Visit #1026, Saturday 23 July 16, 8:00-10:50AM, 5.9 miles.
Temps in the 80's, expected to exceed 90. Sunny with high humidity.
I recently reported on the potholes on the road up to Castle Craig/West Peak, and subsequently marked them and contacted the Meriden Parks Department about filling the holes.
This week I received an e-mail from Chris Bourdon, Assistant Director of Parks and Rec, telling me the potholes were filled on Wednesday. I wanted to inspect the work so I chose to walk the road up to West Peak and see the work in person.
Thanks are in order to Paul Bernier, who joined me this week in keeping Hubbard Park's far reaches cleaner.
We walked the road all the way from from the playscape to West Peak, starting early in the morning to avoid the heat and the cars. Reaching the water treatment plant we came upon our Find of the Week:
Looks like Carl Kolchak lost his hat. I wonder what supernatural phenomenon he was investigating in Hubbard Park. Or perhaps maybe that bear ate him but spared the chapeau...
We reached the first patched potholes.
As I walked up the road, I noticed the Meriden Highway Division didn't miss a single pothole I marked! I returned to the park on Sunday to test them out, riding my bike up to the radio towers then back down. Clearly, the sun through the trees makes it hard to see the potholes, even at my decidedly pedestrian downhill speed of 37mph. Leery of clocking a deer darting across the road, I kept my speed to something more reasonable but still managed to run over a number of the patched spots without so much as a shaky handlebar.
The patch job done by the Meriden Highway Division gets my Seal of Approval. Hats off to Robert D'Agostino and his crew for listening to our needs and coming through with stellar results. If you're reading this and benefited from their work on the road, send Robert an e-mail and say so.
Paul and I reached the fork in the road to East/West Peak and deposited a pair of trash bags for later pickup. The endurance runner in the photo is NOT to be thrown out with the trash. He had been running laps up the road SINCE 5AM! Mind you, it was roughly 9:30 when we met! When we spoke to him, he was done, cooked, finito, and was merely waiting for his brother who was also running.
As I rode by the spot on Sunday morning, I noticed the bags had started to be eaten through by either the bear or some other critter. In the future I hope to be smarter and carry extra bags should I plan a return trip by bike.
We reached the parking lot at West Peak, where a crew was working on Saturday to excavate for the installation of upgraded electrical service for one of the radio sites. Paul is in the photo scouting around the trucks for trash.
We headed down the Blue Trail and back to the park via the Halfway House and the trails. At the south end of Merimere Reservoir, I checked on the shrouded lock at the gate. It has been cut again. This time it lasted roughly 3 months.
Clearly, the shroud over the lock needs to be longer to inhibit the reach of bolt cutters, or perhaps the entire mechanism should be relocated at the bottom of the gate where it may be too low for boltcutters to gain access.
Enroute to the park, we encountered a guy and gal walking and the guy recognized me, saying he learned about Hubbard Park by reading my blog-how cool is that?
"Paul"; if you're reading this yes; I was the person who removed the fallen tree you mentioned. That was back in December of 2015. If I recall correctly, Paul was impressed that it was removed so soon after it fell. He even remarked, "The roots were still fresh!" We here at Blog Central aim to please.
Back at the parking lot, we deposited our second pair of trash bags for the day, avoiding the increasingly oppressive temperatures of the afternoon.
Lastly, I have reported in the past about someone maliciously bending over slender trees along Hubbard Park's trails for some inexplicable reason. I learned this week that there's a name for this activity; it's the top definition of "Coloradoing". What we're experiencing is the Yankee version of the er, pastime, because in Hubbard Park they're targeting deciduous trees.
Until next week, maintain.