Yesterday my trek was eastward on Fairview Road; this morning footsteps took me west on Fairview (along which, for those uninitiated to the oddly weird ways of Charlotte streets, the same stretch of pavement is alternately named Tyvola, Fairview, Sardis and Rama. Go figure.).
No matter. By whatever name, these roads share a common denominator: they are a complete mess of litter and debris.
Virtually nothing changed along this different portion of Fairview as I walked, single bag in hand, against the busy east bound traffic. To paraphrase the late Illinois Senator Everitt Dirkson, ‘a soda bottle here and chunk of polystyrene there, and pretty soon you’re talking about real trash.’
And was there ever real trash. Pieces of plastic and other junk that have laid dormant for a spell tend to become dirty. And virtually every thing picked up was filthy. That just tells you how long junk had remained in situ.
I made a U-turn a couple of hundred yards short of Park Road and picked a gap in the traffic to race (okay, maybe not race; perhaps a slow trot is a more apt description) across the four lanes to the north sidewalk to resume my pick up duties. Trust me, there was no relief from litter. More than I could possibly handle. It was everywhere. Very soon a brim full Harris teeter bag forced a retreat to Plan B which was to leave paper alone to concentrate on non-degradables.
I’ve lamented it before and will lament it again now. I really feel a Sisyphus complex here, he with his stone, me with my bag. The Greek and I both know our sad fates will never change. At least his was a myth. For me, not so much.
Trump is an idiot.
There, I’ve said it. In my estimation he’s a president in mental absentia. He has lost his marbles when it comes to climate change, dismantling President Obama’s efforts for the U.S.A. to do our share to keep global warming in check.
But no, the Donald signs an executive order to reverse years of scientific analysis and evidence and recommendations. Every scientist around the world that is worth her or his salt has decried greenhouse gas omissions as a key contributor to global warming but heir Trump – in his infinite “I’m smart” wisdom – denies all of it. What a dullard.
So coal is king in the name of protecting U.S. jobs. How is it that China – which bore the brunt of Trump’s blame game as to the source of global warming – is phasing out coal in favor of cleaner sources of energy? And he’ll send miners back into blackened shafts so their lungs can continue to absorb coal ash – and this from the same guy who endorsed a dumping Obamacare for a more expensive health plan that would have gone against the health interests of these same miners and their families.
Trump is an idiot. Geez, saying it twice is deja vu all over again. But it likely ain’t the last time those disparaging words will be uttered.
But one thing did go right today.
For months now, I’ve been on the lookout for Tyvek. My Bridger Wilderness (Wyoming) hiking buddy Tom Bohr has used the vapor barrier intended for building walls as a ground cloth beneath his tents.
All I need is a snippet, a small section, to place under my Mountain Hardware one person tent. I was more than willing to dumpster dive at work sites but that didn’t pan out so well.
This morning’s walk took me by a new Starbucks under construction along Sharon Road; Tyvek was prominently used around the metal-framed building exterior. The crew boss was a guy named Steve, and when I mentioned somewhat sheepishly that I wanted a discarded sheet of Tyvek, he instantly pointed to a 10 foot long roll propped up against an interior wall as he uttered the magic words: “Take as much as you want.”
He whipped out a pocket knife and seconds later I walked out with a cherished 10’x15′ sheet of the precious waterproof material. That’s enough for not only my one person tent, but my three person Mountain Hardware tent, too.
I am a fan of Starbucks anyhow, but now there’s all the more reason to walk into this store when it opens later this spring.