Sunday, December 20, 2015


December views from West Peak.

Visit #992, Saturday, 19 December 15, 10:00AM-12:30PM, 5.2 miles.
Temps in the high 30's, sunny.

Visit #993, Sunday 20 December 15, 11:00-11:30AM, mileage n/a.
Temps in the mid-30's, sunny.

Thanks again to Paul Bernier, who joined me for the third consecutive week in maintaining Hubbard Park's trails.

I hadn't hiked a long route in many weeks so this would be a chance to catch up. We hiked in a clockwise direction, over I-691 and up to West Peak, where today's opening photos were taken. We cleaned up the area and the parking lot, then walked the road over toward Castle Craig.

Enroute, we discovered the Meriden Parks Department has added a couple small tree trunks to the telephone poles at a trailhead to keep SUVs and trucks from driving down there.

I had requested the telephone poles some time ago and was disappointed when the poles delivered were considerably shorter, and easier for vandals to move, than expected. And that's exactly what happened a few times since installation. I expect these will be similarly displaced. Anybody want to wager a bet on how long before they're moved?

This fall I asked for a couple truckloads of leaves be dumped on top of the telephone poles since the city was picking up leaves city wide and they have to dump them somewhere, but that didn't happen. Oh well...

Nearer to Castle Craig, while picking up some trash discretely hidden behind a tree, Paul made our first discovery of the week:

I took it home and charged the battery; it powers up but the touch screen doesn't work, which may explain why it was discarded.

After cleaning up the area around Castle Craig, Paul and I hiked down to the Halfway House then down to Merimere Reservoir, where Paul made our next discovery.

Considering the temps, this beer was ice cold and ready to drink.

I'd received notice that the Parks Department was "thinning the brush along the water on Tower Drive", which is the road around Merimere Reservoir. I was eager to discover whether it was clearcut or more selective. Paul and I were pleasantly surprised at how good the shoreline looked and as he said, it gets the Paul and Peter Seal of Approval®! Below are "close enough" Before and After photos.

The new view has it's pluses and minuses. On the plus side, it reveals the vista of the mountain. On the minus side, it enables people to throw their trash farther, possibly landing in the water, and the tree canopy did contribute to the appeal of walking the road. The trimming doesn't reach very far up the road and I'm not sure how far the Parks Department intends to trim. Stay tuned for updates.

Paul and I turned around and walked the road back toward Hubbard Park, where I scored the best discovery of the day, spying it from about 75 feet away.

Lunch money!

Back at the park we dropped off our trash for the day.

But I wasn't done for the weekend.

While passing the Halfway House on Saturday, I discovered some new graffiti. Looking for a place to take a bike ride on Sunday, I opted to ride my mountain bike to the Halfway House at Hubbard Park to take care of it.

Looks suspiciously like Grumpy Cat. Hey; just Google it!

Fortunately, I keep a can of flat brown spray paint on hand for just this occasion. But frankly, it doesn't flow that well in 30 degree temps.

While I was at it, I took a short ride on the other nearby trails. Good thing I did.

Shortly after discovering this tree across the trail, I met another hiker who told me of another tree which has fallen across another trail. I plan to take care of both trees next week.

Looks like I've got my work "cut out" for me. Yuk yuk!

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