Sunday, June 29, 2014

In Search Of Some Motivation

See if you can find the turtle in the photo.

Visit #878, Saturday 28 June 14, 9:00AM-12:00PM, 4.2 miles.
Temps in the low 80's, sunny, dry, and pleasant.

I was hard pressed to find a project to focus on for this week's activities. Why, I couldn't even come up with a route I wanted to travel. I was just lacking motivation.

To the rescue came local hiker and occasional volunteer assistant Paul Bernier. He called me looking to offer his services picking up trash and whatever I could dig up this weekend. Together we hatched and executed a plan.

With a pet fair and 5k run scheduled for the morning, we wanted to avoid the parking lot and the crowds, so we parked and entered Hubbard Park from the Park Road gate at the north end of Merimere Reservoir. The turnaround for the 5k race was here as evidenced by the cones.

I don't know about you, but I could potentially get lost in that maze and never exit. I was wise enough to walk around it, for my safety.

Paul and I walked up the road to West Peak and the radio towers, cleaning up both sides of the road. However, we didn't pick up EVERYTHING. Some things are best left alone.

In last week's post, I cut away some branches blocking the view of a sign indicating the sharp curve ahead. I wasn't satisfied with my work and returned mid-week in an undocumented visit to further trim back the fallen/bent trees.

All I brought with me were a bow saw and a pair of loppers. It wasn't pretty but I got the job done.

This led me to my next discovery; there's another sign warning of the dangerous curve which precedes the above sign on the downhill leg. It too, was obscured by trees.

Gotta do something about that. Paul climbed the tree, adding his weight and forcing it to bend so I could trim the branch as high as possible. His efforts paid off; perhaps the now visible signs will save someone from certain doom.

Paul and I reached West Peak, policed the parking lot and adjacent trails, and left a couple bags of trash at the end of the parking lot. I'll contact the Meriden Parks Department to pick them up.

The Parks Department deserves my thanks as they picked up the computer monitors I extracted from the woods last week as I learned from my mid-week visit.

We turned around and walked the road to Castle Craig. We reached the parking lot and cleaned up the area, leaving a second pair of trash bags to be collected later on.

We returned to Merimere Reservoir via a trail that parallels the road. On the way down I discovered for the second time mountain bikers building stunts on the trail. As a mountain biker myself, I find this unacceptable; something hikers shouldn't have to look at or contend with. I dismantled it.

It was essentially a berm backed up by logs from a tree I'd cleared from the trail in April. The berm terminated in a jump built from one of the log sections partially buried in dirt. Well, it WAS buried in dirt.

Paul and I reached the bottom of the trail, picked up the road, and returned to the car on Park Road.

Find the turtle yet?


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