2021 Fall Adopt-A-Highway Report
The following is an honest and true recollection of events that occurred on Saturday October 2nd 2021 to the best of my ability to convey it. At 9:15 am Kathy and I arrived at Dareo’s Pizza on South Minnesota Avenue. We dropped our tailgate and were ready for business. As volunteers arrived they dutifully printed and signed their name to a waiver holding the State of SD and the Club harmless if they got messed up while cleaning the ditches. Everyone put on a State approved safety vest. We split into two groups. Kathy would transport the South group and Mike Skiles volunteered to take the North group.
Everyone got in one of four ditches and walked one mile to the South. The grass was knee high and wet following a day of rainy weather. During our walk we would pick up anything that was not biodegradable and place it in a State approved orange plastic garbage bag. After my walk, I and the North group ended up at the truck Kathy had driven the South group in. A one mile drive to the North delivered the North group back to Skiles’ pickup and then two miles to the South collected the South group and their bounty of trash.
If all that sounds methodical and efficient it is not by accident. The group of volunteers gathered that day had all served multiple times on ditch duty in prior years. They don’t do it for the glory or even the free pizza. They do it because it needs to be done and if not them…, then who? We were a lean, mean, ditch cleaning machine! The ditches yielded up to 10 orange bags of trash and two eight foot State approved metal posts. Tradition permits us to keep anything we find and this Fall it was Mike Skiles who got the “keeper”. Mike found a battery box cover (see official group photo attached) and was quick to announce that he knew for a fact that it is not possible to buy just a battery box cover. Having lost a battery box cover himself he had researched this subject and immediately saw the great value in his find, especially to himself who was currently operating coverless. One man’s lost cover is another man’s found cover!
Our pizzas were just coming out of the oven when we arrived back at Dareo’s just after 11:00. Everyone visited and had their fill. We must have had our fill because Kathy and I had leftover pizza for supper Sunday night.
Here is a little behind the scenes Highway cleanup fact that very few will find interesting but I’m going to tell you about anyway. We could leave our trash out on the shoulder of the road in our State approved orange plastic garbage bags. We could call Bruce with the State Highway Department in Canton and he would arrange for a State employee to drive out and collect it. That sounds kind of inefficient to me. C & R Supply has generously allowed us to discard all the trash we have collected over the last couple decades in their company dumpsters. So I would like to thank C & R Supply for their long and ongoing support of our adopt-a-highway program.
I would also like to thank the following veteran ditch walkers who turned out this Fall to keep our Club’s commitment to the South Dakota Adopt-A-Highway program: Lola Coon, John deWit, Kathy Miller, Dusty Miller, Denita Pesicka, John Pesicka, and Mike Skiles.