to bringing our own bags and grabbers. Sad but necessary. I just can’t stand to leave trash just lying there.

Bill
2 months ago

Walking through a park in San Francisco with my son and grandkids a few years ago, I picked up an empty plastic bag. My son said, “Please don’t do that. I don’t want the kids picking up trash because we have to worry about used needles. Plus, if that bag had some residue of an illicit substance in it, you might have a hard time convincing the police that it wasn’t yours.”

Connie VH
2 months ago

A lot of times, the winds get so high in the desert that, combined with very large hungry birds, a properly disposed of trash bag gets torn to bits and the contents blown all over the place and into its far corners. Try as we might, even barrels get blown over. You’ll notice how many public trash cans are chained to hooks in concrete….? But unless they’re covered and protected in trash enclosures, anyone could find trash anywhere in the desert. Plastic grocery bags get hung up on those beautiful spiky desert plants.

Part of the fun of exploring the desert is finding old (I’m talking really old!) encampments and their trash dumps….old cans and maybe even cobalt blue bottles…sometimes old valuables! They didn’t care much about leaving their trash behind either.

But modern trash? Hard to imagine it’ll be *fun* for any future desert explorer to find and wonder about the lives of those who left it. A lot is biodegradable but most isn’t. And yeah…it’s sad and makes us mad. So we collect it (as much as we can) and trek it out to proper containers.

And hope that the birds and wind don’t get it…. again.

Two Buck Chuck
2 months ago

Yep, this pisses me off as well. We pick up constantly after others when hiking. Suntan lotion bottles, candy wrappers, beer and pop cans and you name it. These are uncaring, unfeeling people that do this stuff. If you carry it in, then you carry it out. PERIOD.

Richard Phariss
2 months ago

It has been told that Louis Kingman led a group of people west and in 1889 stopped for the night in what is now Kingman, AZ. He declared that they would stay there till the wind stopped blowing. Since the wind never seems to stop blowing there it must be true that the city of Kingman was founded there and they never left. It is possible that the empty carton simply blew there from some distant location since it appeared to be the lone piece of rubbish there.

I also agree with all who declare it should have been properly disposed of when emptied.

Loneoutdoorsman
2 months ago

To all of those nice, considerate smokers who toss their cigarette filter butts in campgrounds, hiking trails, and streams, Ey would like to take the bags full that Ey police up and cram them down their throats. (What Ey would really like to do should not be mentioned here)

Gene Bjerke
2 months ago

Helping with a beach cleanup, I learned that cigarette butts are the most common kind of trash found everywhere.

mdstudey
2 months ago

So I must be a real hard ass. I was at Jenny Lake, Grand Tetons. Kids were playing along the shore and it was a beautiful day. My husband did his little hike and came back to chill on the shore. One kid was playing with a plastic bottle filling it up with water and emptying out. Then mama says its time to go. He fills up the bottle and throws it out into the lake and began to go. I stopped him and made him get in the lake, get the bottle and throw it in a trash can. He stood and looked at me, I then instructed him that he does not get to pollute the lake and needs to go get the bottle. Looks at mom, no help there, her jaw was on the ground. He went and got it and threw it away properly. They were foreign tourist and I told my to respect my country as she would like for me to respect hers. My husband was boiling and told me I had to quit doing that because it is embarrassing and I could of easily retrieved the bottle myself. Where is the lesson in that? I bet that little boy now thinks twice about throwing trash where it does not belong. I learned at a very young age to not throw trash where it does not belong. I was only told once (mothers really had a way with words back then). Now my car may look like a trash can at time, but it is because I do no liter.

Dempsey D James
2 months ago
Reply to  mdstudey

Thank you. We need more people like you. Teach your husband while you’re at it. Unfortunately, some countries (Italy –Sicily for one) tolerates it Even the cities allow it to accumulate it and are slow at trash removal

Steve Nelson
2 months ago

Chuck,
My wife and I also full time and we also have a lot here in Casa Grande. The park we stay in has adopted the road that runs in front of the park. The total length we pick up is approximately 3 miles. I am absolutely amazed the things people toss out on this road! We have picked up furniture, stoves ,refrigerators, old tires etc. Along with the normal trash, beer cans, hamburger trash , clothes. By the end of the day I am angry, embarrassed, and saddened. My wife and I pick up trash when we hike also. I can put blame on many things, but this is not the place for that. We try to be the example that our parents wanted us to be, “never litter, always pick up after yourself”. We are living in a sad state of affairs…

Lee
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Nelson

And we blame the kids for the condition of the planet!!!!!

Traveler
2 months ago

Thanks to all these commenters picking up!

I remember thanking a man weating a vets hat who picked up some litter in a busy park. He replied, “ if I walk by it, I’m as bad as the person who threw it there”. His words impact me every time I’m tempted to walk by.

Irv Goomba
2 months ago

It’d be more fitting if you could pull in the littering idiot’s driveway and dump your black tank. If they want to leave their sh** behind, you could too. 😉

Crowman
2 months ago

Most of the trash you see is from the locals very little is from RV people.

CTK
2 months ago
Reply to  Crowman

I wish I could say the same for RV people picking up after their dogs!

Tumbleweed
2 months ago
Reply to  Crowman

For sure! Camping areas near towns are always full of trash left by local partiers and homeless.

Captn John
2 months ago

Like you I pick up other’s trash. My wife doesn’t allow me to say what I call them and it’s not for a publication like this. She’s still asleep so here is another thing I did I’m not supposed to tell anyone. Arriving at a site I found dog poop. Neighbors said the guy 2 sites up never picks up. We were to be there a month. As it continued I picked up along with that of my pup. After a few days quite the collection. One night I emptied it all on his steps, spread it with a stick and left it for him. He didn’t care when others asked him or when park manager spoke to him about it. One morning he yelled, spent some time cleaning his steps and picked up every pile after that. I was simply returning what was his.

Kate Baldwin
2 months ago
Reply to  Captn John

Bravo! I would have done the same. Sometimes slobs need reminding.

Sink Jaxon
2 months ago
Reply to  Captn John

I really did LOL on that one!

Bob Weinfurt
2 months ago
Reply to  Captn John

I’m a firm believer in always returned things to their rightful owner.

Tom Smithbrother
2 months ago

So, I see these discarded cans as I walk and Say, Thanks to myself. I smash it , pick it up , along with any other I find, and collect them . Over time I cash them in. Yes, it takes four to make a penny but I am cleaning up and they are likely killing themselves by drinking excessively. Anger only hurts the vessel that holds onto it, jut like an acid.

Kate Baldwin
2 months ago

In Michigan where the return is 10 cents per can. I happily pick up any cans I find. Keeps the hubby and I in “ice cream money”.

tom
2 months ago
Reply to  Kate Baldwin

If all States went to 10 cents a can deposit, there would be very few along the highways and in the waters.

Primo Rudy's Roadhouse
2 months ago

Thank you for picking up the trash. We all can do this, It won’t kill us.

John
2 months ago

Chuck,
My wife and I like to visit natural areas and we have always pickup other peoples trash for as long as I can remember. I have to say that we see younger people as the worst offenders. We were in Hocking Hills State Park and absolute beautiful place, and in our little hike we picked up 13 plastic water bottles. We saw many young people carry the water in, take a hundred selfies, drink the water and toss the empty bottle on the ground. It is a simply a disrespect for other people that visit the area and the people that have to go around and pick up their trash.

Bob p
2 months ago
Reply to  John

It could be like it was back in 1985 when I moved to AL to continue my retirement with GM. At the state line between TN and Al on I 65 there is a sign, Welcome to Alabama the Beautiful. That is the beginning of trash along the highway, later on in a discussion with my fellow workers who were native Alabamians I asked the question about why people throw their trash out the window instead of having a trash container in the vehicle, the answer was very simple, “The prisoners wouldn’t have anything to do if we didn’t throw it out the window”. End of discussion, you can’t argue inborn logic like that. A few years later a town I had to go through on my way to work had trash clean up day on Saturday, I was following a local cop is his cruiser and as he took the last cigarette out of the pack and out the window it went. It’s an in born cultural thing that will take generations to change if you can convince the younger generations to do the right thing. It’s probably the same way with people who don’t pick up after the dogs.

Barb Repas
2 months ago
Reply to  John

I agree with all of you regarding trash, especially in the desert! Makes me so mad to see furniture, tires and all the bottles and cans thrown around. I also have to say that we usually rent a condo while in the US and we have NEVER been able to recycle the bottles and cans never mind the cardboard and plastic we generate! Too expensive they say.

richard ackroyd
2 months ago

Chuck, picking up a carton, a can or a plastic bottle is now “the norm”. If you don’t normally have a back pack just remember to put a grocery bag in your pocket. For a while you will have a long conversation with Gail about what others have thoughtlessly dumped but then it just becomes second nature to pick the rubbish up and carry on enjoying your walk. Hazel and I now only pass comment when we see someone walk past a piece of rubbish without picking it up. Setting a good example, as you try to do each week with RV Travel news, is just another step towards changing peoples attitudes.

Keep up the good work.
Richard

Claudio
2 months ago

I agree, pick it up cause you cant fix stupid and sadly a lot of these have been produced !

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
2 months ago
Reply to  Claudio

Hi, Claudio. When I read your comment I wondered if “sadly a lot of these have been produced!” was referring to stupid people or the plastic bottles, etc. Or maybe both. 😆 —Diane at RVtravel.com