Sunday, August 10, 2014

Expanded Hours At Castle Craig, Yea or Nay?

Looking south from East Peak. You can see the Johnson Avenue water tank, Broad Brook Reservoir, and Sleeping Giant in the background.

Visit #888, Saturday 9 August 14, 9:00-11:50AM, 5.5 miles.
Temps in the 80's, dry and sunny.

Much thanks this week goes to my occasional co-volunteer, Paul Bernier, who assisted me.

The talk this week in the Record Journal is Mayor Manny Santos' desire to extend the hours which the road to Castle Craig is open. While I agree Castle Craig is a great attraction for Meriden, extended hours come with complications and extra costs which need to be addressed.

You can read about my concerns HERE, in an editorial I sent to the mayor and all city councilors.

What say you?

On my agenda this week was attacking some graffiti which recently appeared on some trees and rocks. Paul suggested we extend our route to address a tree which had fallen across the trail near Castle Craig. As a result, we wound up cleaning the parking lot and surrounding area of Castle Craig to great effect.

Paul's find of the week soon after we started; evidence of a snake growing too big for its "shoes".

I wasn't too far behind with my own discovery.

I wonder if playing Hangman was an effective way for the writer to get their message across? Who won?

With regard to the article above, you can see how many people enjoy the road along Merimere Reservoir before it opens for the day, and this is just a sample.

Tess is a regular on the road at Hubbard Park with her owner, George. Tess was discerning enough to take my dog biscuit and leave my fingers to dole out future treats.

Paul and I barely reached the south end of Merimere Reservoir and we collected a full bag of trash. I left it at the water treatment plant for pick up. When I returned to Hubbard Park by bicycle around 6PM the same day, it was gone. This should also reinforce my contention about the litter issues I expressed in my editorial.

At the south end of the reservoir we diverted from the road and took the trails up to Castle Craig. Paul and I would split up, taking trails that would merge later on. Enroute we moved the fallen tree Paul told me about.

It was a two-man job. Good enough for government work.

At Castle Craig, Paul and I cleaned the parking lot and surrounding area, collecting enough trash to leave a couple bags. I'll notify the Meriden Parks Department to collect them. Along with the trash I found the top of the old flagpole, as you can see by the pulley inside.

Paul and I hiked the trails down and to my objective for the week, the graffiti. The gray paint I used dries to a flat sheen, blends in quite well "as-is" and with wear, will blend in better. The arrows and mileage marker leave me baffled as to what they were for.

Paul and I crossed over I-691 and returned to the parking lot, depositing our remaining bags of trash.

On that bike ride to Hubbard Park which I mentioned earlier in my post, I noticed a lot of trash on the road up toward Castle Craig/West Peak. This reinforces the argument in my editorial because I had just cleaned that road 2 weeks ago. I hope to focus my efforts on the road again next week.

Stay tuned!

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