Monday, May 29, 2017


Overcast skies dominated the holiday weekend, but the temps were decent.

Visit #1076, Saturday 27 May 17, 9:00AM-12:00PM, 6.2 miles.
Temps in the low 70's, cloudy.

Visit #1077, Sunday 28 May 17, 10:30AM-12:30PM, mileage n/a.
Temps in the low 70's, cloudy.

Thanks to David Ross who proved he's a glutton for punishment or merely missing a few common sense brain cells for his return engagement assisting me on Saturday. Most people would stay away-far away...

After posting a couple weeks ago about discovering some renegade mountain bike stunts, and my effort to remove them, I received an e-mail from a Hubbard Park frequenter informing me of an illicit mountain bike trail being constructed elsewhere in the park. My goal on Saturday was to find and eradicate it.

Dave and I walked west, and over I-691, where we encountered a sign some "snake" had fixed to the fencing so westbound drivers could be entertained.

I know you're dying to find out what it said.

While I commend the person for their effort taking the time to construct the sign and carry it all the way out to Hubbard Park, and while I may even agree with the message, I don't condone it as it's an eyesore. It had to go.

Dave and I continued to pick up litter and trim the trail as we made our way to West Peak, where we cleaned up the surrounding area. Unfortunately, while doing so I discovered the frequent Hubbard Park graffiti slithering snakes "JK" and "Bomb" (I refuse to call them "artists") have taken to the rocks at West Peak. Both have appeared several times in Hubbard Park. They need help.

I filed everything under my To-Do list, and moved on.

Dave and I cleaned up the West Peak parking lot, then hiked down a trail in search of the renegade mountain bike trail. We never found it.

At the end of the trail we walked the road back to the park. Enroute, at the north end of Merimere Reservoir, we saw some REAL snakes.

Actually, there were two Northern Water Snakes. See if you can spot both in the photo below. They're in the middle, and at the bottom end of the branch.

Back at the park, we dropped off our haul of litter for the day.

Since Dave and I failed in our Saturday mission to find the mountain bike trail, and I had the West Peak graffiti on my plate, I decided to use the long holiday weekend to return to West Peak and address both tasks.

I drove up to West Peak and armed with the perfect tool kit, went to town covering the graffiti on the rocks, something I'd done once before.

I put the paint away and went in search of the trail made by those other snakes. Fortunately, I'd been in contact with the person who first informed me of the trail. Armed with a more detailed description, I quickly located the trail and proceeded to block it with brush, as well as dismantle the rock landings they built.

After. Looks quite different, no? Note my trail dismantling tool in the foreground; compact and effective.

It actually paid to walk this trail because I found some trash on it, which I picked up on the way out.

And when I was done I surprised myself and did something I never do during my weekly forays in Hubbard Park-I returned to West Peak and sat down to enjoy the few. I took off my backpack and used it for a pillow and took a short, light snooze.

While relaxing, I watched some turkey vultures taking advantage of the thermal updrafts. Fortunately,  they didn't have any ketchup, otherwise I might have been lunch.

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