yes, it sometimes turns my smile upside down too

Is it my imagination or have we finally give up on the San Gabriel River, allowing it to become the open sewer it was meant to be, the fate that most urban rivers seem to share. I know it was right after a rain, and that is always the worst time to view them, but I also know that is really no excuse. It just should not be that way. Any time of the year.

How many others who regularly ride along the SGRT have taken note of the gradual decline which, in my view, has become ever more precipitous lately? I am not just talking about the trash in the river bed either. The air reeks of foulness in places. Riding slows to one or two miles per hour at some of the under crossings - you know the ones where water collects, covering the path. Who knows what toxic bacterial brew populates those puddles, so you try not to create a wake, let alone a splash. Entire sections of fence have been cut out, the steel posts cut off at ground level, so that someone can make a few bucks at the materials recycler (is that industry regulated at all?) The homeless camps have expanded - there are more of them (or maybe they are simply more visible this time of year), and they are larger - clusters of tents and thrown-together hovels surrounded by great piles of meager, soggy belongings, some of them in the channel itself, a disaster in the making.

Something is not right, too many people just don't care, agencies lacking funds. Today's generation (and no, I am not placing the blame on their shoulders alone) does not have a Woodsy Owl to give a hoot, nor an American Indian of Italian descent to shed a tear over the waste and destruction he sees - stronger consciences than those possessed by too many people, to serve as reminders of what is right, and what is wrong. Those reminders, and others like this post, should not be necessary, yet the waste piles up.

The San Gabriel is as much a river of contrasts as you will ever see - from its wild upper reaches to the confined and regulated middle, relative wealth at either end and abject destitution at the center, detritus mixed with majesty. Unfortunately a scattering of gems does not make an Emerald Necklace. We have a long way to go.

our northern visitors, the Canadian Geese, seem to pick the least trash infected areas to take their annual rest

motionless and patient, an egret [?] waits

Baldy view

Baldy reflection