Monday, April 28, 2008


Saturday was Washington Coast Cleanup Day. M. and I signed up for the beach at the mouth of the Hoh River. It's on the Rez (map) and usually private though not posted, and we expected there would be lots of people taking advantage of an opportunity to do our symbolic sweeping of the temple gate someplace you usually don't feel welcome. But in fact there was only the site leader L., and us, and S. who was driving the truck to haul things away from the end of the road at various sites.

It was a really glorious day.

Low Tide, the mouth of the Hoh River, Hoh Reservation

We were told to take a quiet moment at noon to remember Jan Klippert, founder of the Olympic Coast Cleanup, who passed away in January.

Very quiet. Click for larger image.

So it was just us, you know, and a whole lot of drift logs. Styrofoam, litter, plastic, metal, a tire. Ocean and sky, an eagle. S. said that the other day there were lots of gray whales, blows all over the place. But we didn't see any. (People always say that the other day there were lots of whales. It's always some other day, not this one...)

I hauled out a few bags of bagable-size trash. M. went much further down the beach then worked her way back doing the same. But I didn't like hopping deep into the drift, the footing was way too unstable. So L. took care by himself of the two drums and the big ball of netting that I'd spotted back there among the logs. One drum—which was still sealed and had a small amount of unknown substance in it—he carried and pushed out of the drift, rolled it down to the beach and then along the beach, and horsed it back up through the drift again to the end of the road. The second drum was empty, flattened and rusted out, and he decided that it was not intrinsically hazardous, so instead "we" worked on the blob of netting. He had to cut it into chunks that wouldn't be too heavy to haul or drag.


L. & S. kindly said that our tiny team had probably gathered more pounds of trash per person than any other team on the coast, one whole pickup load and then a second smaller one.

Waiting for the truck to haul out more

Across the river we could see the Oil City cleanup team walking out with bags of trash. They had a long way to go to get back to the vehicles. On the Rez side you could drive almost to the beach, so we had a much easier time (and could do metal and big blobs of netting...

Across the River, the Oil City cleanup crew walking out with trash

1 comment:

Sky said...

much thanks to you guys! :))