Sunday, February 1, 2015

Snow Follies

Visit #934, Tuesday, 27 January 15, 8:20AM-1:30PM, 10.9 miles.
Temps in the 20's, tail end of Blizzard Juno.

Visit #935, Saturday 31 January 15, 8:55-11:15AM, 5.3 miles.
Temps in the single digits with a strong, biting cold wind.

Blizzard Juno stopped by Meriden on Monday night and was supposed to linger on into Tuesday. With work cancelled, I came up with the nutty idea of snowshoeing from my east side apartment, across town, to Hubbard Park and up to Castle Craig. Of course, nutty ideas are just trash talk and daydreaming until they're executed. Time to put up or shut up.

I filled my backpack with a thermos of hot tea, a PB&J sandwich, brownie, homemade rice cake, and some extra clothing in case I got in over my head. I also carried crampons should I find the snowshoes inadequate or unnecessary.

When I left the apartment it was still snowing with a biting wind to my face. As long as I kept moving, I was nice and warm.

East Main Street was empty as I headed west.

I stopped in the doorway of the YMCA to take a "selfie". Pics or it didn't happen, right?

At McDonalds on West Main Street I turned onto the Chamberlain Highway then left onto Reservoir Avenue and up to Hubbard Park. Near the end of Reservoir Avenue, I could see my first rest stop, the Halfway House-the peaked dome shape in the background.

 After I entered Hubbard Park, the real work began as obviously the trails were at least one foot deep of virgin snow. When I reached the Halfway House I sat down for some hot tea and eats.

The morning sun was struggling to punch through the snow as the storm traveled east away from Meriden.

From the opposite side of the Halfway House, I could see my objective waiting.

You haven't lived until you've trudged through knee deep snow up a steep trail like that final leg up to Castle Craig.

I gathered my gear and made the final push, reaching it at about 11AM. Where was the reception committee?

The wind was cold and fierce; no way was I going to take the time to set up another selfie-shot. My poles and backpack would have to do.

I took a different route down and back to the park. Once there, I pretty much followed the same roads home.

Enroute, I noticed both Dunkin' Donuts' I passed by were closed. I wondered how all the coffee addicts were coping? I watched one poor guy pull up in his truck only to leave empty handed.

West Main Street was still deserted as I made the return journey.

Friday night into Saturday morning we were gifted with a few more inches of snow. I returned to Hubbard Park Saturday to hike a few trails that might still be untouched after Blizzard Juno.

This adventure would take me along the ridgeline high above Merimere Reservoir.

I followed the Blue Trail all the way to the north end of Merimere Reservoir, then turned roughly south, up another trail which parallels the road to Castle Craig. I crossed over I-691 and hiked back to the parking lot. As I was packing to leave, I saw another person gather their snowshoes and head out on their own adventure...


  1. Great photos! This is the way to enjoy a storm. Later this month we'll be packing in a couple of miles to a yurt up by Cameron Pass in the Colorado State Forest Park. Stay there for a couple of nights with our hiking buddies and do some snowshoeing or cross country skiing. You would fit right in!

  2. Good to hear I'm not alone with my abnormal activities!