Monday was our first journey into the trash unknown. It has taken me two days to actually write about the experience because I’ve been crippled on the couch since then with debilitating blisters. But at last, I find my voice.
Our journey began with high hopes. We were going to get some killer footage and blow the lid off this trash story.
The first adventure happened shortly after boarding the bus near our home. The bus had just pulled out of the stop and begun it’s first whiplash turn when all of a sudden I saw a pepperoni stick roll by my foot. What could this mean? No time to think as I hold on for dear life while the bus driver whips us around some more traffic. Then I see an egg rolling around on the floor. Has someone dropped their grocery bags? Finally it dawns on me – this is our lunch! The yogurt container had popped out of Phil’s side pocket and burst open on the floor. I am so shocked and embarrassed to suddenly be crouching down and picking up my eggs between a stranger’s legs that my best idea at the time to smooth the situation over was to blurt out: “Don’t worry! They’re hard boiled!” I figured this would be a comfort to the fellow passengers.
Two buses and a train later we arrived at the closest public transit stop we could find to the Vancouver dump.
This was still a ways off from the dump, and so began our long walk. We had planned out our route on Google Maps, having found a road that looked like it led up to the dump. We soon came upon the Delta View Life Enrichment Center. This seems to be a retirement home. And the main view they appear to have is of a hill way off in the distance… the dump. I guess land is cheap out there to allow for more enrichment.
As we continued it turned out that the road we planned to walk on was being reconstructed and was impassible, so we began walking down a nearby service road for power lines to see where it would take us. This is where the second lesson I learned from the trip comes in (the first being, don’t let Phil carry the lunch) – don’t wear stylish shoes. You see, I had expected a pretty easy lope up to the gates of the dump, whipping out my video camera, taking a few artistically framed shots, and calling it good. After we had walked for miles on rarely used service roads for power lines I realized that my swanky boots were not right for this journey. Too late.
We found a number of interesting and menacing things along this path… the first was this:
Next we came across bear scat. By that point my hands were shaking too much to take any useful photos, so I don’t have one to put here. The remainder of the walk for me was spent in whipping my head around quickly at any hint of movement I saw out of the corner of my eye. I also held on to our umbrella so that I could whip it open and appear aggressive should any bear show up.
Luckily, no bears appeared. After much more walking we encountered a formidable gate… our choices were to keep freezing and trespass, or turn back. And we turned back.
This is about as close as we got to our goal – that mound you see off in the distance is the dump.
The only consolation of the day was this hamburger. We were so wet and cold after the whole experience that we went into a little burger joint that was right next to the bus station. Only in the Northwest are there fireplaces in burger joints. But this one was most welcome.