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Their Trash vs. Ours- We Win!
By Jerry Cegelske


May 21, 2005

I was recently in Reno, Carson City and Virginia City, Nevada.  Virginia City is where the Comstock Lode was discovered and mined in the early to mid 1800's.  It helped pay for the Civil War, and was one of the factors in the growth of San Francisco and California becoming a state.  Carson City, Nevada's capitol, also has a lot of history including one of the federal mints (CC for you coin collectors) along with a nice museum.  I didn't have time to explore the Ponderosa Ranch to find out about Ben, the other Cartwrights, and their history however.

jpg Wild horses

Wild horses... a change from eagles!

With the recent warmer weather, the more than normal accumulation of snow had melted in the foothills and there were ponds with various waterfowl on both sides of the road from Reno to Carson City.   It was fun trying to identify the various species. What spoiled the view was trash along the road and stuck in the fence on the leeward side of the road.  The wind comes out of the Sierra Nevada Mountain range, drops to the foot hills and continues it's wanderings to the east over the flats to the next set of foothills.  Most of the trash was up against the fence or close to it.  It reminded me of S. Tongass between Forest Park and the Coast Guard base.  With our SE winds, the trash is blown into the uphill ditch to accumulate giving us all something to look at besides the ocean for a change.
Coming out of Virginia City I stopped at an overlook to take a picture of the view.  After I took the picture I saw some trash left by others and had to take a picture of it to share with you.  It occupied my thoughts to the extent that I did not see the herd of free ranging horses beyond the pit until they were pointed out to me.  It just shows how much trash can effect someone, and not just me, as others tell me about the fresh trash the find along Tongass from careless people (the reason they weren't looking at the ships and the Narrows is the trash has a affect on them also.)

jpg Sierra Nevada Mountains

View toward Sierra Nevada Mountains

One thing I can say is we don't mess around!  We're proud of our trash.  We want to share it with everyone else- "See what I did!"  We like big trash, the plastic bags aren't enough anymore, we want to be noticed, and noticed we are!  We intentionally dump stuff, we don't keep our trash from blowing out of our vehicles,  we let others litter in our presence, and we don't tell them to be careful with their trash.
The residents have to look at this stuff every day they drive to work.  The tourists look at it for a short period of the 6-8 hour day they are here.  However I now have a better appreciation of their outlook about the trash.  I think it affects them the way the trash in Nevada affected me- you want to enjoy the view and natural beauty but the trash and litter messes things up. Don't believe they don't tell others about how clean or dirty Ketchikan is- I'm telling you about my experiences in Nevada. 
I can hear it now "There we were driving out to go salmon fishing North of Ketchikan by Knudson Cove and in the middle of the forest is a 27" Sylvania color tv box trying to cross the road.  Martha, it was one of the oddest things to see in the wilds of Alaska!" 

Jerry Cegelske
Code enforcement
Ketchikan Gateway Borough
Ketchikan, AK - USA

jpg free ranging horses

Free ranging horses


Beer bottles and plastic bag litter

Mine guide, Ponderosa Mine, Virginia City.  The mine produced less than $500.00 in ore but lost over a $1,000,000.00 of the owner's money.


Sylvania TV Box on N. Tongass 5/19/05- Alaskan Sized Litter


A desk dumped at Mile 8.6 S. Tongass- Alaskan Sized Trash



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