It was an amazing couple of days. I received a call from Channel 12 news on Thursday. Once again, someone took their time to help the effort.
They sent a heart felt email to Nicole at Channel 12 news. Unbeknowst to any of us Channel 12 had been considering doing the story. I was shocked when the call came in.
I was meeting them at 5:00 AM Friday morning at the dreamy draw park near my home. It was a cold morning!
I sure was nervous, but I knew it was important to get the message out there so I tried to pull it together.
We headed out after work to get the site ready and signs posted.
A wonderful friend had posted notice of the clean up Thursday night to make sure we got the site we needed.
Not long after we pulled in a great group of folks pulled in. We spent the night around a camp fire getting to know our new friends and their dog Paco. What great people. I've never met so many wonderful people, seen so many old friends and had so much fun in one 24 hour period.
The set up crew, driven volunteers, worked hard to get everything ready.
Not long after, the volunteers started to arrive. I must admit, I was in a bit of a zone all day. I was so focused on making sure we pulled it off. PHEW! I wish I could have spoken to everyone more. Danica and I met so many hard working responsible outdoor users.
For many, it was their first clean up. That is wonderful. It was also MY first clean up! First of many I hope. I'll make sure to post on this blog to support other efforts that I hear of. There are so many great efforts from hikers, bikers, wheelers etc!
I was so pleased to see Hunter and his Sheriff mobile out there. A big thank you to the other Sheriff's that came out. It gives such piece of mind especially considering that the clean up areas were primarily shooting areas. Also, thank you to the EMT's. There was a lot of glass and sharp metal out there. We were so pleased to have you there as well!
When I say we had just about every group there, I'm serious! Take a look at this Mercedes Unimog. Just a work of engineering art.
Its hard to believe that this is where a burnt out FJ Cruiser and thousands of pieces of trash used to sit. Notice the black marks from the burning FJ on the large rocks.
Enthusiastic workers filled trailers literally to the breaking point. Several were damaged in the name of cleaning up. Thank you.
Some great folks we call the flying family were out in force. Here Flying baby takes a quick break from cleaning to relax in the shade!
This area had some of the worst trash. The volunteers said they walked around for a few minutes in a bit of awe. Where to start...
Some of the many great volunteers
The mountain was crowded in the best way with great people.
Some of the guys have a warped sense of humor, just like me. :)
This is some hard work. I was lucky and spent most of the day running around. When I did spend some time shoveling and raking I felt even more indebted to these great people.
People came and went all day. Just like I had hoped for. If you were headed to somewhere or back from somewhere thats just fine. The fact that you came and filled even a single bag makes a difference!!
Thank you for every minute you spent out here. From one to 480 minutes! :)
Here is a great Aerial shot! A great fella named phxtoad couldn't make it to the clean up, but he got some great shots from the sky! I told everyone he wasn't trying to bomb us. :)
Here is a great shot of a full dumpster and the pile begining to grow!
We did a lot of give aways and ate some burgers! This little kid won $200 cash!!! Thats a lot of candy!
My number one volunteer!
As the day came to an end we tore down the camp and made a last round of the cleanup sights to take a look and get the signs.
It was so beautiful. The desert seemed to be smiling, less ashamed than it looks when covered in litter...
I always feel that the outdoors are so much more clean and pleasant than even the cleanest home or city.
On our way up the mountain I noticed a group of folks that I saw early that morning. We stopped to say hello. They had just finished hiking Four Peaks! That sounded like a good time. Since some communities of outdoor lovers can be more difficult to locate I was excited to meet some new folks. I'll be giving them a call to invite them to the next clean up.
I can't thank you all enough. I can't owe you enough. I can try to do it again and promise to work hard. Thats the only thing I can think to do to show my thanks.
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