AAH = Adopt-a-Highway
This is Jan writing.
It’s 12:35 pm and I need a nap. It’s has been a productive morning. Starting at 7:00 am, our team was surrounded by a plate of breakfast tacos around my kitchen table to kick start our Trash Bash. By 7:30 we headed to our 2 mile starting point. Our plan: divide and conquer. We walked both sides of Shary Rd starting on 5 mile carrying white trash bags that were labeled Adopt-a-Highway in black lettering. The weather was nice and the clouds were overcast. A lovely day for being outdoors.
My nine-month pregnant self was in charge of driving the car to our water break spots. As I scoped out our first rest stop I spotted a small brown trash looking stick nearby. I decided to pick it up, but then it opened its eyes...eeek. I quickly walked around the reptile thing, and realized how serious our safety packets are. It warned us of potentially dangerous plants and snakes. Adopt-a-Highway gave us a list of safety procedures and protocols. Such as, respect the wildlife... They also gave us some sun block and bug spray! Much needed!
Halfway through the Trash Bash we realized how many cigarette butts we needed to pick up?! My first thought was, “People still smoke?! Eww”, but we also saw a lot of empty beer bottles A LOT, plastic cups, wrappers, and diapers... Diapers... come on Valley people! Let’s dispose appropriately.
By 9:45 am we completed the second mile. We successfully filled 8 of these heavy trash bags and lifted some very random items off the side of the road. Pieces of metal and sticks poked through the bags as they were carried from the truck to be placed by our sign. Our shoes were dirty, our bellies were sweaty and our hearts were full. As I looked at the team, red cheeks and wet foreheads and all, I realized how excited everyone was to take our final picture. There is a fulfilling sense of enjoyment when you do something you know is good, helpful, and productive. You feel accomplished. We all laughed, and held back the urge to pose like Rosie the Riveter. 💪🏼