I knew what I was going to do as soon as I found out how warm it was going to be today.
Bella had been wanting to go so badly, and I’ll admit, that I did as well. After getting my email notifications caught up, talking with mom and getting ready, Bella and I headed for Crowder’s Mountain State Park. It was time to hike the hill. It didn’t take long to get there, the usual thirty minutes or so. I was able to park in my favorite spot then Bella and I were headed out and up. Of course Bella had to stop at every scent along the way, but I expected that. I don’t mind it too much as it gives me a chance to try and catch my breath.
Along the way up we passed a few going up, and more who were headed down. Most spoke, even if it was only a hello. I will admit that going up, I don’t always say a lot due to the struggle to keep breathing. I am however getting better. This visit my legs weren’t screaming at me as they had the previous times. My breathing, though elevated, didn’t sound (at least to me) as if I needed paramedics.
However I did notice something. You can tell that more people are visiting the park thanks to the litter showing up. It wasn’t a great deal, but when you are hiking an area the employees try to keep clean, everything stands out. I passed plastic cups, discarded masks and paper wrappers. Next time, I’m putting a bag inside my small backpack so that I can pick some of that mess up.
It bothers me that people can be so disrespectful and yes…lazy. If you can’t dispose of it properly-and there are dumpsters available- then don’t take it with you. Your actions are ruining the experience of the ones who come after you. Not only that, but putting the wildlife of the park in danger.
There was a humorous event. I don’t try to hide or deny my age. I’m sixty-three and excited that I have been allowed to see it as there were times I doubted it would happen. Today, as Bella and I were headed up, we came up on a trio of two girls and a guy. They looked to be in their early twenties at best. I passed them as they were resting about halfway up. At one point when I had stopped with Bella to allow people going the other way by us, the trio passed by. As Bella and I are going up the steps, they are stopped again, struggling a bit. A bit further up, as Bella and I again stepped to the side to allow people going down to pass, the trio make their way by us. It wasn’t long before I catch up again. They are sitting on boulders, visibly struggling. I, cruel individual that I am, smiled and told them there was only 336 steps and they were half way up. I think their moans echoed off the side of the mountain. They didn’t pass me again.
Once Bella and I reached the top we walked over to where I always give her water. There is the remains of a sapling that I can anchor the leash on while I get the water and bowl out of my backpack. I really don’t think she would wander off, but why risk it? Besides, I think the other visitors feel better knowing she is secure.
After Bella and I had quenched our thirst we moved closer to the overlook. Snapping a few photos, I gave in to Bella’s looks toward the downward trail. As I turned though, I saw something that bothered me greatly. Someone had thought it important to draw graffiti on one of the rocks. Why? You want to prove you were up there? Take a photo. You want to show the world you and them were, are, may be a couple? Take a photo. Post it to all the world via social media.
Marking the boulders up, again, doesn’t show any respect to the land, to those coming after you and actually, to yourself. So please, don’t do that. Don’t spray paint the rocks, don’t toss your trash. Show some courtesy, it really isn’t that hard.