Sunday, May 22, 2016
Castle Craig sits proudly after being cleaned of graffiti earlier this week.
Visit #1015, Saturday 21 May 16, 9:15-11:45AM, 5.3 miles.
Temps in the mid-60's, clouding up with showers forecast for this evening.
Earlier this past week, Castle Craig was defiled by residents of the shallow end of the gene puddle.
The incident was newsworthy enough to attract WFSB-TV.
Coincidentally, one of those interviewed for the WFSB-TV story was my occasional assistant and ally in Hubbard Park, Paul Bernier. AND coincidentally, while he was up at Castle Craig, he met the other interviewee, Sharon Milano.
They began to chat and Paul mentioned my work in the park. Through Paul, Sharon contacted me, interested in helping out. Thus was born Saturday's work session.
Sharon's no slouch herself in the volunteer department; Check out her Facebook page devoted to activism in Meriden. There you can also read her take on our activities Saturday as well as see some photos. Sharon did a yoeman's job, unafraid to get dirty pushing wood around, and picking up other peoples' trash.
The three of us had our work literally "cut out" for us as last week I discovered a large oak tree had fallen across one trail, and Paul had reported to me of another tree across a trail closer to Castle Craig.
We started our clockwise loop and stopped to clean up the dirt parking area at the northwest corner of Mirror Lake. Then on to our first tree.
Paul looked at the tree and realized this was gonna be WORK.
Sharon's presence freed me up to work the chainsaw while she and Paul tossed the wood aside. Our triple threat proved a real time saver.
The tree was so large I was near running out of fuel, so I stopped short of a complete job to save the chainsaw for the next tree. Nevertheless, between the three of us we established a clear path.
Over I-691 we went, and up the trails to the road to Castle Craig, where we encountered the second tree.
I had enough fuel left to cut this up while Paul and Sharon did most of the bull work removing the pieces from the trail.
Onward to Castle Craig, where we cleaned up the parking lot and surrounding area, and got a chance to admire the work of the Meriden Parks Department crew's work of eradicating the graffiti.
I also discovered that the Season of the Missing Glove is not over. These are numbers 12 and 13.
Back at the park we deposited our trash for the week.
But something was gnawing at me; I didn't do a complete job of removing the oak tree from the trail for fear of running out of gas. What to do?
Visit #1015A, that's what! I returned to Hubbard Park Sunday morning at 6:30AM in a light rain to open up the trail more.
Without Sharon and Paul to help, muscling this extra cut of wood off the trail was a task.
Nevertheless, I completed widening the trail in just under an hour.
Thanks again to Paul Bernier for his assistance and to Sharon Milano as well. As long as Meriden has people like them, the future looks bright.