Sunday, January 3, 2016

New Year Surprises

Visit #995, Saturday 2 January 16, 9:30AM-12:00PM, 5.7 miles.
Temps in the 30's, sunny.

Thanks to occasional assistant volunteer Paul Bernier who joined me this week.

The road is closed, it's cold, and as a result I've been finding less and less trash; things have been looking pretty good in Hubbard Park. But there are always surprises to be discovered.

We started a clockwise loop and before even reaching the walkbridge over I-691, we found our first surprise.

Somebody found a geocache box and never bothered to put it back nor put the lid back on it. All I found was the lid, until about ten steps away I spotted the missing lower half and contents.

I took it home where I dissected the contents to see if I could learn who the owner was as well as let it dry out-the contents were soaked from last week's rain.

Boy Scouts are no dummies, and wisely labeled the guestbook with all the info I needed to send the troop an e-mail to see if they wanted their geocache back. I'll let you know if there's a reunion.

On to New Year's Surprise #2. Missing Glove season is in full-swing.

Up over the highway we hiked, to the Halfway House, then up to Castle Craig. Paul and I then walked the road down and back to the park. Due to the time of year, the weather, and the fact I'd just picked up trash on the road last week, it was remarkably clean.

Rounding Merimere Reservoir, to my surprise I spied what looked like a rock climber, high above the water. Since I never saw any movement or ropes, I couldn't be sure, and they sat there for a long time.

Some distance away on another rock face was another surprise, a rock climber dressed in pink.

With the reservoir level so low, we could spot trash on the expanded shoreline. Walking among the rocks we came upon a most unusual surprise.

Paul and I kept finding lengths of chain and dozens of these rock climbing fittings, identified by the brand name stamped on them. They were made of stainless steel so regardless of how long they were submerged, they were rust free. Only after arriving home and researching what they were did I learn we'd found probably about $75 worth. I can only wonder why someone threw them so far into Merimere reservoir.

With Paul's bag so loaded down with the weight of all that metal, he had to drop his bag of trash at the water treatment plant.

We continued down the road back toward Hubbard Park, only to run into our next surprise.

Well, there was no money in his wallet and considering where I found it, I assume it was stolen. I redacted all the important information from the photo. I brought the wallet to the Meriden Police Department so they could reunite Ricky and his wallet.

I dropped off my trash for the week, including that piece of a sawhorse.

The surprises weren't over.

A good friend of mine, his wife, and their dog did a little Adopt a Park in Hubbard Park themselves.

Here's their version.

On New Years day Sue and I hiked up to Castle Craig with our boy Charlie.
Below Charlie poses on Sergeant Rock.

Pete have you seen the poor US of A flag?

From the castle walked the road back and past two cyclists working on winter training.

Charlie needed a job so we let him carry a glove.

With no sign of Pete in the park I had to cover the holiday.

With only my bare hands I removed the dead pine from the road.

On the the way in I spotted these bottles near the water plant. I picked them up on the out.
This was the only garbage I saw on the whole hike, very clean Pete.

Why is my bag of garbage so much smaller?

Thanks to Dave, Sue, and Charlie for their surprise!

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