Upper Park water woes

Hikers in Upper Bidwell Park should act responsibly when it comes to water bottles

Klean Kanteen!

Klean Kanteen!

Upper Park water issues
I went hiking on a recent hot Saturday afternoon in Upper Bidwell Park with my 12-year-old daughter, Lydia, and my friend Jo. Coming down the Monkey Face trail, I spotted two empty plastic water bottles, discarded in different places along the trail. There is more than one problem with that.

It’s bad enough, Mr. or Ms. Litterbug, that you purchased bottled water (in a plastic bottle, which requires oil, water and a lot of energy to produce) rather than investing in a reusable (BPA-free) metal drinking bottle. Chico-based Klean Kanteen, for one, makes great ones in a number of sizes, which can be purchased at several local stores.

But tossing your empty bottle alongside the trail—or wedging it between two rocks, as one of you did—is ridiculous. Like we wanted to see (let alone clean up) your trash on our hike. Every hiker worth her or his salt should know—and abide by—the phrase “Pack it in, pack it out.”

We ran across the other issue when we got to the “All-Season Water Faucet” in the parking lot near Horseshoe Lake and it did not dispense any water, even though it was a hot day (insert sad-face emoticon here). I’m still looking into that one—I’ll keep you posted.

Culture camp
Adrienne Scott, curator at Chico State’s Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology, sent me a press release recently announcing that a few spots remain unfilled for the museum’s upcoming Anthropology camp session, for children ages 5 through 11, during the week of July 22-25.

Plant a Three Sisters garden.

“During Cultures of the Americas week, campers will unlock the secrets of Aztec and Maya peoples’ traditional way of life,” the press release said. “Plant a Three Sisters garden [beans, corn and squash], sample Aztec hot chocolate, tell your own constellation story, and design a Southwest-style ceramic pot,” while learning about the similarities and differences between Native American groups across North America.

Call 898-5397 for registration details and to reserve a spot. This Monday-through-Thursday session runs from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Cost is $75 per child.

Pokeweed, cont.
I received an email from a reader thanking me for writing about pokeweed (see The Greenhouse, June 20). The man, who is a member of the Tsalagi (Cherokee) tribe, said pokeweed “is one of our traditional foods back home in Oklahoma. It may interest you to know that it is a favorite of many Southeast Indian nations, like the Cherokees, Creek and Choctaw.” Thank you, sir.

Wise words from Nelson Mandela:

“A good leader can engage in a debate frankly and thoroughly, knowing that at the end he and the other side must be closer, and thus emerge stronger. You don’t have that idea when you are arrogant, superficial, and uninformed.”

“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.”

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

“We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.”