Like a Breath of Fresh Air

What a week. The smoke from the fires in Oregon and California engulfed the Seattle area causing the Air Quality Index (AQI) to get as high as 230 (Very Unhealthy) according the website. We closed all our windows and kept the furnace fan circulating the air through the furnace filter. Strangely we had the urge to stock up on toilet paper, but we still had our stock from the start of Covid-19.

Finally, on Friday, the AQI dropped below 150 into the “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups” range. Since we are both insensitive people, we ventured out.

Friday, September 18th, 2020 – Safeway

We discussed which of our routes we should take since we’ve missed a week. But because we missed a week, we decided that we should not overdo it and stuck to our normal Monday-Wednesday-Friday Safeway route.

We did remove two roadkill-squirrels from road. When it was still dark, on Juanita-Woodinville Way, we saw something large in the middle of the road, either a large roadkill or some bulky piece of trash we would need to haul to a dumpster. As we approached, the silhouette of a raccoon removed itself from the roadway. This was good. Removing a live raccoon from the road is not a clever idea. It wastes our time and annoys the raccoon.

However, we did find money!

Ok, only a dime, one thin dime.

We know this dates us, but whenever we find a dime, we cannot help but think about Little Egypt.

Okay, we have a lot of time to think about things on our walks.

On 112th Ave NE, the stove set out by the curb with the “free” sign was gone.

Of course, they left the Free Sign on the ground for us. How thoughtful.

We found a miniature dog ball about an inch-and-a-half in diameter, for Pomeranians and the like.

Wonder if the package had a warning: Caution. Choking hazard for German Shepherds. It had no obvious home, so we put it in our every burgeoning ball collection.

Yet Another Lock Ejected. (YALE)

Except that this was a Monster Lock. Wait, make that a Master Lock. It got run over a few times. We find a lot of padlocks, mostly unlocked, but some locked like this. We also find a lot of lost keys, but we have only found one lock with a key. Mostly they are only good for weighing us down on our walks.

Yet another pair of lost eyeglasses.

We did find one lens and it appears these were a pair of cheap reading glasses, not prescription that can cost hundreds of dollars.

Whoa! We found this on Norway Hill.

A cassette tape. Does anyone use these things anymore? We are dating ourselves again, but we do have an old cassette tape player. This tape had a lot of interference on it, but we think it was Asian music. Not our style anyway. And weirdly, you can still purchase cassette recorders and tapes on Amazon. You’d think they would have gone the way of 78’s by now. Yes, we have some 78 RPM records. No. We’re old but not that old. They belonged to our parents.

Ok Johnny, that was good.

Next time don’t accelerate so fast.

Saturday, September 19th, 2020 – Riverside Drive

The temperature this morning was a warm 60°F for walking but there was a nice mist that kept us cool for the entire walk. Because of the smoke this week, we have not done this route in two weeks. There was a lot of trash that slowed us down and we were dragging when we got back home.

We removed three roadkill rats and two rabbits from the streets. But we found more money!

Two quarters, one on Juanita-Woodinville Way and the other on 112th Ave NE. We like money.

Early on our walk we saw this fellow.

At first, we thought it might be roadkill but as we approached with our flashlights it started hopping away. It was a little over an inch long. We wanted to get a better measurement, but it wouldn’t hold still. We decided to move on. After all the smoke this week, we didn’t need another frog in our throats. [Insert groan here.]

We did our usual swing through the Sammamish River Park parking lot and picked up several cans, bottles and other trash including this.

A Gatorade bottle with some pot in it. It smelled terrible.

In the same vein, later in our walk on the freeway off-ramp, someone tossed this home-made water bong.

At least we think it’s a water bong. It looked like chewing gum was used to seal the straw and the bottle cap and the top of the straw was melted. We’ve found a few bongs on our walks and we don’t think this will work. Did he toss his handiwork out the window when he burned his lips?

An expired Discover Pass.

So, what to do? Toss it out the window of course. We do have the license plate numbers and they can be queried on the Internet to get the vehicle year, make, and model. You can also get the title information, but that costs. And since we are only making sixty cents per week on our walks, we can’t afford it. It would be fun to anonymously mail it back to them, though.

We found a couple of tools this morning.

The multitool on the left is a Gerber brand and coincidently we found a case for it last week. We don’t think they are connected because they were found about a mile apart. The multitool has been run over and severely damaged.

The needle nose pliers on the right were in the bushes at the beginning of the freeway overpass at Juanita-Woodinville Way. They were rusted in this position and would not budge. It’s going to take a lot of WD-40 to break through that rust. Overall, it was a bad day for tools.

On the northbound freeway exit at NE 160th Street a large plastic bag was dropped by some vehicle.

It looked to be a bag to keep a mattress dry during transport. Obviously, it didn’t work. It had a lot of water trapped in it. We rolled it up as tight as we could then started stepping on it to force the water out. Water bubbles would form, and we used our utility knife to pop the bubbles. It was messy, but we were able to get it down to a manageable size, a 7-Eleven Big Gulp Cup. Yes, like bras, we measure our trash in cup sizes. It was still heavy, but we managed to dump it at the bus stop.

We found two keys.

This key has a serial number on it and the key ring has several other rings on it, but we did not see any other keys around. A small Seattle Sounders FC pin was also on the key ring.

The other is a damaged Jeep key fob.

Ok, so you lost your key fob. There’s no need to hit the panic button!

We picked up some car parts. Another hubcap.

It was damaged and got recycled. We used to recycle all the hubcaps until we found one with a Goodwill price tag on it. Since then we take the undamaged ones to Goodwill. Unfortunately, because of the Coronavirus, Goodwill is not currently accepting them. We have no idea what hubcaps have to do with the Coronavirus.

We find many gas caps, mostly plastic ones near Safeway or 7-Eleven. Today we found a Kenworth truck fuel cap on the freeway on-ramp.

It measures four inches across and costs about $70 new. We found one of these in the past and without thinking we tossed it in our recycle bin. When we found out the price, we went out to retrieve it, but it was garbage day, and it was gone. We’ll put this one in our Trash Walking Museum.

Finally, on our homeward trip near the park-and-ride, we saw where a vehicle had jumped the curb, ran across the sidewalk, and took out a few lengths of fence.

As usual, nobody bothered to clean up the wreckage so, we gathered up the smaller pieces. However, the vehicle lost two wheel well trim pieces. They were not that heavy but were bulky and we were already overloaded. We walked them back to the park-and-ride and left them in the corner of the lot. We may pick them up later or just leave them there for the Metro guy who asked us not to clean up the park-and-ride because it was his job.

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