Sunday, July 28, 2013

Of Trees That Have Retired

Visit #807, Saturday 27 July 13, 8:45AM-12:05PM, 7.8 miles.
Temps in the low 80's with sun and reasonable humidity.

It was actually so nice in the woods; the humidity was lower than it has been with enough of a breeze that mosquitos and black flies were not a problem. All you needed was a lawn chair and a book...

Paul Bernier joined me again for some serious hiking and trail maintenance. He previously had told me of trees across various trails I seldom visit because they're lightly traveled and for the most part stay clear of trash. So we hooked up today to remove anything blocking them.

While waiting for Paul to arrive I checked out the water fountains at the entrance to the playground. They have a history of extremely anemic water flow such that the fountains should be removed if they're not going to function properly. It's plain bad advertising when people try to take a drink and have to get intimate with the faucet to get any water. Today was no exception.

 Yes; believe it or not, both fountains are running in the photos.

Paul arrived and we began a clockwise loop. Paul assumed photography duties today so you get to see Yours Truly at work. Oh joy.

Our first stop was a trail adjacent to West Main Street.

Crossing I-691 via the walkbridge, I noticed the last of the 2 American flags that were hung from the fencing was now gone.

Up the first climb, then over to the Virgin Mary Trail, we came upon our second tree.

Reaching the road to the Castle, we turned right, then left, and picked up the Red Dot Trail. It parallels the road to the Castle and is an almost constant descent to the reservoir.

We soon encountered our next fallen tree.

While rasslin' this particular branch off the trail, I broke the wrist band of my watch. I cheerfully reunited with my dear Timex which kept on ticking, but the band was lost among the sawdust and the forest floor.

As we descended the trail, the trees kept coming:

To prove I wasn't the only one working, I had to give Paul some camera time. Here he removes a tree I've cut up.

At the bottom of the trail near the reservoir, we turned right and followed the Blue Trail up along the ridgeline back toward the Castle to remove one last fallen branch.

Once we reached the Castle, Paul and I split up and policed the perimeter of the parking lot. We deposited our bags of trash for later pickup by the Meriden Parks Department.

Now it was time to head down and back toward the park.

Last week I reported the gate at the south end of Merimere reservoir was unlocked. The Meriden Parks Department got the word and took care of that issue last week. Thanks!

Paul and I returned to the park via the Soap Box Derby Track. We combined our trash into one bag and called it a day.

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