Great turnout for Valley Gambler 500

Gamblers lined up to unload at a 30-yard dumpster purchased by the U.S. Forest Service. A total of four dumpsters were full by Sunday, May 7. (Courtesy photo for the Illinois Valley News)

There were some very unusual vehicles roaming the Illinois Valley forest and logging roads last weekend.
A Mercedes Benz sedan and a white stretch limo, modified for off-road, were two of the 45 vehicles that roamed the area to help clean up the trash in the woods.
“Mountains of weed, a scooter, three transmissions, one engine and one guy came back with a sewing machine and a transmission in one load, which I think was the strangest load. He opted to keep the sewing machine,” said Gambler 500 event organizer Lou Peterson. This successful event was held in Cave Junction May 5, 6 and 7 and attracted people from all around the Northwest.
“We had folks that came from Southern California, Central Washington, Eugene, Portland, and right here [in the Illinois Valley].”
The 75 participants collected enough trash to fill four 30-yard dumpsters. In addition, 350 tires and tons of scrap metal, 25 vehicles that include two boats and a bus. BLM’s contractor North Valley Salvage and Scrap pulled out an astounding 15 vehicles, some of which are staged for removal from BLM and the Forest Service later this week.

Gambler 500 participants had little problem finding illegal trash left behind by inconsiderate residents of the Valley.
(Courtesy photo for the Illinois Valley News)

The most common trash found was household trash, which based on the mail found, was from all around the Valley with tires a close second.
Funding for the dumpsters came was a gift from the group Gambler 500 which Peterson says, has a nonprofit arm called sons of Smokey. “They paid for three of the boxes and the Forest Service paid for one. We raised approximately $1,300 to cover the cost of hosting the event, as well as a portion of the tire disposal.”
Along with picking up trash, participants camped in Cave Junction at Silent Treatment Headquarters and enjoyed disc golf, pyrotechnics, good food and some very fun raffle prizes.
You can still donate to help offset the $8 per tire disposal fee, the GoFundMe is still functional, or you can mail a check to Peterson at: Lou Peterson, 3675 Caves Hwy., Cave Junction, OR 97523.
The group is going to need about another $1,500 to cover the tire disposal fee.
When Peterson was asked what the oddest thing found was, the I.V. News was given a wry smile and a long hmmmm.