Trail Etiquette

The Path to Lake Ingalls.jpg

With Social Media all the rage these days, from Facebook to Instagram, Twitter to Snapchat, and goodness knows how many other platforms there are, it is really easy to get the word out on all the wonderfully beautiful places that Mother Nature has provided for our viewing pleasure. I truly believe, though, that we have a duty to practice good stewardship while visiting the great outdoors. I have seen some of the most beautiful sights this last year, and with proper care and due diligence, these sights can remain beautiful. It is very discouraging to hear of all the disrespect the land is suffering at the hands of thoughtless souls, packing in their paper espresso cups with the convenient plastic lids and sipping straws, their designer trail mix in the recyclable designer baggies, the store bought bottled water in the recyclable plastic bottles, candy bar wrappers, sandwich baggies, soda pop cans, beer cans, and whatever other garbage that resides within their cute little back packs that are made for looks, not for comfort or functionality. That isn't so bad. To each their own. What gets my blood pressure up is the fact that though they pack it in, they don't pack it out. I swear people think that because something is recyclable, that means it will dissolve and become one with the earth again. This is most definitely not the case. It can take up to 20 years or more for some plastics to decompose, but it never really goes away. It's still plastic, just a different form.. Then you have the pet owners who think they have done a great service by bagging up their dogs waste and leaving it on the side of the trail. I just wish that people would stop and think about it for a minute, or even just a second. 

I can't write a post like this without giving a great big shout out and wave to all the kind people of Washington Hikers and Climbers, and the Washington Trail Association, and many countless others that go on hikes with extra garbage bags purposefully picking up after the disrespectful cretins running amok trying to destroy any semblance of beauty. If it weren't for these lovely people, most of our trails in the great PNW would already look like a landfill, sad but true.

To everyone and anyone reading this, please oh please! If you pack it in, pack it out! There is a saying I wish everyone knew. It is "Leave No Trace". I will be speaking to this a lot. If we are to leave any beauty behind for our future generations, we must act now. Before it is too late. Before everything is Forevermore Lost.

Love and Light to all.