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Dumpster Recovery in San Gabriel Mountains

by Fredric L. Rice Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2005 at 12:31 PM
frice@skeptictank.org

The San Gabriel Mountains Trailbuilders dispatched a crack emergency Dumpster Recovery Team (DRT) last week end to recover a fallen dumpster.

Dumpster Recovery in...
trail007.jpg, image/jpeg, 640x480

The San Gabriel Mountain Trail Builders build hiking trails and perform repairs and maintenance on trails in an effort to limit the human environmental impact in the San Gabriel Mountain chain.

In areas where humans hike, bicycle, picnic, and camp, the lack of established, professionally developed trails results in a number of unplanned trails that are almost always dangerous since they take a direct route from parking areas to rivers. Numerous unplanned trails caused more extensive erosion to microenvironments and cause some spreading out of litter that gets dumped along the trails.

Planned trails seek to make the grade up and down hills approximately 12 percent so that they’re not dangerous, and the trails are often made fairly wide so that our furry Forest Service Freddies (USFS) can get horses into an area to collect and haul out garbage. (Making trash hauling easier for USFS Freddies or volunteers that otherwise have to pack out tons of trash means trash collection can take place more frequently and in less time.)

At areas in the woods where humans like to collect, the U. S. Forest Service will often install trash bins and toilets, seeking to reduce the environmental, impact. And humans being what they are, vandalism and other stupidity inflicted upon the infrastructure designed to limit or control human environment damage is fairly common with toilets being smashed up, burned down, and what not, and with trash dumpsters getting picked up and thrown over cliffs to roll down into canyons.

Fortunately, the San Gabriel Mountain Trail Builders have a crack team of professional, highly trained, multiply certified Dumpster Recovery Team (DRT) members which remains on 24 hour alert, ready to chopper to any location within the mountain range to recover and restore heavy trash dumpsters.

When it was reported that a dumpster along Highway 39 near Mile Marker 28 was over the side, the DRT swung into action and some 12 hours later some how managed to avoid dragging their own pickup truck down into the canyon during the dumpster recovery.

The day previously, by the way, I photographed about 40 people down in a canyon along the San Gabriel River at Mile Marker 26.91 with a camp fire. Nothing makes me angrier, nothing gets my urge to scream obscenities going more than people who start fires in MY forest.

I spend a lot of time in the mountains on my bicycle and often there’s fires at night that I can’t report since there’s no Freddies or police officers anywhere handy, but this one I was able to locate when the Freddies down below were present and had a heavily armed Sheriff with them. I got a poor photograph of the people and the fire which I’ve added.

Fredric L. Rice

Note: I’m not a member of nor a spokesman of the San Gabriel Mountains Trail Builders. My opinions are mine and only mine.

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Our missing dumpster

by Fredric L. Rice Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2005 at 12:31 PM
frice@skeptictank.org

Our missing dumpster...
trail008.jpg, image/jpeg, 640x480

Here's the missing dumpster -- or at least here's where it normally would be. A group of people -- mayhaps drunk, mayhaps just stupid; one never knows -- picked it up and carried it a short ways before rolling it over the side.

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The dumpster

by Fredric L. Rice Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2005 at 12:31 PM
frice@skeptictank.org

The dumpster...
trail009.jpg, image/jpeg, 640x480

And here's where the dumpster wound up, not too far down the canyon since the lid kind of opened up and slowed things down a lot. The trash that was inside was later collected by the DRT and placed back in the dumpster.

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Swinging into action!

by Fredric L. Rice Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2005 at 12:31 PM
frice@skeptictank.org

Swinging into action...
trail010.jpg, image/jpeg, 640x480

The most intrepid member of the DRT swings into action! Carting about a hundred pounds of chain which was tied into a cable that was pulled by a grip hoist capable (we later discovered) or dragging a 5,000 pound heavily loaded pickup truck toward the canyon rim.

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Solid tie point

by Fredric L. Rice Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2005 at 12:31 PM
frice@skeptictank.org

Solid tie point...
trail011.jpg, image/jpeg, 640x480

The other end of the grip hoist was chained to the solid, deeply planted metal hoop. A later effort to belay the end with the pickup truck failed since the hoist was dragging the pickup instead of bringing up the dumpetsr.

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Almost there

by Fredric L. Rice Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2005 at 12:31 PM
frice@skeptictank.org

Almost there...
trail014.jpg, image/jpeg, 640x480

After about 50 minutes or so of fairly heavy work -- including brush removal and the cussing of a few large rocks -- the dumpster is dragged to the lip of the canyon.

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A view from above

by Fredric L. Rice Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2005 at 12:31 PM
frice@skeptictank.org

A view from above...
trail015.jpg, image/jpeg, 640x480

You might have noticed that one of us isn't doing any work at all. He's walking around with a camera taking photographs while the other three sweat it out getting sun burned and bleeding. It was pointed out that the pay was the same whether we're working or not and when I heard that, I grabbed my camera then took a nap.

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Back in place

by Fredric L. Rice Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2005 at 12:31 PM
frice@skeptictank.org

Back in place...
trail016.jpg, image/jpeg, 640x480

Another quality job done well -- with only a minimal loss of skin, blood and some bending of metal -- the DRT has completed another mission.

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Properly equipped DRT team member

by Fredric L. Rice Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2005 at 12:31 PM
frice@skeptictank.org

Properly equipped DR...
trail002.jpg, image/jpeg, 640x480

Here's the equipment that a properly equipped DRT member carries with him or her to the field -- when one's on a bicycle and isn't bringing heavy chains, grip hoists, crow bars, and pickup trucks with them.

I bicycled up the canyon Friday night, starting around 8:30 p.m. to coincide with the peak of drunk drivers that frequent the road. After arriving at my first camp a mile from the start of West Fork Road, it was 12:35 a.m. so it looks like I averaged about 5 miles an hour.

Saturday morning I packed up and bicycled down to talk with the Freddies (USFS) down below and that's when I noticed the fire (next photograph.)

I then made my camp at the Rincon Environmental Education Center (first photograph) for the day, packing up at 7:00 on Sunday Morning to meat up with the rest of the members of the DRT.

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Setting fires angers me

by Fredric L. Rice Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2005 at 12:31 PM
frice@skeptictank.org

Setting fires angers...
trail004.jpg, image/jpeg, 640x480

It's difficult to see in this photograph but toward the center, to the right some and down some, there's a fire going which had people kicking branches and leaves into it as I watched from the highway trying to control my rage.

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LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 6 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
Cool johnk Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2005 at 8:47 PM
The USFS are always polite, too Fredric L. Rice Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2005 at 11:38 AM
Really Cool Post Thanks Thursday, Dec. 15, 2005 at 10:55 PM
Nice WHITE ON RICE Saturday, Dec. 17, 2005 at 1:19 PM
lookit, Mommy! Jimmah Cahtuh Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2005 at 3:11 PM
Where's the respect? Sheepdog Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2005 at 4:34 PM

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