Monday, May 26, 2014

A Legend In My Own MInd

Joke: Why did the snake cross the road?
Answer: This one is asking himself the same question this week. Looks like he could use some Advil.

Visit #871, Wednesday 21 May 14, 6:10-8:15PM, 5.2 miles.
Temps in the low 70's, increasing clouds with showers forcasted for Thursday.

Visit #872, Sunday 25 May 14, 0545-0940AM, 4.4 miles.
Temps in the low 70's, sunny.

On 26 April, I discovered someone was tapping birch trees along the road to Castle Craig, for sap. I left the jugs alone assuming the owner would retrieve them soon even though it was late in the tree tapping season. When I revisited the road last week, I noticed the jugs were still hanging there.

They needed to be removed.

I couldn't justify walking the road for 3 consecutive weeks; there were other areas which needed my attention. So I decided a special mid-week visit to Hubbard Park was in order.

I walked on the road all the way, stopping to cut free the 2 birch tree tapped jugs.

While picking up trash and walking up the road, I was repeatedly passed by a cyclist performing repeat efforts up the climb. During one descent he slowed long enough to ask, "Are you Pete?" When I replied that I was, he said he had one more hill repeat to complete, the last of six I believe (!), then he would stop to talk to me.

Turns out Mike, from Glastonbury, recognized me from an internet bike forum we both participate in, and Mike also happened to remember me from over 20 years ago when I was affiliated with a Middletown-based bicycle club and he was a teen working in a bike shop. Now he's an accomplished cyclist, lawyer, and father.

We enjoyed our brief meeting and continued on our separate ways. One would think that if I'm being recognized by people in Hubbard Park, that I'm a celebrity of sorts. I think Dirty Harry would have something different to say on the matter...

With my temporarily inflated ego, I moved on. At the fork in the road I took the trail down, then turned left heading toward the Halfway House. I stopped at the intersection of the trail to Castle Craig because I spied my 2 Finds of the Week:

The glasses were just cheapo reading glasses, but the women's pullover top was from North Face and in seemingly good condition. Rather than stuff it in my trash bag, I brought it home, washed it, and dropped it off at Goodwill on Sunday.

Stopping by the Halfway House, you could see the eastern sky filling with water in preparation for Thursday's rain.

My trash bag was ripping so I transferred everything to a larger bag just prior to dropping it off at the park.

Now I was free to move on to my next project.

On Sunday I got a very early start. The Green Trail runs up from Merimere Reservoir for roughly a quarter mile. For whatever reason, the lower half tends to get heavily overgrown and narrow. I brought my loppers and hedge clippers to trim back the vegetation. Below is a "before" photo. If you get the chance, hike the Green Trail and see if I made any improvement-I spent a good 2 hours on that trail alone.

The tree you see in the photo fell during one of the big storms a few years ago. At that time, I deliberately cut a narrow gap between the two sections to force mountain bikers to keep their speed down. I may widen the gap in the late fall.

Done with that chore, I clipped, trimmed, and picked up trash as I made my way toward the walkbridge over I-691. I had completely forgotten about an errant sapling which was hanging low into the Main Trail and was on my long term checklist. With my lopping shears on hand, I was able to remove it.

When I reached the walkbridge over the highway I discovered that, for the third consecutive year, some patriotic person had attached American flags to the fencing. I reported last year's appearance of the flags in this blog. I'll keep an eye on the health of these flags.

The rain of the last week, combined with my mid-week visit to Hubbard Park, made the weekend trash haul light.

Happy Memorial Day!

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