Last weekend I joined up with a few members of a couple of area bike clubs to do some road clean-up in Valley Forge Park.
This section of Pennsylvania is known for its covered bridges. They are charming things in all sorts of shapes and sizes, mostly cobbled together sturdily, but rather crudely.
The driving surface is made of sturdy planks, just one lane wide.
The original use would have been by horses, buggies, and wagons, of course, not multi-ton SUVs.
On the litter crew, we picked up mostly cigarette butts and the occasional beer bottle, but also discovered this rather unusual bit:
My litter partner and I initially couldn’t figure out what it was, but I noticed that the word “spreader” was imprinted on one arm: That was all the clue we needed. We looked to the heavens, and this is what we spied:
Yep,it was a utility line spreader, all right. I wonder how often they fall off? Those open ended hooks look a little suspect, and we know they lost at least one.
Here were the fruits of our labor. It wasn’t much, really, especially considering that this was the end of winter, during which there had been no litter collection.
It was a little discouraging to see how many people still think its just fine to throw tobacco butts (including plastic-tipped small cigar butts) out a vehicle window — filled as they are with carcinogenic chemicals captured by the filters (the rest are in the lungs of the smoker, of course; that’s pollution of a different kind).
Most people, though, are kind to this stretch of road, and to the park in general. In fact, it looked so good when we arrived that I wondered what we’d do as we walked along. As it turned out, there was plenty of debris to salvage; in the end, we knew the area was actually just as clean as it looked. It was a good few hours’ work.