After overcoming rain, keys locked in the truck and a flat tire, Murray State BHA came together for a lakeside cleanup at the Land Between the Lakes. Standing between Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley, LBL consists of 170,000 acres of rolling hills, hardwoods, grasslands, and pine thickets that contain the mysteries attractive to any curious outdoorsman. We were on the banks of Lake Barkley, which sits right outside the Land Between the Lakes. It's sort of our home base, and is near and dear to the students of MSU. But because it's landlocked by lakes, the flood lines are littered with the debris of inconsiderate boaters and poor choices made upstream.
This became evident once we pulled down to the campsite just north of the Barkley bridge. What was once a gorgeous rock-covered bank on its way to forming deep winter pool had mounds of bottles, cans, Styrofoam, remnants of old campsites, and various floats lost to strong winds. In just a few hours, our members rallied to pack out an impressive 21 bags of garbage and two rolls of barbed wire fence. All of this was found on just a half-mile of lakeshore. At the furthest point of our pack out, one student lost a boot to the mud, meaning a long walk back to the truck with a soaked sock and bruised ego.
Our secretary had the misfortune of popping a tire on the gravel road leading to the lakeshore. However, the flat was no match for our crew. In a matter of 20 minutes, we were able to get her back on the road again as the sun was setting.
At the end of the day, we were all thrilled to help clean our gorgeous lakeshore nearby. While there were many bumps along the road, the sunset on Lake Barkley made every single bit of the experience worth it.