Tossing and Tortured 'Till Dawn

I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide.

Monday, January 23, 2006

The Reason People Must Die

Left in the wake of an ancient glacial flow, 700-foot-deep Peasley Canyon now serves mostly as an annex to the Puget Sound area's massive industrial machine, filled with gas stations, highway onramps, and disused gravel quarries, now turned into self-storage-facilities, a "waste transfer station," a hydroelectric facility. Oh, and a shopping mall so massive they call it a "super" mall and award it its own freeway exit.

The steep slopes of the Canyon's sides, however, are still largely verdant, threatened mostly by the onslaught of subdevelopments. Ironically, it is the aforementioned post-industrial ugliness that wards off development of the canyon's west side, since homes with views of said gravel-pit-storage-areas aren't nearly so desirable as those overlooking one of the area's many lakes.

56th avenue, then, is a wonderful paradise for a cyclist, its main disadvantage only that it is short. This stretch of road, only about three kilometers long, winds serpentine up the side of the canyon, then back down again. It is narrow, steep, doubles back on itself, and is so narrow there's only one narrow lane for the entire length of the road. Perfect for cars, great for bicycles. Your correspondent once had to play the "outrun the cement mixer" game on this road, and he's happy to report that pedal power carried the day. Why a cement mixer decided this little goat path was a good shortcut is anyone's best guess.

I come to the reason People Must Die.

On the roadside, every few hundred meters, is a large sign reading "No dumping under penalty of arrest!" A few others advise that the area is "under 24-hour video survaillence to ensure compliance!"

It doesn't work.

The contents of the creek beside the road, like all in this area, often looks like one of those apocalyptic-pollution scenarios for an Earth-day PSA: empty beer cans, discarded food wrappers, and the ubiquitous six-pack-ring. Worse, this creek, presumably man-guided for drainage, is frequently plugged by bags of trash. I'm not talking about a little plastic grocery bag, either, I'm talking full-sized, stuffed-to-bursting point Hefty bags (Cinch-Sack!). Yesterday I counted no fewer than eight such bags, some in the ditch, some carelessly strewn in the roadway.

Somebody has not only been so lazy that they've thrown garbage out the window of their car (SUV, pickup truck, more likely), but they've actually spent the effort to load up their household waste into their vehicle, just so they can throw it onto this otherwise lovely stretch of road.

You filthy, disgusting excuses for human beings.


"Earth! Fire! Wind! Water! Heart!"

Little "heart" kid used to always annoy me. And couldn't they use a cooler fifth-element word, like "Spirit," "Soul," or "Milla Jovovich?"


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