Sunday, April 27, 2014


Visit #867, Wednesday 23 April 14, 7:15-8:50AM, 1.3 miles.
Temps in the 50's, light rain.

Visit #868, Saturday 26 April 14, 2:10-4:45PM, 6.5 miles.
Temps in the 50's, partly sunny.

With the Daffodil Festival looming, I was INSPIRED to re-clean part of the park I'd originally cleaned a mere 6 months ago. On the perimeter of the road around the playground outside of the fence line, I spied 3 bags of empty cat food cans that had been strewn about many weeks ago. With festival goers wandering around, it would look like crap, so I circumvented the fence and went to town. It's quick work other than cutting brush that's between me and the trash. Six bags later and I was done.

Included in the mix was an empty bottle of ever-so-frequently-heard-in-the-news Oxycodone (patient name redacted).

Back in September 2013, I did some work, walking from Castle Craig down the road and back. What I didn't report is, I found 3 car tires in the woods in various locations and placed them by the roadside. I planned to pick them up after retrieving my truck and driving down. Well, in the 45 minutes or so it took me to return to my truck, someone  who couldn't keep their hands off the tires decided to roll them down the hill into the unknown. I couldn't find them and wasn't going to bother. I expected they would turn up in the future.

While mountain biking in Hubbard Park on Friday, the tires reappeared in ditches in separate locations. I placed the first car tire over my bike's seat and walked it over to the spillway at the north end of Merimere Reservoir. I would return on Saturday to retrieve the other 2 tires.

On Saturday I avoided the Daffodil Festival and parked at the north end, outside of Hubbard Park and hiked in. First thing I found is between Friday afternoon and Saturday afternoon someone had broken one of the gates blocking park access at the north end.

I'll notify the Meriden Parks Department.

Retrieving the remaining tires along with picking up trash was going to be a pain because it was going to require multiple return trips up the road toward Castle Craig and therefore some considerable mileage.

Just as I started walking, I met a man walking a Jack Russell terrier that was both blind AND deaf. With the park road closed during the Daffodil Festival, we were the only two people out here. We'd met once before and I'd remembered his dog. We chatted briefly, he thanked me for my work and we parted. For the next half hour or so we would leapfrog each other and he saw me picking up trash and dragging the tires out of various locations. At some point I turned around to check on his whereabouts and he, and his dog, were gone.

Well, to make a long story short, he must have been INSPIRED by my work and saved me a ton of mileage for, even with a blind and deaf dog in tow, he managed to bring both tires back to the spillway, a distance of at least 3/4 of a mile. I added my trash to the pile and will contact the Meriden Parks Department to pick up the collection. Hopefully this time itchy fingers won't cause the tires to disappear.

During my travels on the road, I found a couple spots where trees and large branches have fallen into the road:

Surprise trash find of the week. Amazing how cheap this technology has become as it's now virtually a throw-away item.

But the REAL find of the week required powers of observation sharper than a CIA drone.

While walking down the road from Castle Craig, I looked about 100 feet into the woods and spied this:

Actually, there were 2 of these taps on separate birch trees, both equally filled.

By the time you read this, the Daffodil Festival will be over and it will be time for the road to Castle Craig and West Peak to be open daily. If you want to enjoy the quiet I experienced Saturday, you'll have to be an early riser.


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