Some Hikes Aren’t a Walk In the Park

Part Four: Apocalyptic Bees

Part One: A Holiday Without Motors|
Part Two: Wild Oranges
Part Three: Taste it kids. It’s blackberry!


I continue my garbage collection. I see another can. And now a bottle.

I find a horseshoe crab, so am rewarded a bit. It might be dead, though. It’s not moving.

These cans and bottles may have come from boats. I’m closer to the water now. There’s a bottle that contained motor oil, a Pepsi can, and unopened bottles of Aquafina.

And now I’m thinking the old-lady lecture. When I was a kid…

We never saw trash like this anywhere. But we didn’t have all of this disposable stuff. Things were sold in glass jars, and the jars were returned or used for something else. Soft drinks were sold in glass bottles, which were returned for recycling. And there wasn’t trash all over the place.

I find old flip-flops, beer cans, and beer bottles. As I return to the trail, I find a pair of socks. Someone decided they didn’t like them and, instead of carrying them out, just tossed them to the side.

I smell my hands again. Even though the orange still smells good, something about it makes my stomach feel a bit queasy. I wonder if these wild oranges have some type of natural toxin which discourages pests.

But are we the pests? Destroying our hosts?

I’m nearing the end of the trail and am confronted by a new sound. An apocalyptic swarm of bees?

When I first hear the swarm, I’m afraid to pass beneath the trees. And then I realize… You can hear the exasperation in my voice.

A drone. As if the boats, planes, and trains aren’t enough.

It’s the last straw! As the drone approaches, I find myself giving it the finger, while waving, and smiling maniacally.

At the trailhead, I deposit my ten-pound, thirteen-gallon trash bag in the can.

I leave the trail discouraged by noise and trash. And I’m disappointed in myself for becoming angry enough to flip off the drone. I don’t like myself when I feel that way or act that way.

At home, I Google drone use at the park. Is this going to be an ongoing issue? I discover that this particular drone is part of a new educational program for children. Argh!

My husband says don’t worry. The kids were probably rolling with laughter.

But now I’m disappointed to think that, rather than experiencing nature directly, field trips consist of watching more clips—in this case of a sweaty woman carrying a 10-pound sack of garbage and waving the finger.

Some hikes aren’t a walk in the park.


Drone photo by Account 9718552 with Pixabay

Published by cafsamsel

Carol Fullerton-Samsel is a nearly-native Floridian who lives with her husband of 25 years and three rescue animals. She is a [mostly] vegan, alcohol-free, [relatively] caffeine-free, Buddhist writer and day-hiker. Her novel, The Clones of Langston, was a Reader’s Favorite medalist and a New Century Writer Awards finalist. It tells the story of cloned workers who are abandoned to form their own society. As the facility housing them erodes, they discover a challenging new world—our own.

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