There are over 300 miles of sewer lines in the canyons of
San Diego. As can be expected, these sewers and manholes can get overloaded or
break, spilling millions of gallons of untreated sewage and the contents of
your toilet into the ocean and canyons. Only a few years ago, the EPA ranked
San Diego in the worst quartile in terms of sewage spills. Thus, the San Diego
Oceans Foundations works with the public to raise awareness and recruit
volunteers to patrol the canyons and
monitor the status of manholes and the sewage system. And so today, we drove out
to Tecolote to clean up the canyon and inspect the manholes. The area we hiked
was extremely wild and not charted (at times the trail simply disappeared). At
one point, we ended up on the highway:
However, we did manage to find 16 manholes, one of which we reported
as broken. We also collected several full garbage bags of plastic and glass along (and off) the trail.
We also stumbled upon an unexpected find…..golf balls. They
were buried in the soil and embedded in the walls of the river. By the end of
the day, we’d dug out hundreds and hundreds of golf balls. Lugging the bags back to
the car was no small task, but we managed it and now have an impressive collection of golf
balls weighing more than many of our volunteers.
In the evening, we went to Old Town to have dinner. It was a
very festive atmosphere with open markets and colorful colonial and Hispanic decorations.
The Duke-Villanova game happened to be on TV while we ate our tacos…..its
result made me quite sad and robbed our group of free churros (our waitress promised us all free dessert if Duke won). Next year……
Tomorrow, we will be working with the Audubon Society to
restore bird habitats. Should be really fun, and we’ll definitely get to see
wildlife this time!
It is currently 1:21 in the morning and I am thrilled to be writing the first post of our new admissions blog, Caltech Fission. For those of you who didn’t follow the old blog, it’s nice to meet you. My name is Andrew and I’m a senior at Caltech studying geophysics and English literature.
After a week being back, I think it’s about time for some reflections on what it meant to be abroad, and what I’ve taken away from it. I’m really happy to be back, but it’s just been almost a culture shock of sorts being back in California, and back at my true home (for now, at least).
There’s nothing more festive than beautiful holiday decor. Something that has gotten quite popular in recent years is light displays. Around Pasadena, the LA Zoo, LA Arboretum are a few venues that have elaborate holiday light displays. This past weekend, I went to check out the LA Zoo Lights. The general admission is $15 on weekdays and $20 on weekends, which is certainly not cheap, so if you do go, be sure to take a ton of photos.