Leaders: Jim Fleming, Maggie Wilson
On a beautiful Saturday morning, four hearty souls met Jim and me at the La Cañada Rideshare Point to help us clean up the five mile stretch of Angeles Crest Highway that the HPS has adopted. The six of us divided up into three cars/trucks, drove up to the starting point, heard our trusty leader tell us all the do's and don'ts of picking up garbage, donned our attractive Caltrans' orange mesh vests and helmets, gathered our garbage bags and trash picker-uppers, and began our game of trash pickup leap frog. Jim and Susan Loxty started the game by driving into the first turnout, Loren Wipff and Christa Vausbinder followed and "leapt" past Jim's red truck for the second turnout, and Ted Henson and I "jumped" past both vehicles to pull into the third turnout. We cleaned and jumped past each other for the entire five mile stretch. The sides of the highway still had quite a bit of snow from all of the moisture we had received this winter. The stuff we collected gave us a fresh perspective on wilderness experiences:
Lots of socks: cold wet feet from sledding and snowball fights
Trash can lids: cheap sleds
Empty sandwich bags: I'm hungry
Empty Taco Bell, El Pollo Loco, McDonalds' bags: I am really hungry, but only for cheap food
Empty Budweiser cans: I needed SOMETHING to wash down my taco with
A television (really!): "Hey, I've got an idea! Let's take a drive in the mountains and when we get about 50 miles from nowhere, let's pitch a 27" appliance out our car window!"
Around noon, we dumped all of our treasures at the Caltrans dump site, and enjoyed refreshments and interesting conversation. Loren shared her recent experiences as a Peace Corp volunteer in Guatemala. She hopes to return one day after earning her master's degree in nursing.
After snacks - and too many brownies - we drove to the trailhead. From there we enjoyed a pleasant seven mile hike, through some snow, to bag Mt. Disappointment, then Mt. Deception. And, of course, we had to eat more brownies at each peak, because one must keep one's energy level up during such an arduous expedition.
Thanks to all - Susan, Loren, Christa, Ted, and of course, Jim - for your hard work and enjoyable company. It was a fun team effort!