Saturday, July 13, 2013

Senior Moments All Around

Visit #805, Saturday 13 July 13, 9:00AM-12:00PM, 5.6 miles.
Temps in the high 70's, with 90 percent humidity, 100 percent cloud cover and a brief downpour.

I will not be corecting typing erors this week. My keyboard is failing. A new keyboard is on order. In the meantime, enjoy the less than stellar spelling!

I was joined by Paul Bernier this week which meant there'd be a lot acomplished and no complaining, despite the cnditions.

A couple weks ago I inspected the parking lot at West Peak by bicycle, and could tell it was in sad shape with regard to litter, so my plan was to route my way up there and clean up.

We started at the Soap Box Derby Track when I decided to see if Len is still feding the feral cat under the ovrpass. Yes.

Just shy of reaching Merimere Resrvoir, the skies commenced to dumping rain on us. Paul and I decided we'd trust the weather forecast and continue to the Halfway House in the downpour, and wait out the rain.

After last week's fireworks display I figured there'd be some cleaning to do around the Halfway House. The Parks Department did send a crew up there to clean up after the fireworks launching and it was MUCH cleaner than after the Daffodil Festival display, although there was still some trash. Thanks to the Meriden Parks Department for their effort.

So, we step inside the Halfway House and I see a length of "caution" tape on the ground. I reach down,  pick it up, and as I stand up my face comes within a foot of THIS:

I let out my Sunday Best Girly Scream and fell just shy of soiling myself. The snake was unimpressed. It took him a good 5 minutes to decide he was bored and he left for home, underneath the Halfwy House.

We resumed work. Besides the caution tape, I found the inside of the Halfway House littered with over 100 of these plastic pieces presumably from the fireworks assembly:

It was another "Swat Fest". While the rain soaked you, at least it kept the mosquitos away. That is, UNTIL it stopped raining.

Reaching the parking lot at West Peak, Paul and I went to town, cleaning up the perimeter. The result was 6 full bags of trash. If it weren't for the mosquitos, we'd have taken more time and been even more thorough. That may have to wait until autumn.

And I still couldn't get away from snakes. I found this shed skin in the parking lot:

As we descended from West Peak and reachd th main trail below, Paul discovered he'd lost his car and house keys. With all the ground we covered, much of it off-pavement, it would be pointless to retrace our steps to try and find them.

We formulated a plan to solve his predicament and headed back toward the park via the I-691 walkbridge.

I reported last week that someone had stolen one of the two American Flags that were attached to the fencing on the walkbridge. This was the stolen flag:

In my Senior Moment at the time, I wasn't paying attention to what really happened. Looking closer this week, I discovered the flag wasn't stolen, it was TORCHED.

Sorry to report that.

So, we arrive at the parking lot only for Paul to have a Senior Moment of his own. He didn't lose his car keys; he left them in the lock of his car's trunk for the past 3 hours!

Fortunately, his bumper sticker was highly effective in keeping anyone from using the keys to steal his car. In contrast, Paul did not let out any Girly Screams of Joy nor nearly soil his pants at the finding.

I deposited our 7th, and last bag of trash.

Today, Paul and I discoverd a number of smaller trees down across the various trails. I'm on-call next week so I will attend to them with the chainsaw the following week. 

I look forward to typing with a reliable keyboard in the next wk or so and I'm sure you will, too!

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