I don’t do many events purely for the goodness of them. I give blood regularly (over 8 gallons lifetime) because I get to kick back at work and I get cookies. Things like the Jingle Bell run for Arthritis I do for the exercise and because there is this hot chick I get to hang out with during the walk! I am doing a Lung Association ride in a few weeks, but that is solely for exercise and the Ocean at the end. So, there is always something in it for me,
Except for 2 things: Trail maintenance (which I will discuss another day) and beach clean up! Once a year the Washington Coastsavers put together the big beach clean up Saturday! They provide the garbage bags and arrange them to be picked up, and then turn people loose!
I love ocean beaches here, and have since I was a kid! Now for those of you who don’t know, we don’t have “normal” beaches… Most of the time you are at one of our Oceans, even in the summer, you need a jacket. It can be 90 in Seattle, and then 2 miles from Ocean Shores or Long Beach will be a thick fog bank, and it will be in the 50s…. GAWD that feels good.
The water is freezing! This is no exaggeration! If you fell off a boat, again even in mid summer, you could end up with hypothermia if you don’t get pulled out quick. We don’t have bikini clad, sun bathing swimming beaches. We have kite flying, horse back and moped riding, car driving, and sand castle building beaches! You can walk for miles upon miles on our beaches, and it is just a wonderful feeling. to this day I love building a big assed sand castle and watch the high tide come in and wipe it out. Ilike to see how well I built it.
So, I drafted the 15-year-op (yes he was not sold on ebay after the teacher conferences, but it was a near thing!) We spent the night in the Days Inn at Ocean Shores. You know you are in a small town, that may have its fair share of rednecks when you see this sign:
Well whether necessary or not, I am sure these two appreciated it!
Now weather wise it has been a crappy week. It has rained almost every day ALL day this last week. It rained on our way to the ocean, and off and on all evening. (I was able to sneak in a quick walk on the beach when I got there!)
When we woke up this morning, it was raining side ways. DAMN!! Good thing I brought the gortex!
We had breakfast (he had the left over pizza, I hit the free breakfast and they had make-it- yourself waffles! (I love those! I never have waffles except at hotels.)
Anyhow, after eating it was still raining, so we hung out for another hour and decided to brave the weather. By the time we got signed in, got our bags, free coffee for the kid, and got to our beach, this is what we found!
Weather gods were smiling at us!! Well we started along picking up trash. We were hoping to stumble over tsunami debris from Japan, but no dice. Just the run of the mill stuff. We filled 4 big garbage bags full of junk, and moved a number of boards with nails and plywood up to the area that is supposed to be the pick up zone.
I was a bit disappointed this year. The last time he and I went, they had pickups cruising the beaches. When we found big stuff, we would flag one down and throw it in the bed. Plus, we could drop full bags as they got full! They would pick them up on the fly. This time we had to move our full ones back to a central pick up.
This limited how much we could do. Instead of continuing to walk and fill bags, we had to factor in taking the bags back. Some of this stuff was HEAVY! So we could each only carry one. So all in all we logged close to 3 miles walking. But our short stretch of beach was CLEAN!
All in all, we got a very nice spring day at the beach. Fresh air, sun, and we did a good deed. If more people cleaned up after themselves, or grabbed extra trash when they went to the beach, we wouldn’t have to do this
But 1000 of us teamed up today, and got close to 5 tons of crap off the beach. Which means that next time, maybe we can do like these people instead and just enjoy ourselves!
- Walk the beach and do good in Washington coast clean-up (blogs.seattletimes.com)