Sunday, November 2, 2014

MY (Half) Marathon-Almost

The Maloney Canal directs runoff from the mountain into the north end of Merimere Reservoir. This is a hiking trail on the berm of the canal. Looks cozy, doesn't it?

Visit #909, Sunday 2 November 14, 7:10AM-1:15PM, 12.7 miles!
Temps in the low 40's, cloudy with an unforgiving wind, gusting to +30mph.

A mountain bike ride through some of the trails in Hubbard Park early last week revealed some fallen trees which needed removing. There is also a trail contiguous to Hubbard Park which also suffered some damage from the high winds of late. I decided to tackle both trails at the same time with my chainsaw, on foot.

Little did I know, the New York City Marathon was being held on the same day. Although my distance was shy of a half marathon (13.1 miles) it was close enough for horseshoes and hand grenades and a reasonable feat considering I had my chainsaw with me.

I started at the playscape and walked the road toward the north end of Merimere Reservoir.

The water level is amazingly low.

What's also amazing is people even CONSIDER littering on what is one of Meriden's water sources.

At the north end of Merimere Reservoir I picked up the "Red Dot" trail, paralleling the road toward Castle Craig. Here was my first stretch of clearing fallen, bent, and broken trees and limbs.

What you see above is a just sampling of what I cleared.

At the top, I turned myself toward West Peak and picked up the Blue Trail, which heads north along a ridgeline and out of Hubbard Park into Southington. At the Southington end the trail performs a circuitous U-turn and points south back toward Hubbard Park.

Just shy of re-entering Hubbard Park and the uphill road toward Castle Craig/West Peak, I turned right and followed another trail that parallels the road and heads up toward the radio towers. It was on this trail I cleared more wood. After reaching my goal, the fallen tree below, I wanted to empty the fuel tank on my chainsaw so I spruced up the trail until the tank ran dry.

Along the way up, I spied a plastic bag discreetly tucked into the base of a fallen tree, slightly off the trail. Retreiving it, I could hear and feel cans inside but the bag was too heavy for all the cans to be empty. To satisfy my curiosity, I opened the bag for my Find of the Week:

Inside were four cans of Budweiser beer (double bagged, no less!) and two of the cans were unopened as if they were stashed there for future use. Sorry, but someone may be disappointed.

Reaching the road, I pointed myself down to the walkbridge over I-691 and back to the park, completing my near half-marathon. I probably felt better than anyone who completed the real deal in New York City today.

Don't forget to vote on Tuesday!

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