Sunday, November 15, 2015

Before The Crack of Dawn

Visit #984, Tuesday 10 November 15, 6:05-7:30AM, 2.7 miles.
Temps in the low 40’s, cloudy with rain developing later in the morning.

Visit #985, Saturday 14 November 15, 6:00-8:35AM, 4.9 miles.
Temps in the low 40’s, partly cloudy.

Visit #986, Sunday 15 November 15, 6:05-9:15AM, 6.1 miles.
Temps in the 30’s, sunny and warming up to the 50's.

I hit Hubbard Park three times this past week and every day I started before dawn. No one I know would argue against my need for beauty sleep; this week gave me a serious surplus of ugly but seeing the park awaken each day was worth it.

Tuesday, a scheduled dentist's appointment gave me a few hours to squander in the morning. I thought I'd sneak into the park before anyone else might stop and question what I was doing.

Last week I reported the signs at the gate to the road being tagged with graffiti. While I reported this to the Meriden Parks Department, I didn't think they'd get to it within my impatient time frame, so I decided I'd take care of it myself.

Researching the best methods of removing magic marker from signs, I packed for bear:

Turns out I was wrong about the Meriden Parks Department. They jumped on this faster than a prom date and when I arrived, both signs were clean. A tip of the hat to the Meriden Parks Department for their quick response.

What to do with all the time I had on my hands now? Why not take a short hike and pick up some trash on the trails?

Dawn gave way to cloudy skies with rain forecast later on that morning. The forecast was spot-on.

Find Of The Day were these TWO empty packages for survival knives. The blister packs were suspiciously hidden behind a tree.

Each knife "Includes: Sewing Kit, Safety Pin, Buttons, Fishing Line With Hook, Matches With Flint Paper, Compass, and Carrying Sheath". Someone planning for Armaggedon? A Boy Scout who litters?

I dropped off my trash for the day and beat the rain.

Saturday morning I again started before the sun had it's coffee and read the newspaper. I wanted to continue with my Current, Soon To Be Revealed Special Project. This necessitated finishing before anyone else walked toward the north end of Merimere Reservoir.

I progressed on my Current, Soon To Be Revealed Special Project and continued north around the reservoir, picking up the Blue Trail rising high above Merimere Reservoir. I don't hike this trail often because it sees very little trash.

Reaching Castle Craig, I turned down hill where I spied my Find of the Day.

Unlike Donald Trump's ego, I was able to deflate the ball so it would fit in my trash bag.

Along the way Saturday, I ran into a hiker who told me of a tree fallen across another trail at the north end of Hubbard Park. Since I will be on-call the next two weeks and won't be able to venture far into the park, and I didn't want the fallen tree to appear ignored, I chose to return to the park before dawn AGAIN on Sunday. This would give me another opportunity to use my chainsaw on my Current, Soon To Be Revealed Special Project .

As I walked the road in the waning darkness, I spied this long submerged traffic cone which was uncovered by the receding shoreline of Merimere Reservoir.

Reaching the north end, I dropped off the traffic cone with a small bag of trash for later pickup by the parks department.

Then I turned my attention to the trail with the fallen tree.

After clearing the trail I decided to burn off the remaining gas in my chainsaw by dropping any dead hemlocks along the trail so I wouldn't have to worry about them later. It would no doubt save me a few future trips to keep the trail clear.

I returned to the park with a small bag of trash then headed home to catch up on that lost beauty sleep.

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