I’m camping a good 50 miles from civilization these days, here in the mountains of central Utah, and so am trying to keep my visits to town to as few as possible to save on gas. Yesterday it was time to stock up on some groceries in Richfield, however, which also meant it was time to bag up the litter I’d been collecting over the course of week, and make use of a gas station trash bin when filling up my tank.
Not really all that much trash for a whole week’s worth of collecting it, mostly cans and a few other random prices of trash, just enough to fill a small grocery bag.
I was pleasantly surprised with the apparent lack of litter in this area, but then again it hardly gets any use, so maybe the ratio of users to amount of litter left behind is actually kinda high! I’ve hardly found anything around my campsite, but always find a can or a few when traveling the nearby trails and roads. For the most part, with only a few exceptions, everything (mostly cans, and a few plastic and glass bottles) the majority of the litter is from distant times past, left behind by irresponsible users years ago - the beer cans faded and often buried beneath the dust on the dirt roads, old food cans rusting, and plastic bottles so old they are crumbling apart with the glass bottles long since missing their labels.
So that is a good sign in my book, that the majority of the litter is from long ago, meaning most of the people using the area now are much more responsible and less apt to litter it seems!
But then on just my evening walk after returning from town yesterday, and a longer bike ride today, I think I managed to collect more than I had over the course of my entire first week here! It was likeall of the litter I hadn’t noticed previously was suddenly for some reason standing out. On my bike ride today, there was a good mile probably, where I couldn’t go more than 30 seconds to a minute without stopping to pick up yet another can... Not too noticeable when you aren’t on the lookout, as there were no big piles anywhere, just a can here and a can there, lining the side of the road, some on the road itself. After a while it got quite old having to constantly stop to pick up just one more can - “What is wrong with people?!?” Is all I could think of after a while... But then I realized I should be thankful for the opportunity to help the world in some way.
On the bright side, most of it all was obviously ancient, another sign that current users aren’t a major contributing factor to what seems like a whole lot of litter for such a remote and infrequently used area. Hopefully this means the area will stay as clean as I get it, but it’s still slightly frustrating to see such a remote, low-use area with signs of frequent littering in times past.
I rarely see anybody, or don’t even see a single person or vehicle at all around here, except on the weekends, and even then it is just a few four wheelers driving by, one party of horse-back riders I saw last night, and a couple trucks drove by last weekend. The least traffic I’ve ever seen in any of the places I’ve camped since beginning this journey last October.
And still, even in such remote location, nature is not immune from being strewn with litter, though not nearly as bad as the more commonly used areas of course.
But still one of, if not the most beautiful car camping I’ve yet to find anywhere - so gorgeous, and right on the edge of a pretty clear little creek, which as I’ve discovered, is also full of fish.
Let’s try to keep nature as beautiful as she is naturally, and please don’t litter when you’re enjoying the great outdoors. You never know how many years or decades it will be until a fellow human dedicated enough to pick it up comes along, and helps return nature to her natural beauty once again...