Saturday, November 30, 2013

A Walk on the Wild (East) Side

A view north from the eastern shore of Merimere Reservoir.

Visit #833, Friday 29 November 13, 1:20-4:05PM, 4.0 miles.
Temps in the mid-30's, mostly sunny.

Visit #834, Saturday 30 November 13, 1:20-4:05PM, 4.0 miles.
Temps in the low-30's, mostly sunny.

Last week I cleaned up the western shore of Merimere Reservoir. This week I planned to finish the job and police the eastern shore of the reservoir.

On the way up the road from the park, I picked up a frozen pair of sweatpants. They were heavy. Expecting to find a lot of trash today, it wasn't worth lugging a heavy trash bag around so early in my day, so I dropped my first bag of trash at the water treatment plant.

As with last week, I started at the south end of the reservoir and made my way north. Walking on the slope was difficult at times, but at least I didn't wind up in the water. In some spots it was almost like the coast of Maine.

Near the north end, the land mass juts out and disrupts the oval perimeter of the reservoir. It is at this point, some distance and sheltered from the road, that I found a campfire spot. From the trash around the area, it was from a party.

I never reached my goal on Friday; the sun was setting and my trash bag was full, and heavy. I would have to return to complete the job. I walked the road back to the park carrying my haul with 2 hands, depositing it with the first bag at the water treatment plant.

I'd like to thank the Mark Zebora and Meriden Parks Department. The trees I'd reported last week that fell into the road had been removed.

I did return on Saturday to complete the mission. I started at the soap box derby track and it didn't take long for something to put a smile on my face.

Ka-CHING! I spotted a five-er among the leaves. By my accounting, I've made fifteen bucks in Hubbard Park in the last month!

I returned to the plot at the north end of the reservoir and resumed operations. After I was done, I took a short jaunt to the north end of Percival Park Road to the gate and cleaned up. In 2nd place of the Unusual Things I Found Today category (the five-spot was #1), I found a chef's white's shirt with a patch from the CT Juvenile Training Center (CJTS on the patch) in Middletown. The school's culinary arts program was restored in 2009. Why the shirt, along with a frozen, filled diaper, were cast aside in this open area is a mystery to me.

As I returned toward the park, I found this SUV parked on the side of the road which wasn't there when I entered the woods roughly 45 minutes prior. How it got past the locked gate at the park is the second mystery of the day.

I now had to lug two 30 gallon bags of trash back to the park. Due to their weight, I had to play a game and walk 100 steps then stop, take a breather, and resume. Along the way I was met with the kindness of a woman who introduced herself as Rebecca. She enthusiastically assisted me by carrying one of the trash bags. Thanks to her, we made it back to the water treatment plant in good time, where I added the bags to Friday's collection.

Now I can check off "the shoreline of Merimere Reservoir" from my cleaning bucket list.

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