Vacation, to leave one’s brain at home

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After a summer working in Yosemite Valley many years ago, the word vacation took on new meaning for me.

Watching tourons, as we called them, hacking down living trees to burn, stopping bus-sized RV’s in the middle of the road to get out and gape at a deer, hiking in 4-inch heels to vernal falls – all activities I witnessed again and again.

Imagine dealing with people like this on a daily basis and you can understand how an NPS employee might take on a misanthropic pallor.

Labor day is upon us. And so are the throngs of city dwellers eager for one last glimpse of nature. What a shame it is so many of them are unable to give nature even a sliver of respect.

While standing in line at The Bovine after plucking dozens of bottles and cans out of the dumpsters and cleaning both beaches at Drakes and Limantour, a lycra-clad fellow walked up and dumped a large paper bag FULL of bottles and cans into the trash bin by the door.

Kindly, I said “You know, there is a recycle bin right over there by your bike.”

He stopped, turned, glared and spat at me with a thick German/Austrian accent “Vye dont you mind your own fucking business!”

“Seeing as how I live out here, the state of our planet IS my fucking business. So won’t you put those recyclables in that bin over by your bike.”

He begrudgingly did, telling me “You could have said please.”

Seeing what has been left at the Limantour main trail-head, along with the above exchange, makes me think that humans have no business on this planet.

Happy holidays. Think kind thoughts for the 4 young men caught in the water at the mouth of The Estero, rescue/recovery underway as I write.

As always, click on an image to see a larger version.

Items left at Drakes and Limantour beach over Labor Day Weekend

Items left at Drakes and Limantour beach over Labor Day Weekend


Dog shit, bagged by dog owner, left on beach for the rest of us to enjoy.

Dog shit, bagged by dog owner, left on beach for the rest of us to enjoy.


Dog shit, bagged by dog owner, left on beach for the rest of us to enjoy.

Dog shit, bagged by dog owner, left on beach for the rest of us to enjoy.


Items left at Drakes and Limantour beach over Labor Day Weekend

Items left at Drakes and Limantour beach over Labor Day Weekend


Trash and recycle bins at Limantour. A large dumpster is 80 feet away.

Trash and recycle bins at Limantour. A large dumpster is 80 feet away.


Trash and recycle bins at Limantour. A large dumpster is 80 feet away.

Trash and recycle bins at Limantour. A large dumpster is 80 feet away.

3 thoughts on “Vacation, to leave one’s brain at home

  1. There’s a part of me that’s relieved that it’s not just people coming to Doran Beach that leave dog poop bags on the beach or shove trash in the recycle bins when the dumpster is less than 100 feet away or walk away from a finished picnic on the beach leaving behind bottles, cans, paper plates, napkins and plastic utensils. I work hard at continuing to love people, to not be cynical, to not scream at people, “what the f$#k are you thinking?!” I bring all of the trash I collect on the beach home to sort and recycle what I can but it’s getting to be so much that our trash and recycle bins are often stuffed full before trash day.

    Every time before I step on the beach I take in the surf and feel gratitude and say a silent thank you. When I find myself cursing under my breath while picking up trash left by adults, I take a deep breath and apologize to the ocean for our apathy. Sometimes on my trash gathering hikes I’m brought to tears because I feel so frustrated, so hopeless, so doomed . . . but I can’t stay in that mind set long because although I’m part of the solution, I’m also part of the problem just by being human. So I do what I can, try to engage people in a positive, upbeat manner and hope that we collectively turn this mess around very soon . . .

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