Saturday, December 14, 2013


The first snowstorm of the season begins to drop its white bomb on Hubbard Park.

Visit #837, Saturday 14 December 13, 7:40AM-12:10PM, 9.5 miles.
Temps in the teens, snowing.

The snowstorm which began Saturday morning preempted the special project I alluded to in last week's post. With snow on the ground there's not much trash to see and therefore USUALLY, not much to report. Was I out of a job for the season?

Fortunately, I found other work to do.

In speaking to a "park regular" during the week, I learned there were some trees down across a couple trails I'd not visited recently. The best time to remove them would be before they get buried in snow, so now I had a project to keep me "blog employed".

First, thanks to the Meriden Parks Department for removing the fencing and stanchions I pulled out of the weeds last week. The trailside looks just a bit cleaner as a result.

I made my way past the Halfway House and to the White Trail just below Castle Craig, to the location of my first fallen tree.

I quickly discovered I had a problem which isn't obvious from the photos; despite sharpening my chainsaw before I left the house, it was duller than television. I was not happy but would have to make do, and I didn't feel like breaking out my files in the cold.

With that cleared, I hiked up to Castle Craig then over to the Red Dot Trail, which parallels the road down.

Good intel makes it easy and efficient to find where the work is. I quickly found my next tree and my chainsaw gummed its way through it.

And one more:

I popped out onto the road at the north end of Merimere Reservoir and walked the road back to the park. I only had to walk a few feet before I saw I wouldn't be finishing today's session without fulfilling my trash collection duties for someone had hung a junked bicycle wheel on the guardrail.

My mood was made worse when I discovered the graffiti I'd painted over just after Thanksgiving had been graffitied over by apparently the same person(s) based on the reference to "NAER" in both tags.

While I admire their persistence and willingness to squander good money on spray paint for such a puerile use, the graffiti has got to go. Due to the weather and the likelihood my brush-on latex paint won't stick in these temperatures, I decided I'd trip over to the hardware store and pick up a couple cans
of spray paint myself and do a little "tit for tat".

Passing the south end of Merimere Reservoir, I noticed someone had cut the lock on the chain securing the gate. I also noticed the gate on West Main Street across from Belmont Avenue is unlocked and ajar. I can only speculate whether snowmobilers have done this in advance of the coming snowstorm so they could have free access to the park.

Just as I crossed the gate at Percival Park road, a truck pulled up, parked, and the driver got out for what looked like a hike. Turns out he wasn't hiking for pleasure.

Don was in the park earlier this morning walking his airdale, "C.C." and when Don wasn't looking, C.C. took off on a wild goose chase. Don was returning to start a search for his dog. Since I know my way around the trails reasonably well, I figured I could be of help. Don and I teamed up and took off in search of C.C., splitting up the landscape between the two of us.

Thankfully, it didn't take long for C.C. to be found and reunited with Don.

The three of us returned to the park and went our separate ways. Don and C.C. went home and I went to pick up some spray paint.

I returned to the park not knowing how long it would last or how well spray paint would work on cold concrete with the snow falling, but I had to at least make the effort.

One can covered everything reasonably well, although I didn't remove the snow piled against the lower half of the concrete wall. So, a more permanent solution will have to wait until spring.

But honestly, between clearing the fallen trees, finding C.C., and the reasonably decent job I did covering the graffiti, today's session was a rousing success.

This snowstorm should lay down a reasonable base to make snowshoeing a blast in Hubbard Park. Are you getting the hint?

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