Sunday, June 8, 2014

2014 National Trails Day

Visit #875, Saturday 7 June 14, 8:30AM-1:15PM, 6.7 miles.
Temps in the low 80's, magnificent weather!

It was serendipity that the Meriden Land Trust chose to host a National Trails Day event in Hubbard Park where I execute my volunteer duties. I decided to participate and maybe spread the word and inspire others through what I do.

Dwight Needles of the Meriden Land Trust led the hike along with knowledgeable local host Bob Pagini.

In the parking lot adjacent to the playscape I met Ben, a Meriden college student attending Temple University studying geology. He was participating in the hike for 2 reasons; the geology aspect of the hike, and the physical training as he was scheduled for a summer geology program in Montana which would require traipsing around rocks in that state. I gave Ben a 3rd reason to participate by handing him a trash bag and asking him to join me as we walked the road toward the north end of Merimere Reservoir where the hiking group would assemble.

The 2 of us cleaned up both sides of the road and arrived just prior to the bunch. We hiked to South Mountain, all the time being fed volumes of information from our 2 hosts. There's no "app" that could substitute for the personalized tour our group received.

Everyone in the group saw the trail with different eyes. Some saw the trail, some saw the plants, some saw the wildlife, and I covered the trash, which wasn't much once you left the road.

Your author, a "meat and potatoes" kind of guy, clearly missed all the wildlife around him while others could spy the tiniest of creatures camouflaged against the woods. Here are a few:

At South Mountain, all I needed was a lawn chair and a cooler and I would have been set for the day. The group took plenty of time to take in the views and relax, which made beginning the return trip all that much more difficult!

That's my impromptu assistant Ben with the camera.

Perhaps I did inspire someone during the hike. Lisa (far left at the edge of the photo) starting picking up shards of broken glass and throwing them in my trash bag.

Mirror Lake as viewed from South Mountain.

Our group made an about face and returned to the north end of Merimere Reservoir. Ben and I walked the road back to the parking lot rather than catch a ride from the others so he could get in more training miles.


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