Hefty Haul Out April 2017

Having left my rig pulled off up on the gravel – I’m standing calf-deep in brambles and thorns off the steep downside of the main road –

First note to self – “Bring leather gloves down with you instead of leaving them in the rig.”

Second note to self while barely able to move feet tangled and twisted up in brambles – “A pair of pruning shears or a machete would be really handy right now.”  (I now remember that from my last time in this position….)

Third note to self – “I need to remember to bring some of the younger buckaroos and buckaristas along with me and show THEM the lower side of the road where trash should be getting pulled out!”

And thus began another successful hefty haul out of trash, debris, castoff and other unmentionable garbage from Walker Valley ORV area.  With the showery weather and the brisk breeze with a little bite in it – the turnout was a bit smaller than last year, but the spirits of those in attendance no less willing to assist.

Buddy Rick and I showed a fashionable 10 minutes or so late after 9:00AM, finding the Rainier Ridge Rams fully prepared for the day with EZ ups all over the place, coffee brewing by the motor home, a really big truck waiting to be filled with junk and a built and tubed Land Cruiser with “Mean Tangerine” on the hood waiting to be filled with food donations.  I am unabashedly nostalgic over this rig, especially that its still orange and still has the name on the hood – as it was a rig in the Tamers when I first started with the club as a younger pup 20 years ago.   Sign in was ongoing with some of our friends from the DNR there to cheer us on.  Also present in large number were Timber Tamers – wandering around, waking up, getting organized, and setting up the grill for lunch.

With a smaller number of folks this year – the highest and best use of resources was to concentrate on the most highly travelled and accessible areas where those uncaring about the shape of our off-road areas would be most likely to leave their trashy mark – which would be the main road, all pull offs and turn outs, and easily accessed logging landing areas and anywhere folks might stop to enjoy the view.  It was good news/bad news – in that we didn’t have to go too far from our gathering point to get down to business – but neither was there a lot of wheeling going on to find junk in the outer regions. Still – it was time and energy well spent – and we did manage to still get a little playtime in after lunch.

Of course – the typical items were in abundance – cans, bottles, 6 pack holders, the occasional broken bits and pieces of a rig, or parts broken and jettisoned by rigs more involved in finding glory than minimizing our impact. I will tell you – there hasn’t been a cleanup that I wished that if folks in the 21st century really still have to toss their junk out of their rigs instead of taking it home with them – that they’d just throw it out on the road instead of tossing it down a steep hill into the brambles, or placing it inside a stump, or cramming it into a culvert.  Really?  You brought it in – can’t you just take it home?  If throwing your junk out the window is such a thrill – how about you pull into your driveway and just toss it into your front yard.  It would be so much easier to collect if it was just on the road.   Although I suppose that might diminish the “thrill of the hunt” for those of us engaged in the finer points of making our off road area better instead of worse.

And then – there is always the perennial favorite – the “disposable” diaper.  I suppose a little biodegradability might otherwise be a good thing in small doses – but that “no leak through plastic liner” has a way of keeping the contents well preserved instead of biodegrading away.  The other curious thing is what happens to an article meant to absorb moisture.

Before use – the diaper starts about this thick:  —-

When you take it off your kid and ball it up – it goes to about this thick:   ====
When it’s been sitting under a stump absorbing moisture for about a year –
it goes to about this thick: ====

And – as you try to stick it into a trash bag thinking it has become inert and stable – Something like this occurs: <BOMB>
(Don’t ask me how I know………)

But hey – things could be worse.  I was given to understand that not only did one of our younger members find a goat that had some time in recent history left this mortal coil (died – that is…)  On the up side “mostly intact” were the words used to describe its consistency, but that it also got dragged back to the drop off point – and not by way of the grill thank goodness.  For all of our sakes, cabra muerta was not on the lunch menu this day.

And for grins and giggles – the radio indicated that Casey in Miss Creant had latched onto a mattress – and as she dragged it back to camp, she’d hop into a mud puddle on the front end – but by the time the soggy sleep aid followed her out out – no fluid was left behind her – as if she was towing a big ol’ biscuit through a bowl of trail gravy.  (Casey has all of the luck and twice the fun!)

Cindy and Michael were doing their yeoman work staffing the grill – flipping burgers plain, cheesy and even with pepperoni, as well as searing the foot long tube steaks.  Chips, oreos, M&M’s (plain AND peanut!) and made for a well-rounded meal that went down very nicely – as the clouds and wind gave way to honest-to-goodness rain.

At lunch end – we were still 90 minutes away from the raffle – so the Tamers roused from their post- meal drowsiness for a quick run past the gatekeeper and a little jaunt up the lower and upper (what else?) Timber Tamer trail.  This is the first I have seen it bare of trees – as this area has recently been clear cut.  My – that is one steep drop off the one side that I had never even really thought about before.  With all of a sudden no trees to stop a roll – I paid a little more attention to my driving than previously.  Evan played tail gunner in his LJ to corral the errant cans and bottles lodged here and there along the trail.  Not as many as along the main road – but unsightly and needing retrieval in any case.  Even with the slicker effects of the spittering rain on the rocks and mud – everyone progressed well on the path, and soon we grabbed the gravel to get back into camp just before the raffle commenced.

There were all kinds of prizes in abundance – transmission oil changes, tire rotations, clevises, straps, tools – and of note – 4 separate groups of Seahawks gear.  Plates, glasses, and a few other things.  In a unique display of the universe providing – even though these items were given out at separate times from each other, at disparate times during the raffle – our own Gary Miller won EACH and EVERY lot of prizes making for a matched set of Seahawks fan goodness.  (Dirtball and Karl take note….)   I’m sure Gary will be glad to take bids on passing these items along.  He was heard to comment, “I’m not a raving Seahawks fan – but I sure know a few of them…..”

There were quite a number of items that came from 4 Wheel Parts – some donated by the Timber Tamers and others by the Rainier Ridge Rams and some directly from 4 WP themselves.  However – these all having been delivered in one large pile and not knowing which item was from who – all became donations offered by the confederated wheeling entity known as the “Rainier Timber Ridge Tamers Rams 4 Wheel Parts Conglomeration.”  (It worked for everyone there….)

About the time the raffle ended up – so did the rain.  The sound of air compressors filled the area, the grill was dumped into a puddle to cool off the charcoal, rigs were loaded onto trailers and everyone headed for home.

Thanks to all who came on out and helped.  The DNR was appreciative, the area looked better – and anything we do to keep wheeling access open is always time well spent.  No problem if you couldn’t make it this time – there are monthly work parties where you can come out and lend a hand.

Thanks for readin’ –
And Keep on wheelin’!