Saturday, May 30, 2015

Destructive Behavior

The view west, toward Mount Southington.

Visit #956, Saturday 30 May 15, 10:30AM-1:15PM, 4.9 miles.
Temps in the low 80's, sunny, breezy, mild humidity.

It's tough to stay motivated when you see repeat bad behavior.

A few weeks ago there was a brush fire in Hubbard Park, no doubt started by a carelessly tossed cigarette. On Friday of this week yet another brush fire was started, this time by a campfire.

I went mountain biking in Hubbard Park at about 7PM Friday and stopped to chat with the Meriden Fire Department and Connecticut Forest Fire Service who were still on-scene with hoses extended roughly 1800 feet to the fire. It never occurred to me they'd be back at it on Saturday.

Paul Bernier joined me this week to assist; my thanks to him.

In last week's activities, I reported finding 2 trees maliciously bent over that had to be removed. Paul told me of a THIRD tree on another trail which met a similar fate and needed removal.

We parked north of Hubbard Park and began our trash pickup at the north end of Merimere Reservoir. The trail, and the tree to be removed, were near the road so it was easy to access. Paul wanted to leave 4 feet of tree standing as it's used as a hand hold for people descending the steep pitch. I let him do the honors.

First he cut ANOTHER tree which must have been pulled over by the same person. Then he sawed through the tree at the top of the photo.

We then turned right and headed up a trail which would take us just shy of Castle Craig. Just before we reached the road we encountered a branch I'd forgotten about that was encroaching into the trail. I let Paul do the work.

Trail restored.

The road is just to the rear of the photo. We turned right and headed toward West Peak.

Enroute, we discovered the Connecticut Forest Fire Service trucks had returned to the site of yesterday's fire, dumping more water on it.

Just when I suggested to Paul we hike through the woods to take photos of the fire site, the firefighters came back to their truck. They were finished with their work and began packing up.

Left to right: Larry, Jake, and Bob. A big thanks to the crew for helping protect Hubbard Park.
You can tell Jake's the junior member of the crew by the size of his headlamp! ;-)

Paul and I continued on, cleaning up the West Peak parking lot and the peak area/trails. In the process, I came upon my Find of the Week.

We turned around and walked the road back down to the reservoir, cleaning up both sides of the road.

I didn't want to leave the bags at the reservoir for Monday pickup by the Meriden Parks Department; they'd sit there looking ugly. It was an easy task to carry them back to my car where I disposed of them at home.

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