Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day and Good Samaritan Weekend

Visit #954, Saturday 23 May 15, 6:30-10:30AM, 4.0 miles.
Temps in the low 60's, sunny, breezy, and dry.

Visit #955, Sunday 24 May 15, 6:00-8:20PM, 4.0 miles.
Temps in the mid-70's, sunny, breezy, and dry.

I've reserved holiday weekends to work on my special project, my 5 Year Plan; Memorial Day weekend qualified. I'm working on the western side of the road past Merimere Reservoir. On Saturday I picked up where I left off in April, at the jersey barriers and heading north. Below you can see a couple Before and After shots. The idea is to trim back the foliage so walkers don't have to move far out into the road into the path of oft-zooming cars. At the same time I don't want to clearcut the area; the trimming should be aesthetically pleasing. Since I'd previously cleared larger foliage from this strip with my chainsaw, I only needed loppers and hedge clippers for Saturday's work.

While I've already trimmed the east side of the road, it looks like it could use some sprucing up; maybe later this year.

Saturday's work fell shy of the north end of the reservoir and will have to be completed another time. Of course, I picked up trash on the outbound leg but couldn't watch both sides of the road while concentrating on the western side. While working, a Good Samaritan came along and thanked me for my work. He then proceeded to tell me he occasionally brings a trash bag with him to do something similar but had forgotten today. Would I mind if he walked back to the park and picked trash out of the woods and left it in the road for me to collect on my return trip? Hell no! It would save me a lot of aggravation. The guy did  a thorough job.

On Sunday I returned to fulfill a special request and peform regular trail cleaning. I'd been told of a tall, slender oak tree at the top of the trail near Castle Craig that was vandalized, essentially bent in half. Left alone, it was growing tall and straight and had a promising future. Instead it now needed to be removed.

I started at the playscape and hiked the trails until I reached the tree.

While laboring through this tree with my bow saw, I encountered Good Samaritan #2 of the weekend. He applied pressure to the tree so my saw would not bind. It sped up the process.

I picked up the road from Castle Craig shortly and connected to the Blue Trail pointing me down toward I-691. Good thing I brought the bow saw for I encountered another tree across a trail. I wonder if this was toppled by the same person who bent the other tree as there was no reason why this tree should have fallen on its own. I see some strange stuff out here so it wouldn't surprise me. In fact, if you read on, you'll see things got stranger...

Done with the heavy work for the day, I continued picking up trash as I returned to the park. As I did, I came upon my Find of the Week:

For those of you not familiar with Libigrow, you can follow the link for a primer. You should also know the FDA thinks you shouldn't be using the stuff. You've got to wonder how some rogue pharmaceutical manufacturer can get away with putting a controlled substance such as sildenafil (the active ingredient in Viagra) into an over-the-counter herbal supplement. You've also got to wonder why people would even try this junk, risking their health.

I reached the park and tidied up the dirt parking area in the northwest corner of Mirror Lake. I walked the road around Mirror Lake back to the parking lot as a large patch of grass was cordoned off, presumably for reseeding (the trail exits onto the reseeded area). Anyway, something didn't look right as the cordon tape was torn off the stanchions. I hope it wasn't done so people could park there-the park was certainly packed with cars when I arrived earlier so it's obvious parking was at a premium.

I retied the tape to both stanchions but a key section was missing, leaving an opening for people to park there!

This would be an ideal place to post a surveillance camera and see how many people drive over the curb and park their cars on the area; a real study in human behavior.

The trash cans at the playscape were overflowing and I couldn't see leaving a bag on the ground, so I took it home with me.

Enjoy your Memorial Day, and remember those who died in service to our country.

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