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Borrego Springs, CA

Monday, August 5, 2013

A drunken orgy

That’s the description that one of my local commenters left last night of what WE FEST is in Detroit Lakes.  It’s a gathering of fans and performers of Country Music that descend on this area the first weekend in August each year.  It’s been going on for 31 years.  I had never heard of it until I came to Tamarac NWR.

I don’t know how it got the name WE FEST, but after today, my opinion is that it’s a rather presumptive assumption that all that matters is those that attend.  The ‘WE’ that attends doesn’t give two craps about anything but themselves and overindulgence. 

The grounds for this fest, it’s venues, and campgrounds is immense in size.  45,000 people get packed into an area for a weekend that features drinking, concerts, drinking, camping, and more drinking.  Mostly, the amenities are porta-potti’s and access to alcohol.

So, why would I find myself here the day after the fest?  Well, the Tamarac NWR Friends Group volunteers to clean up the aftermath.  This is what we saw upon arrival early this morning:

2013-08-052Acre upon acre of trash!  Each of us earned $9/hour today to donate to the Friends Group.  I’m not sure it was worth it.  Between yesterday and today, probably close to $2000 was raised for the group.

Not all of the trash shows up in these pics.  You can’t hardly take a step without picking up about fifteen items to put in your trash bag.  Can you imagine leaving your campsite for the weekend by just dumping all your garbage all around your site?  Well, that’s what WE FEST folks do.  They leave clothes, booze, puke, beer cans, hamburger meat, bread, boxes, ping pong tables, and anything else your mind can conjure up just tossed carelessly about.  And yes, dumpsters are provided along with lots of garbage bags.  Some people used a few of the bags, but hardly anyone took the time to put their refuse in the dumpsters.

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We had about 20 stalwart senior ‘Friends’ that showed up for this distasteful task today.  Our camaraderie is the only thing that made this day bearable.  Ha!  I thought I was the queen of litter before.  Little did I know!

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Remember those pictures at the beginning of the post?  Well, this is what the camping areas looked like after our crew went through.  Quite a difference I’d say.  I don’t think there is a bone in my body that doesn’t ache tonight, and I’m putting all my clothes from today directly into the washer.  They just reek of beer and booze from the splashes from unfinished containers.  As far as the orgy part of this past weekend is concerned, I can report that we only found a limited number of used condoms.  Either the fans were too drunk to care, or they couldn’t ‘perform’ after their alcohol intake.  Surprised smile

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Steve and I arrived for the day in this refuge truck.  I’d like you to notice how high off the ground the body is, and that there is no running board to help someone with very short legs (me) into it.  It was a struggle for me to get into it, and I felt like a paratrooper upon exit.  However, Jim, one of the local volunteers had a method to help me leap into the truck.  I leave you with that imaginary sight tonight:

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                                                                               THE END!!

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

36 comments:

  1. Oh, my goodness, why is it people get out of their 'normal' area and feel they no longer have to have an ounce of human kindness or thoughtfulness.

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  2. Those kinds of music festivals may be fun for the attendees but not so fun for those left holding the 'bags' at the end of it all!

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  3. bless your heart and everyone else's that worked hard to do all that cleanup! You guys deserve medals. The "fest-ers" deserve 30 lashes!!!! JMHO. How degraded can people be???? I guess the answer to that is in the first 2 pictures... Hope you sleep well and you get over the sore muscles soon.

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  4. nasty rat bastards... absolutely amazing ... hope you get a good muscle relaxing bath. I would imagine that if you asked one of the attendees why they felt it acceptable to trash that way ... their response would be they pay someone to clean.

    I've heard that with my own ears.

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  5. Gross! It's a shame they can't be taught a lesson or given a taste of their own medicine. Just consider yourselves awesome for putting up with that!!!

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  6. Disgusting. I think that the "show promoter" should be responsible for the clean-up. It should be in their contract. They made money from this. As for your blog title, you are going to have a lot of lurkers to your blog. Every time someone types that phrase into their search engine, your blog will show up.

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    1. "Each of us earned $9/hour today to donate to the Friends Group."

      I wonder where the $9/hours came from? Perhaps the 'show promoter', Soo Pass Ranch, pays for the clean up with money received from ticket sales?

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  7. You sure earned your "weary bones" badge today! That place was a total mess! Sure looked nice after your group finished...

    I guess I am not that imaginative and having very short legs myself...I am just under 5 FT...did you get a lift? or a step? or a knee? or a combination? I sure hope that trash pole wasn't part of the plan to get you in the truck!

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  8. Amazing how stupid people get when alcohol is involved. I don't envy you the job. I used to be a maid and I remember having to clean hotel rooms after the drunken parties. I hated it. But it looks wonderful now that you guys have done your magic. I made Jim put a running board on our truck.

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  9. Oh what a mess! Wow. Ya'll get lots of gold stars for that great clean up job! Better than the other things found on the ground too....ick.

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  10. How sad that people are so nasty. But I guess it takes all kinds.

    You all did a great job! Thank You All

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  11. Good for you cleaning up..at least the Friends of the Refuge made some money..but that is hard work. Looks so much better now. No one died there this year..they had a death last year or the year before. Like I said we stay far away. Moondance is about the same thing..a real mess. I don't understand why people cannot take care of their own garbage:(

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  12. Great job cleaning up. How nice of the festival goers to leave so much behind!

    Our Master Naturalist group used to clean up a 2-mile stretch of highway under the "Adopt a Highway" program. I found it really frustrating to pick up after the slobs twice a year. For some reason I don't mind picking up bits and pieces on trails, etc., but picking up after folks who really trash an area just makes me mad...

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  13. I used to do art and craft fairs. Most promoters would provide dozens of garbage cans, but the public would just toss their trash on the ground. As artsts we would try to clean our own spot, but after taking our booth down the wind often blew the trash around.

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  14. I just don't get the idea that the Earth is your trash can. Pretty sure the folks that made the mess don't care whether it is picked up or not. Those are some really great friends Tamarac has. Pretty seriously devoted to their NWR to do that every year. Hope you can rest up a day after that job.

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  15. Thank goodness there are people like you willing to clean up after disrespectful, lazy people like that. How atrocious. The After certainly looks 100% better than the Before.

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  16. Pickups just keep getting further off the ground. You can barely get in the cab much less get in the bed. The new ones have built in steps to get to the bed. Crazy. Good on you for helping with the clean up- glad you earned some bucks for the NWR.

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  17. That is disgusting! I am shocked that whoever owns that property allow that to go on.

    Condoms are old-fashion; they now have the day-after pill. Much more convenient.

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  18. I figured it was going to be bad, but my imagination didn't go as far as what you encountered. You volunteers are good people to clean-up after all those lazy you know whats. I encountered a similar mess on a hike I went on in Turkey ... it too was the aftermath of a festival of sorts. Volunteers were cleaning up, but it was slow going. I guess the moral of the story is that there are people like that all over the world.

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  19. I am afraid my volunteer "spirit" would have gotten up and left upon seeing that mess!!

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  20. Wow I am not sure why they let them do that year after year. Good job on the volunteering Judy.

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  21. I'd be rather thankful there were only a few used condoms! Can't imagine any thing much worse.

    Where I once worked we placed those cigarette butt receptacles at the outside smoking areas. Were they used much? Nope. Much easier to toss the butt on the ground then walk 2 feet.

    As a full timer, I do notice when I see roadsides that are cleaned of litter. Likewise I notice the messy ones too.

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  22. For a second I thought your post was going to be about the average college nowadays. It's just downright sickening to see this going on, what is wrong with people?

    I bet they were glad to have the "Queen of Trash" on hand to set the example and pace of picking up garbage for the other workers. :cD

    We'll have to get you a paratrooper badge, you've qualified with your "jumps" from that truck!

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  23. The good thing about picking up all that trash is the satisfaction of seeing the place look so nice when you're done. Lowe's and Home Depot sell fold up step stools (they look like a milk crate).... really nice to keep in those Refuge trucks for passengers (or drivers) with short legs... don't take up much space and sure come in handy.

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  24. We stayed at a music park campground in Fl one time while it was having a music fest. We mistakenly thought it would be a good idea to walk over to the grounds to enjoy the music. It was a mistake:( Many of the attendees were drunk, like your pictures, trash everywhere and some parts definitely rated X. Even though there were a few families with kids, a good number of the attendees were acting like they were in their no tell motel room.

    On top of all that, the volume of the music was still almost unbearable a quarter mile away in the campground.

    So those venues are definitely off our list!

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  25. Like they say one mans trash another mans treasure..

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  26. You guys did a great job of cleaning up that disgusting mess. If you volunteer at Tamarac again next year I think you might feel the flu coming on the day before that event!

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  27. That's absolutely disgusting. I can't believe they keep that event going year after year if that's the way the grounds are left. Just proves we aren't all at the same place on the evolutionary scale, doesn't it? I'm assuming the person putting on the event is paying the $9/hour? You're a real trooper to be involved in this clean-up. I can just imagine how you feel today. :(

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  28. I'll never understand why some people think it's so difficult to walk over to a trash can to throw away their trash. Good for you and all the other volunteers for doing what those irresponsible people should have done in the first place.

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  29. I'm thinking that venue could make some serious cash if they patrolled the grounds and started enforcing some fines for that litter...Again, I say it..You can't fix stupid.

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  30. 45,000 people? Good grief. This is why Jimmy and I don't go to "Fests." I haven't heard of a one that doesn't turn into a drunken trash dump. (This is not something new - how about Woodstock?) Hey, wouldn't it be grand if the party-goers had to pick up all that trash the next day?

    I salute you and the others who braved those nasty grounds... I don't think I would've done it.

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  31. I think "drunken trash dump" is an appropriate name for what you were presented with upon your arrival. Thank you all for your generous volunteer activity. I only wish that posts like this would encourage people to be a little mindful of the wreckage of loss of reasoning and lack of responsible behavior. HOpefully at least the folks who've herein commented will keep the thought under our bonnets for later.

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  32. Late commenting, as usual, but I just had to jump in on this. Our subdivision is right across the street from the grounds for "Country Thunder" which occurs in mid-July. It looks much the same as the pics you showed, plus the smell is indescribable. Every year someone drives right over the 6 foot chain link fence they put up around the "campground". We've had police stationed at the entrance to the subdivision to keep people from parking there and to keep go'ers from using our lake as a place to bathe. As you might imagine, we make it a point to be gone for the festivities themselves usually, but the garbage and the seagulls (and the smell) hangs around an extra 2 weeks. Hate it.

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  33. Holy Molly......You ARE for sure the Queen of litter, have never seen anything to compete with that. And I don't think I want to. I'm sure most of those people didn't even know a concert was going on. Can you imagine playing in front of a crowd that intoxicated, I'm sure they see some really disgusting things.

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  34. Nice Post.Thanks for Sharing this in your Blog

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