Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Canoe Trip, part five

Part of the reason I went on this canoe trip from Hell is the fact that I had questions. A few of which were, "Who am I?", "Is there something else I need to learn?", "Have I given it all that I've got or do I still have a little something more?", and "Have we polluted ourselves out of existance?"

Only the last question will be treated in this article, "Have we polluted ourselves out of existance?", as all of the other questions will be dealt with in the final installment in this series, "The Canoe Trip, part Oh God, We're Fuct!" Look for it at your favorite paperback retailer.

Have we gone and commited the most unforgiveable of crimes and shit in our own nest? Have we squandered all that the earth has to provide us? Have we choked out our chilren's heritage with our smog and our waste? Are we in a sense, fucted?

Yes and no.

In the forty-some miles I covered of central Ohio waterways I covered, I saw very little trash. Most of it was the kinds of things that had blown out of people's trash cans like plastic shopping bags, or had washed away from a heavey rain like a child's inflatable pool toy.

85% of the crap I saw along the rivers were aluminum cans of beer next to a fire pit that the owner couldn't be bothered to take home.

It is with shame that I admit that I am as much a part of the problem as these boneheads.

At one point we swamped the canoe and soaked everything. Until this point in the trip, we had bagged all of our trash and deposited it where we could find trash cans. When we swamped the boat, our trash bag ripped. We gathered as much as we could grab and stuffed it in the bag. We only had a few trashbags left and chose to put our sleeping bags in them instead.

I walked our bag of wet crap a half mile down the shore to what I thought was a trash can. It turned out to be a used 5 gallon bucket for roof tar with a stuck lid. I put our bag of wet crap on top with the vain hope that some good-natured soul would make sure it got to it's rightful place. I felt like a bastard, but I walked away and left it.

Where were my morals and standards then? They were shoving a large canoe into choppy waves and paddling their collective ass off and praying for dry bedding that wasn't to be.



  1. Nobody is captain planet 100% of the time Doc, don't beat yourself up.

  2. Still, we are one of the cleanest countries in the Americas, second probably only to Canada. Every time I climb mountains in Mexico or South America, I am disheartened by the amount of trash around.

    Whomever came up with the Native American crying over litter campaign in the 70's is hero. Look at the guilt it instilled in you!


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