Sunday, October 16, 2016

Goodbye To An Old Friend, Hello To A New Friend

It's prime hiking season. The leaves are in technicolor mode and crunchy underfoot. With mild temps and sunny skies, it doesn't get any better than this.

Visit #1040, Saturday 15 October 16, 11:30AM-1:20PM, 3.9 miles.
Temps in the mid-60's, sunny and dry.

My backpack finally died. Maybe 15 years ago, certainly pre-blog, I bought my backpack from L.L. Bean. I put some serious thought into my purchase. I needed a top-loading backpack to hold my chainsaw when  working on the trails in Hubbard Park. A top loading backpack meant no strain on zippers, and it would hide most of the chainsaw from the public, making my forays into the park a little more discreet. I wanted external bottle holders for easy access to drink. Lots of pockets was a must. The L.L. Bean fit the bill.

When 2 zippers began to fail a couple years ago, I spent $100 having them repaired. I liked the pack so much I didn't want to give it up. But one of the zippers failed again, and I knew it was time to let her go.

So today you'll see my replacement. It doesn't quite have the same features as the L.L. Bean but it DOES hold a chainsaw albeit externally. The benefit is I don't have to wait for it to cool down before I store it. The maker, Dakine, has a cool video about it


Like two dogs sniffing each other's butts, I have to get used to this pack; break it in and familiarize myself with its features.

Well, I didn't need the chainsaw today but the backpack's capacity came in handy.

I covered all the trails below East and West Peak, looping back and forth to ensure I didn't miss any. Up near the beehive fountain, I came upon my Find of the Week.

The women's fleece had a Salvation Army emblem on it; the coat was a Ralph Lauren pea coat.  Definitely not cheap stuff.

Inside the fleece I found a pair of gloves.

Inside a pocket of the pea coat I found this card.

A short distance away I found this hat. I'm inclined to believe whoever wore the hat wore one of the jackets.

Who would forget this kind of clothing? I have some conclusions in my head; I'll let you form your own.

Fortunately, all the items fit in my new backpack. I washed the fleece, hat, and gloves last night. I'll have the jacket dry-cleaned then donate everything to Goodwill.

On the Yellow Trail, I found a fallen branch which needed cutting. The Dakine pack is taller than my old one; it carries both my loppers and hedge clippers with more room to spare.

Further on, I found this rock on a tree stump. Jed has tried to immortalize himself.

I returned to the park to drop off my trash. And here's the debut of my Dakine backpack. The external lopper sleeve is trick!

But wait; there's more!

Earlier in the week I'd read in the Meriden Record-Journal that there would be a food truck festival in Hubbard Park on Saturday. With that knowledge, I initially planned to enter the park early Saturday morning to guarantee parking and avoid the crowds. Alas, I had a colossal brain fart, putzed around on Saturday morning, and forgot about the festival.

Fortunately, I managed to grab the last parking spot near the playscape when I arrived as the festival was just opening. After my weekly duties in Hubbard Park I was hungry, so I braved the crowds and grabbed some food truck food.

Last October my day in Hubbard Park coincided with a food truck festival. I tasted the poutine, and I SWEAR I'm still burning off the calories from that bomb. This year was no different.

These are fried parmesan cheese balls with a side of sauce.

Gotta have dessert. Full disclosure; I only ate ONE of the donuts with the meal. I exercised extreme self-discipline and saved the other donut for Sunday breakfast.

My pedometer indicated that, after my work in Hubbard Park, I burned approximately 390 Calories.
Something tells me that after eating at the food truck festival, I'm not running a caloric deficit...

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