Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Railroad Canyon-Gila National Forest
We did a couple of dayhikes in July. One was to Railroad Canyon. At the junction of Railroad Canyon and East Railroad Canyon we found a recently abandoned campsite. These folks had never even heard of leave no trace. There were tortillas and tomatoes dumped on the ground. In the firepit were steakbones, foil and plastic bags. There were several bare areas nearby, where their tied up horses had eaten and trampled the ground to dust. It was absolutely inconceivable to me why people who had pack animals would not pack out their trash. This was the first time in 10 years of visiting the Gila that I had seen a backcountry campsite so trashed. Well, we picked up all the inorganic refuse and carried it back in our daypacks.The food we left, unfortunately knowing it would be an attractant to bears and other critters. Who are these people who do this things?Surely they must have experienced some of the anti-litter, anti- pollution, safe bear practice etc. education campaigns that have been going on for the last 40 years. Oh,well I still find plenty of abandoned campfires burning, and everyone knows about Smokey. I can't imagine that they are just ignorant, rather, I believe, they get a perverse pleasure out flaunting long accepted standards for outdoor behavior.