Visit #951, Saturday 2 May 15, 9:50AM-12:10PM, mileage unknown (My new pedometer is junk.)
A week after the Daffodil Festival, I always have to clean up around the Halfway House. That's where the fireworks are launched from and for some inexplicable reason, neither the fireworks company nor the Meriden Parks Department cleans up the area afterwards. The area is littered with debris from launching of the salutes and shells. The only difference this year was an added surprise.
Fortunately, I had help this year from stalwart part-time assistant, Paul Bernier.
I did not have access to a rake and carrying a full-size rake, which is needed for this job, is a pain. Paul came through with a mini-rake which he had on hand-small and was easy to carry.
We started at the Soap Box Derby track and hiked a counterclockwise loop. In 10 minutes' time we reached the water treatment plant and had collected a full bag of trash, which Paul hung from the fence so the water department personnel could dispose of it later.
At the south end of Merimere Reservoir we picked up the trails and pointed ourselves directly to the Halfway House.
To our dismay, not only did we encounter the usual aftermath of the fireworks' launch, but this year hundreds of feet of caution tape marked FIRE LINE-DO NOT CROSS. It also must have implied DO NOT REMOVE THIS TAPE AFTER YOU'RE DONE.
You would think the vendor would clean up after themselves. The leftover tape is a "first" for me.
Anyway, after removing the tape, I got down to business with Paul's mini-rake cleaning up the area. The mini-rake made for slow going but it was better than nothing.
After restoring the area to some semblance of clean, we continued on our route covering all the trails below Castle Craig, then crossing over I-691 and returning back to the park, where we deposited 2 more bags of trash.
I'm already preparing for 2016. I found a backpackable, full-sized alternative to Paul's mini-rake:
Look for a product report next year!
Maybe I should buy one for the fireworks company as well.