I have a long break between classes this semester, so I’ve developed the habit of making short little excursions into Cumberland Gap National Historical Park after grabbing lunch. CGNHP is the largest historical park in the NPS system, with 24,000 acres and eighty-five miles of trails, so you can easily spend months or even years poking around in its nooks and crannies and still not manage to take it all in.
I was driving around near the Sugar Run trailhead today and passed by some interpretive signage I’d never noticed before. When I stepped out of the car and walked over to have a look, I encountered this.
That’s dog poo, and it’s sitting right in the middle of the sidewalk, which is a most inconvenient resting place for fresh fecal matter. Dogs are permitted in CGNHP, of course, provided they’re on a leash, and I certainly don’t begrudge them the occasional bowel movement. It happens to the best of us. But consider the location of this particular specimen.
The sidewalk runs alongside a grassy strip, which in turn borders one of the wooded areas that are quite plentiful within the bounds of CGNHP. It would seem to be a simple matter, if one’s dog was in the process of assuming a posture conducive to defecation, to persuade the animal to take two or three steps off the sidewalk and relieve him or herself in the grass. Failing that, one might dispose of the excrement in one of the many conveniently located trash receptacles provided by the NPS.
Indeed, one such receptacle was readily available, as documented in the photograph below.
The small lump in the foreground is the offending bit of canine waste; the brown metal object behind it is for trash disposal. About ten feet separate the one from the other. Note also that the dog crap is almost directly in the center of the sidewalk.
Don’t mind us, you inconsiderate puke. Make yourself right at home.