This park I really didn't know too much about before going (it actually only just became a National Park in 2013!) All I knew was that it was close(ish). So when my cousin from Denver said she booked a flight to come visit me for a long weekend I tried to snag a campsite as soon as I could. We were able to book a site right in the park, so gladly got to whip out the family L.L.Bean 10 person tent for the FIRST TIME (wtf Mariah??) since the summer! It's literally so roomy you could easily do a dance routine and not touch the ceiling. Immediately after work ended at 3:00PM on that Friday I picked up my cousin (Laura) and put the pedal to the metal. I quickly exposed Laura to the song "I'm The One" and proceeded to learn the lyrics even more fully during the 3.5 hour drive. As we were closing in on the park, we made a quick stop at Carl's Jr (which I had never been to before!) and got some road burgers and milkshakes. Luckily, the sun had been setting much later and guided us through most of our trip, but for about the last 45 mins we had to put our brights on and hope google maps would lead us to the right place...
We took a few wrong turns but eventually we made it to our campsite. The stars were OUT to play. JEEZE they were so bright and shiny. Once we parked I realized I forgot my headlamp at home so I had to shove my phone in flashlight mode down the front of my ear warmer.
The next morning we woke up relatively early and made our way down the main road. We did a moderate loop that ended with an incredible vista overlook. Honestly, it was super hard to find any trash! Way to go, Pinnacles! Again, I had to deal with that weird conflicting feeling I've been feeling a lot of... "why am I feeling upset about there not being trash? This is a good thing, Mariah! This is the point, Mariah!!"
Both my cousin and I had to really put our backs into it and SEARCHED. Most of what we found were loose papers and smooshed bottle caps. However one of the larger surfaces I found (pictured below) was a huge gallon milk jug. Later on, right as we were leaving the park actually, I spotted a small can of propane. Once we officially left the park I noticed a handful of beer cans on the side of the road and decided to pull over and grab them too. More exciting surfaces to paint on HOWEVER this is another example of the conflicting feelings and actions I've been trying to deal with. First of all, is it okay to include trash found NEAR but not technically INSIDE the parks for this project?? IDK! Second of all, is it okay to put yourself and potentially cars following you in danger in order to pick up a few beer cans? Honestly probably not the smartest idea, and if there were cars close behind me I wouldn't have done it. But then again, if we don't do it, who will?