A placid Saturday morning Merimere Reservoir reflects the adjacent cliff.
Visit #827, Saturday 2 November 13, 8:45-11:20AM, 6.8miles.
Temps in the 50's, partly sunny.
Visit #828, Sunday 3 November 13, 3:30-5:15PM, 4.75miles.
Temps in the 50's, partly sunny.
The road to the Castle and West Peak is supposed to close to vehicular traffic starting in November. With the rollover of the month, I thought if I picked up trash from the roadsides now, they'd stay cleaner until spring. So the plan was to walk the road from the park up, clean up one side of the road, to just shy of the Castle, take a trail down, and clean the other side of the road on the return leg.
I quickly filled up my first bag and left it at this pull-off spot, with the plan to pick it up on the return trip.
At the north end of Merimere Reservoir, the water level was so low I had the rare opportunity to walk within the spillway and pick up trash. You can see the water level marks on the concrete.
Up the road I went, turned left toward the Castle and walked back down via a parallel trail. On the way down, I spotted this:
Unusual mushroom? Gilligan's hat? YOU decide.
I rejoined the road at the bottom and retraced my route back toward the park. I picked up the first trash bag. By the time I reached the water treatment plant, the second bag was full so I left both of them there and opened a third bag.
A passerby saw both bags in my hands and expressed his disbelief.
Something else I found:
All I can say is, either this guy was very LUCKY, or very UNLUCKY. And I can't possibly fathom the size of the wallet needed to hold all of them. Just kidding, folks!
Back at the park, I dropped off my last bag.
Just when I thought my duties would be done for the week, I was talking to a person who rides his bike up to the Castle once a month as sort of a tradition. On Saturday he rode up for the 95th consecutive month. Mark commented to me about some unsightly graffiti around the Castle. So on Sunday, needing a destination for a bike ride, I rode my own bike up to the Castle to scope out the situation to see what I'd need to remedy things.
I decided to return on foot Sunday afternoon, timing my arrival at the Castle near sunset so I wouldn't have to work around people walking near the Castle. I walked the road all the way up to the Castle and took care of 2 pieces of graffiti.
On the way up the road, I couldn't believe I was collecting more trash since I just cleaned it yesterday.
The surprise find was a bag filled with used crack pipes and this odd, tri-panel photo.
I arrived at the Castle and found these two items on the surrounding wall, which weren't there during my bike ride up at 10AM the same morning.
If you can't identify them, one is a Wiffle Ball bat; the other is used to lob tennis balls for energetic dogs to chase.
I went to work on a fleur de lis painted on the floor of one doorway. I used a wire brush to remove it best as I could.
Next was some text, which I painted over. Latex paint doesn't flow well in 50 degree temps, so the job isn't as flawless as I'd prefer. The "A" symbol in the text below is used by anarchists. That's actually the letter "A" surrounded by the letter "O". It means "Anarchy is the mother of Order". Check the Wikipedia entry for Anarchist Symbolism for details.
The sun was dropping over the horizon rapidly and I made my way back to the park in darkness to drop off my last bag of trash.
I leave this week with a colorful view of an autumn sunset viewed from the Castle.