Volunteers clean up Wilson Creek

May. 19, 2014 @ 01:07 PM

Phil Phellan walked Saturday down the gravelly road overlooking Wilson Creek, far below in the ravine.

Over his shoulders, a backpack bounced on his spine as he bent over again and again. Each time, he picked up a different piece of trash, such as a squashed soda can or a plastic Solo cup. He and at least 40 other volunteers walked up and down Wilson Creek as part of the Wilson Creek Clean-Up event, which Phellan hopes will be an annual activity. Kayakers also participated on the water.

“When you spend enough time up here, you want to have that peace of mind without seeing someone else’s trash,” Phellan said. “We just want to make sure this is pristine as possible.”

Bruce Gray, owner of Betsey’s Ole Country Store & Cabin Rental, hosted the event, with a large party afterwards at his store. Free barbecue, free camping and free music by the Whiskey Throttle band awaited volunteers when they returned from their trek. A whole pig roasted on the coals, and everyone gathered around at picnic tables to swap stories about what they found along the road. Gray estimated the group collected more than 100 bags of garbage.

“All we care about is Wilson Creek,” Gray said. “We love the peace and quiet and drama-free. We all love each other.”