In Response to “National Wilderness Month”

Emily Loose’s blog about September being National Wilderness Month reminded me of the last time my husband and I went to our “secret” fishing spot in Wyoming and what we found when we arrived at our favorite camp site by the river…

One can only imagine the horror I felt as we pulled our truck down the barely visible entrance to our campsite as the endless amounts of trash previous campers had left came into view. (The pictures do not do it justice!!!) I slowly got out of the truck and saw dirty diapers, socks, underwear, a pit full of more trash and a lawn chair! I felt dazed, angry, and remember feeling a type of personal violation had been inflicted on me. My brain was having a hard time processing what it was seeing. Eventually, the bad words coming from my husband’s mouth penetrated my trance-like state.

I turned to him and asked, “What kind of people would do this!?”

“College students,” he replied, “We are not that far from the University of Wyoming.”

“Yeah right, what kind of college students camp and leave dirty diapers?”

He laughed and I went to the truck and found the shovel and garbage bags.

You have to know my husband to appreciate this, but I was not allowed to participate in the clean up (except to hold the garbage bag). I could tell he had entered “Home Project” mode, classifying this task in the similar manner of installing flooring or climbing a ladder to clean the gutters.  According to him, I would mess up his plan of attack and create more work.

Alas, I can take no credit for the sweat that went into restoring our campsite to its original pristine condition, or for the perfect circular fire pit, where each stone fitted together like a puzzle. I swear he must have had a giant drafting compass, and can easily say that I have never seen a man work so hard to “clean” dirt. God love him!

My message for “National Wilderness Month” to all human wilderness users:

Please, please practice “leave no trace” when enjoying nature, as we share it with other humans and wildlife!

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