Sunday, July 19, 2015

Graffiti Weekend, Part II

Even at 6AM, you couldn't avoid the heat and humidity.

Visit #963, Sunday 19 July 15, 6:10-10:15AM, 6.75 miles.
Temps in the mid-80's, with humidity that could wilt Tammy Fae Bakker's hair!

Last week's post saw me tackling some graffiti in Hubbard Park, and finding more. This week I planned on addressing all the graffiti I found.

For the former, I received an e-mail requesting I leave alone the stone marker in the future, no doubt due to the aesthetic sensitivity of the marker.

I did however, received the go-ahead to tackle the latter. You see, the City of Meriden has a high pressure water-based graffiti removal tool which should take care of graffiti.

I just so happened to take a bike ride through the park mid-week and discovered the parks department tried to use the device on both locations, with mixed results.

While I didn't photograph the stone marker after it was treated, I did capture the graffiti on the spillway after the parks department tried to remove what I found last week. I don't think the results were as attractive as when I painted over other graffiti.

During that mid-week ride through the park, I also discovered some new graffiti on the water tank at the south end of Merimere Reservoir. Credit is due to the Meriden Water Department because they painted over it before the weekend, when I could capture a "before" photo. The last time I painted over graffiti on the water tank, the water department must not have liked my choice of color because they promptly painted over MY work with their color of choice. This time I was going to give the water department a couple weeks to tend to this before I took matters into my own hands, but I didn't have to and it saved me some work.

The top photo shows the paint covering the earlier work, on the left, and the newly covered recent graffiti, on the right. The lower photo gives you an idea how large the new tagging was.

My agenda was to walk the road from the park all the way to West Peak, where my mid-week ride discovered a lot of trash, then hike back to the park.

Starting at the gate, I came upon my first Find of the Week.

Just past the south end of Merimere Reservoir, at the jersey barriers, was my first work site.

I laid out my tools and went to town.

Finished, I continued to pick up trash as I walked the road north to my second stop, at the spillway at the north end of the reservoir.

I think paint looks tidier than pressure washing; what do you think? I wouldn't be surprised if it's quicker, too. This took maybe 15 minutes, tops.

The only company I had this early in the morning were geese just slumming around.

I packed up and thought I was finished painting for the day when I noticed some new graffiti on the concrete blocks in the background of the photo above. Fortunately, I could reuse my plastic paint tray which I already resigned to my trash bag.

There was also some graffiti on concrete blocks further to the right, so I took care of everything in one shot.

I packed up my gear and marched up the road toward West Peak, collecting trash along the way.

I then ran into my second Find of the Week.

Remnants of a child's toy from the days when childrens' toys did not have touch screens and wi-fi connections.

By this time I had a full bag of trash so I left the bag and the child's toy on the roadside for the parks department to pick up.

I found a discarded bicycle tube which I took home, tested, and found to have a hole in it. As a cyclist myself, I find it unconscionable that a cyclist would litter like this.

At the fork in the road to East/West Peak, I sat down on the concrete blocks to take a break and drop some sweat between my feet. It was pretty brutal out there, even at 9AM.

While regaining my strength, I noticed more graffiti on the concrete blocks I was parked on. My roller wouldn't work well on the rough finish. Good thing I brought a brush as well.

Onward to the parking lot at West Peak, where I picked up trash around the parking lot and left a second bag.

I picked up the Blue Trail shortly thereafter and literally the "coolest" thing happened-on a trail surrounded by high rock walls, the temperature almost instantly dropped what felt like 20 degrees! It was incredible relief from the high heat and humidity.

Sadly, the cool section of trail quickly gave way to the high temps again.

Back at the park, I deposited my third and last bag of trash.

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