Sunday, August 2, 2015

Kindred Spirits


Another hot, hazy, humid July day in Hubbard Park.

Visit #965, Saturday 1 August 15, 5:50-6:30AM, 0.25 miles, and 9:30AM-12:15PM, 5.4 miles.
Temps in the 80's, sunny and very humid.

This week I had the pleasurable presence and turbocharged assistance of Paul Bernier.

First, a correction. Last week I attributed a large branch across a trail near the Soap Box Derby track to  my nemesis, Len. Turns out that wasn't the case and for that I apologize.

My first order of business this week was to remove that branch from the trail so I arrived at Hubbard Park at the crack of dawn for some covert trail clearing.

Too large to move by hand, I brought my comealong to silently clear the trail.

The sun rose as rapidly as I moved the branch, restoring the trail.

The branch actually broke off from the top of a tree which you can vaguely see in the center of the photo.

I packed up and walked a short clockwise loop around the retention ponds and back to the park, picking up trash along the way.

At 9:30AM, Paul and I started at the north end of Merimere Reservoir and walked the road up to Castle Craig.

Earlier this week I was riding my bike up to Castle Craig and spotted what looked like the doors to a piece of furniture someone discarded by the road side. I wanted to retrieve them and place them conspicuously for later pickup by the Meriden Parks Department.

On the way up the hill, Paul and I happened to find the remainder of the discarded piece of furniture and left it, along with 2 bags of trash for an easy to spot target to be collected.

Paul had hiked in Hubbard Park four times this week and remarked on the number of people he invariably finds at West Peak who are looking for Castle Craig. He made the wise suggestion the City of Meriden Parks Department should place a sign at the fork in the road pointing to Castle Craig since it's overwhelmingly more popular than West Peak. Heck, the sign post is already in place, just waiting for the proper sign. The smart money says paint the sign red so it stands out against the foliage. Double smart money if they paint the post red, too.

Just after passing the underutilized signpost, Paul and I thought we heard someone behind us shout, "Hey; you stealing my job?!"

Lo and behold, turns out we weren't the only people picking up trash in Hubbard Park. Kurt Marschner, lifelong Meriden resident, collected garbage as he hiked the trails up to West Peak, then on the road over to Castle Craig. Kurt was training for an elk hunting expedition later in the year. He had 30lbs. of weight in his backpack, too. A tip o' the hat to a kindred spirit trying to keep Hubbard Park clean. Keep up your training and the elk won't stand a chance!

The yellow bag is his trash receptacle.

Kurt continued on while Paul and I cleaned up around the parking lot at Castle Craig. Oh yeah; I found the discarded furniture which I spied earlier this week, and matched the materials we found down the road. We left everything at Castle Craig. I'll contact the Meriden Parks Department to pick it up.

Paul and I cleaned the trails from Castle Craig all the way down to Merimere Reservoir then walked the road north. Enroute we discovered some of the old wooden guardrail posts are looser than a five dollar whore. You can see by the color at the base of the post to the left of the photo that it is freshly uprooted.

At the north end of Merimere Reservoir we exited the park and returned to my car and our last bag of trash.

Next week, a little trail trimming. Until then, maintain.

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