Saturday, September 20, 2014

Cove Cleanup "Dunk"

     It seems that the third time is a charm, and I wound up getting all wet in the process. I was referring to my chances to get out in a canoe in my area.  We don't own a canoe-- since you can easily rent one it would seem to be a bit of a waste of space. So we looked forward to getting in "someone else's" canoe for the ride to the annual Jean Elliot- Master Naturalist picnic that is off the New River and on the way to McCoy (I believe). But we went down a road and took the wrong turn, then received lousy directions from this young guy who sent us on a wild goose chase. Spouse Frank was fed up and tired and drove home, so we missed the picnic and canoeing.
     Another time at Claytor Lake there was a weekly (and early for me) canoe ride on Fridays in the summer. The time we decided to go it was foggy and a little rainy. The spouse went while I walked around and got a hot chocolate from the gift shop, and bought a mug in "another" gift-supply office at Claytor Lake State Park. He told me later that it stopped raining after a half hour and I should have gone on the ride. Another canoe experience missed!
     So this third time, picking up trash via canoe or on land (or a combination) I went with "gung ho" Master naturalist member Michael (I think he's a little hyper)by canoe, and he was hyped up to pick up stray bottles, and plastic. And one time I saw something green and he, with his open rubber "boat sandals", walked in and pulled a ripped up  baby pool out of the water. I also found the  letter R, and many pieces of plastic, a plant that had grown through Styrofoam, glass beer bottles, and these Skol tobacco tins.
     In his family owned canoe I also received my first and only "dunk" in the water of the season. Normally, I was paddling in front and he was steering in back. But he turned the boat around. I was facing away from the cove and didn't see what he was doing. Next thing I know, the front of the canoe was tipping to one side and I completely fell in! He didn't apologize either. I think I tried to laugh it off (and a good thing that my rain coat, ironically, was dry in a waterproof bag we'd packed). I only fell in 2-3 feet of water, but that's all it takes to get soaked! Luckily, the air felt pretty warm and I wasn't getting chilled till we were finally heading back to where we started and a bit of wind was coming at us -- I didn't seem to heat up even as I was paddling at a good clip.
     Another unique find we put in trash bags -- we collected 6 big bags and some loose stuff as well ---was a pair on dark colored pants caught on a tree limb. Toward the end, as I was already wet, I got out of the canoe and put a bunch of plastic bottles, glass bottles, and pieces of plastic and bottle caps into a trash bag of my own. Fishermen can be lazy. Oh-- we also found some caps in good condition, and flip flops, no doubt blown off their wearers at some point. I got some good exercise and received a certificate for finding the "least expected piece of trash" (for the baby pool).

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