If you're hiking, why the heck not?

This probably won't surprise you, but we're entering the second week of the government shutdown and things are starting to get dicey. TSA employees are calling off work, paychecks that were due aren't coming, and people are TICKED, needless to say.

I'm sure you've seen the videos of trash cans overflowing in front of the national monument and toilets backed up in the parks, too. It's getting pretty nasty out there.

A father/daughter duo from Tennessee decided to take the weekend and go hiking...and trash-picking. Marc Newland posted the following to the "Hike The Smokies" Facebook group:

Government Shutdown "Litter Patrol"

"Real-life" responsibilities have kept us away from hiking for a while and Daddy/Daughter days have been scarce too... today, we finally had some time to spend together in the park and after hearing about the shutdown, Erica thought that our time would be best spent collecting litter (and I couldn't have agreed more).

First, it was off to the Little River and Jake's Creek trailheads where we were pleasantly surprised that there wasn't much work for us. Next, we headed to the Laurel Falls trailhead and, as expected, we had plenty of work! We headed up the trail and before we knew it, our bags were full. We didn't quite make it to the waterfall before we had to turn back to make it to a doctors appointment, but we will be returning soon to pick up where we left off!!

It was a fun and very rewarding day for both of us and Erica says that she would like to challenge other hikers to take one day off from getting in miles and impressive vista pics and instead, give back by grabbing a trash bag, heading to the park and collecting some litter!!

These mountains give so much to so many people. Imagine if only a fraction of those people decided to give back to the mountains...

Couldn't agree more. Hiking in the mountains is a stress reliever for me, and what a nice thing to do to pick up trash along the way!

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