The USFS scheduled today as sno-park clean-up day and at first, it seemed like an exercise in futility. There is still snow covering the trails; I mean, it was snowing at Snoqualmie Pass this week! Several people advocated for pushing the date back a couple of weeks or a month, but as Rune said, that train has left the station and we'll just have to clean what we can. Well, guess what -- just having access to the parking lots and part of the road and the freeway interchanges yielded an enormous amount of junk, most of it pretty disgusting. Kind of amazing, the things that people evidently think are okay to just throw out the window. (Moment of blatant passive aggressiveness: a crew of four or five was in the parking lot picking up garbage while a car sat there and its driver threw orange peels out the window. Seriously, people.) But we did it; even limited by snow cover, we managed to completely fill the USFS ranger's trailer and the bed of her pickup! [Update: volunteers at Cabin Creek and Gold Creek combined picked up 1,340 pounds of garbage! The earth is 1,340 pounds happier today.]
(Note: there is a possibility we will be able to schedule another day with the USFS after the snow is gone to pick up the rest of the trash and have it carried away. Stay tuned!)
And sure, the garbage is gross, but the day was fun! We had an excellent turnout -- lots of the regulars, of course, and plenty of new faces whom it was great to get acquainted with, and a good number of kids bringing their special sparkling energy. Thanks, everyone, for giving up your Saturday morning for the common good! We lucked out with the weather, too -- the forecast was for rain in the early afternoon, but we got away with just a few spritzes, and the rest of the day was blue sky and puffy clouds and soft spring temperatures, with ominous rain clouds lurking to the east and south.
Then the highlight of the day, the reason we tolerate spending the morning picking up icky things every spring: Kare and Aase's legendary grilled chicken, cooked just right, outside over an open fire. Big thank you, Kare and Aase and kitchen crew, for the work you put into making us this delicious treat!
There is nothing tastier, especially combined with potato salad and roasted vegetables and fruit and cobbler and skillet cornbread. Plus beer, from the special high-tech KSC beer cooler:
And let's talk about firewood. A huge number of trees knocked down by storms this winter meant a huge stack of logs waiting to be split into firewood before next winter's storms.
We had a crack crew of log splitters at work today, Mike, Bill, and Matt, swinging axes like pros and working their way steadily through the pile. Nice work, guys! These guys plus Victor plus a solid weekend of work might obviate the need for the hydraulic splitter that Don is thinking about!
The wood splitting project is not done, but wow, it sure does look better than it did one day ago!
And so do the parking lots. One more bonus picture, just because I couldn't find another place to put it: the coffee fairy was there today, with possibly the most nicely staged piece of trash we saw all day.