Saturday, September 26, 2009

Spokane River Clean Up 2009!

Great time at the river clean up this morning. It’s funny how you keep running into the same bunch at about every cool event in Spokane.

Everybody started out at High Bridge Park. It’s easy to forget that this park has more than a dandy disc golf course or clandestine romantic interludes going for it. I think it would be a great place for a family picnic. The grass is always green. Lots of shade. You can swim or wade in Latah Creek. You can play disc golf. You can have a romantic interlude.

Busses dropped people off at some of the further reaches of the clean up. Our group - Group Number Five - The Moose Group was assigned about a half mile of cleaning up to the west of the Maple Street Bridge. A nice walk but nothing too interesting. Mostly broken glass and stuff like that. Aidan found a cool fork that had the number 1847 stamped on it. Perhaps it’s the fork in the river that you always hear about.

Everyone scrambled around banks and boulders like post-apocalyptic foragers picking up crap. A guy in a cataraft was making his way down the river to warn each of us about an encampment that straddled the very path upon which we trod. I tried to reassure him that it was no big deal and maybe the folks there would have some garbage to add to our load. He looked at me like I had been warned and that he was now no longer responsible for my Blair Witch Project finale.

I was almost to the hobo camp when a lady carrying her clean up bag repeated the warning that she had heard from catarafter dude. She had sent some kids up a precarious outcropping to avoid the camp of the damned. I repeated my plan to her. She asked me what she and the kids should do. I said that odds were the technical climb the kids were now ascending was much more daring than saying hello to a hobo.

When I said hello to the camper, he said, “Hello” back. Wow. Good. And because it’s daylight, I know he's not a vampire. My lucky day.

There was a mound of garbage by his tent (actually not his tent. His camp was a little further up. He was housesitting). He said that raccoons and skunks had a party in the festering pile last night and that's why it seemed so unorganized. I offered to move some of the garbage out, but there was a lot there - probably beyond my means. Then man said that he was going to move a bunch of it out himself. Later on, walking back on the street, we saw that he had. There were a bunch of bags right where he said they would be.

During our conversation, the man told me about the campfires that they have sometimes. I told him I knew about them, because people were always calling 9-1-1 and hence us to put them out. The fellow said that one time a fire engine pulled up across the river and a firefighter yelled at them with a bullhorn to put the fire out. I told him that was me. For Fathers Day I had asked for and received a bullhorn. I used it at work a couple of times. What a great thing to have. I remembered yelling at someone across the river. We both laughed about what a small world it is and I was back on the clean up. I never saw the lady and the two kids ever again.

I met up with Sarah and Aidan shortly thereafter and we had a great picnic of David’s Pizza back at High Bridge Park. We enjoyed a fine bike ride home.

Look at some of the cool stuff that was found. I think that’s an airplane’s landing gear. Whoops! I bet there’s a story there.

This is where all the keys go.

I have never been on a "man down" or in a hobo camp where Miller was the beer of choice.

These might have been found in the park itself.

Cookie jar? Coffee mug? Tip jar? high school ceramics project? I think the verbiage around the areola is a Knights Templar/Illuminati/Opus Dei clue from the new Dan Brown novel.

The Spokane River's currents are notoriously swift and complex. In any other river this boot would have probably stayed on.


KG said...

Great post!

Bill Foss said...

Thanks Man!