Visit #920, Saturday 13 December 14, 12:30-3:30PM, 5.9 miles.
Temps in the low 40's, sunny.
Thanks to Paul Bernier who joined me on Saturday's adventure.
Paul called me earlier in the week to inform me there was a hemlock tree which had fallen across the Blue Trail along the western side of Merimere Reservoir. After performing "make work" for the last few weeks with my 5 Year Plan, it was good to put myself to use for my primary calling; keeping the trails of Hubbard Park in shape. Paul offered to assist me in the work.
With my day's plan focused on the north end of Hubbard Park, it was practical for us to park in Berlin near the end of Park Road and walk from there. Our first objective was to clear the fallen hemlock from the trail while I had a full tank of gas in my chainsaw.
At the north end of the reservoir we crossed the brook and picked up the Blue Trail. We reached the tree in roughly 15 minutes and went to work.
Paul and I worked efficiently together, and the trail was restored in no time. Look closely and you can see the north end of Merimere Reservoir in the background.
We hiked the remainder of the Blue Trail up to Castle Craig, the walked the road over toward West Peak to continue with my 5 Year Plan of trimming the roadsides. Besides my chainsaw, Paul and I both brought loppers as well, to cut smaller branches.
Just prior to reaching our turnaround point we came upon the trail entrance the Meriden Parks Department blocked off at my suggestion. It seems "someone" can't stop being a nuisance in Hubbard Park by engaging in this persistent behavior. Frankly, due to my long time experience with this vandal, I expected this to happen sooner than later anyway and it didn't really surprise me when I saw it. I'll contact the Meriden Parks Department to recommend a more permanent solution.
Paul and I turned around at the entrance to the West Peak parking lot and began trimming the south side of the road. While it may not be obvious to you, I've already completed all you can see on the left side.
Due to time constraints, we stopped at the fork in the road to East Peak/West Peak even though I had plenty of gas left in the chainsaw. The walk down the road and back to the car was enjoyable, knowing our work for the day was done and we had made good progress.
We did manage to pick up some trash today but not much, perhaps because I had walked the road and picked most of it up in the last 2 weeks.
I hope to continue with my 5 Year Plan next week, and as of now the weather looks like it's going to cooperate. Until then, maintain.