Martinez CA Park Walk

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Second Walk - What A Party

Party Hollow
Note the rope swing, and how long it is. It's centre point is a good 15 feet from the tree to its immediate left, the normal launching point. You can get a hella rush, with the 30 foot action.

Here's the hollow, up close. One 12 pack box lies exhausted in the middle of the clearing, and there are several of her children nearby. Look carefully, you may see them. Other debris here and there.

See how high off the ground the bottom of the rope swing is? Look back at the photo above - I'm betting that it was hauled up to the tree to the far left and in the forefront, for launching, at least once. Imagine the rush that gives you. That's a good 25 feet from center to edge of swing span - think of 50 foot swing action, with a 15 foot drop. I've done the swing from the first tree - that's good enough for me.

The previously identified 12 pack case, her sister, and 4 of the young ones, some found hiding in the bushes nearby. And an assortment of other debris.

  • 2 water bottles.
  • 1 well crushed Coors can.
  • 1 Coney Island whitefish.
  • Various portions of napkins, aluminum foil, bottle caps, and a drinking straw.

Back at the disposal site, another sister found.

Remember the mysterious thick and brittle document, found yesterday? Well, it did not take kindly to being disposed of, and was found under a picnic table. On closer examination, it turns out to be a portion of a Dominos Pizza carton.

The picnic area / disposal site, with the previously mentioned water faucet to my right and out of the picture. Note the single trash can, dimly visible just past the table in the foreground (and just below the 3 Miller sisters, above)? We have here 2 shelters, 3 tables each, and 1 trash can serving all 6 tables. Is the Martinez Parks staff really thinking?

Another assortment of debris.

  • 2 newspaper pages, well faded with age.
  • One coffee cup.
  • Yet another of the Miller family kidz.
  • An Official Sesame Street Juice box.
  • A Capri Sun juice bag.
  • A half eaten Proma-something breakfast bar.
  • An Extra! gum wrapper.
  • Yet another drinking straw.

Despite the presence of another one of the Miller kidz, this assortment shows some health consciousness. The newspaper, showing attention to current events. The breakfast bar, and 2 juice containers, and a coffee cup. And sugar free gum. Things are looking up.

Second Walk - An Overview

Invigourated by my success yesterday, I returned to the park today. Surprising how close the entrance is - once I got used to walking, and can find it without getting lost.

Today, I headed to a small hollow, well off the main trail. It appears to be popular with the high school or college kidz. It is

  • Accessorised by a nice rope swing - with an intense action.
  • Next to a swampy area, good for disposal of material.
  • Remote, and not easily found.

This location is actually where I got started picking up trash, long ago. The first time I wandered into it, it was apparently being used by kidz who lived nearby, for frequent overnight parties. I returned, over the next week, and hauled out a dozen or so bags of trash.

I go back there a couple times / month, and generally haul out 2 or 3 bags of trash, each time. Today was no exception.

The closest trash cans, to the party hollow, are in a picnic area in the north half of the park. This area is next to the main trail, but well distanced from the north parking area, and itself quite popular with the kidz. This is where I take many of the posed shots of the finds, just before I dispose of them.

This remote picnic area is a favourite of mine, for one big reason - it has the best water faucet in the park. This faucet, next to the main trail, is very popular with walkers, and with folks walking their dogs. It actually has more pressure than my shower, at home (that is, regretfully, not saying as much about the park water, as about my home).

Any time I wander thru the remote sections of the park, I find it a very good idea to wash all portions of my arms and legs as thoroughly as possible. I am allergic, as many are, to poison ivy. I once learned, the hard way, that there is a lot of poison ivy in the park.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

First Walk - The Finds

  • A Slurpee cup - clear plastic with the distinctive domed lid - in its "natural" habitat. I could only get so close - didn't want to disturb it.
  • Its nearby companion - a soiled hand towel.

  • The Slurpee cup.
  • Unidentified document - thick and brittle.
  • Soiled hand towel - what are the brown stains? Yuck.
  • Broken beer bottle. The kidz love to smash beer bottles around these picnic tables.
  • Unidentified candy wrapper.

  • Bits of napkins and a snack container found near the school.

  • Two papers - maybe somebodys homework?

Here's an assortment.

  • The top off a bait container - fishermen garbage.
  • A small Slurpee cup - paper.
  • An unidentified candy wrapper.
  • Cardboard and plastic bags.
  • A large cardboard box - fishermen garbage.

  • This was nasty. An Ace gauze bandage - used - in several pieces. I picked it up using an empty bag as a glove - it went straight into the bag, and the trash.

Another assortment.

  • Bottled water.
  • Unidentified beverage cup.
  • Fishermen garbage - a couple tackle bags / labels. Matches, and a few cig butts.
  • Receipt from a nearby Safeway grocery.
  • A Subway napkin.
  • A California icon - Provolone cheese zip-loc bag. Haute cuisine.
  • Miscellaneous generic napkins.

First Walk - An Overview

Previously, a typical walk at Hidden Lakes Park would involve me driving to the park, walking the main trail that circles around the lakes, back to my car, and drive home. This would be a typical 1 hour or so.

Today, motivated by $3.50 / gallon petrol, I walked to the park. Maybe 10 minutes each way - not at all hard to take. But the normal 1 hour circular route turned in to 2 hours. Why?

Lots of photo opportunities. I tried to balance my photo technique:

  • Background shots of the park.
  • Shots of sites where people, and trash, accumulates.
  • Various bits of trash, in their "natural" setting (as left there by the idiots).
  • Posed and unposed closeups of the trash, for inventory. Note: the volume of trash collected far exceeds the interesting assortments shown by Jane.

Either Jane takes very short urban walks, or she lives in a far cleaner city.

Or maybe it's the variety of amenities at the park.

  • Picnic areas.
  • Trails, paved and unpaved.
  • A large lake, with fish and ducks.
  • A running track.
  • On the north west park boundary, a public (elementary) school.

You can see all of the park, from the Google aerial view. The Internet - what a way to show your neighbourhood to the world!

Each of those areas attract different types of visitors, judging by the trash found.

Monday, June 19, 2006

My Walks Thru Hidden Lake Park

I need exercise. And, since I live near Hidden Lakes Park (NDS Warning - Not Dialup Safe), I walk around there. It's pleasant - there are hills, and trails.

And there is trash. Left behind by idiots.
Here am I, strolling thru the park. Just finished a can of my favourite beverage. What to do with the can? Waaay too much trouble to carry it. Just toss it. Anywhere's fine. No worry.

So I grab a couple plastic bags, when I'm heading out the door. Lots of free bags - thanks to my local grocer.

If I walk for an hour or so, no problem filling one up.

So, thanks to a friend that I just met in an online forum, I'm going to start picture blogging the trash.

Watch this space.