Last summer the Pliking Club hosted playaking events at Bear River and Mantua Reservoir. Playaking is actually a bit precarious, particularly in an inflatable kayak. In addition to balancing a paddle, grabber and trash bags, you have to be careful to avoid puncturing your kayak, which would leave you and the carefully collected trash floating among with the other litter.
As we collected bottles and cans from along the Bear River shoreline, we noticed a large, irregularly shaped brown object a few hundred yards upstream. Although it was much too large to carry out, we paddled towards it to explore. We imagined finding an old car or construction debris, but it was actually a dead, bloated cow.
Now, there may be some debate as to whether or not a dead cow counts as litter, since it is organic and will eventually decompose. However, banana and orange peels are considered litter – they take several months to decompose if left on the trail – so we are confident that a dead cow, especially in an otherwise beautiful river, is also litter.