Skies were clouding over, with rain beginning in the afternoon. A nice day to stay inside, except we didn't.
Visit #1107, Saturday 18 November 17, 10:30AM to 1:30PM, 3.7 miles.
Visit #1108, Sunday 19 November 17, 12:00-1:00PM, mileage n/a.
Paul Bernier joined me on Saturday as assistant and project photographer.
Covering all the trails after a storm cannot be done in one week. There were yet trails to be cleared of fallen trees, three weeks after the storm, and I ran out of gas last week, leaving yet more unfinished business.
This week we would cover the Blue Trail as it climbs the western face of Merimere Reservoir, then hike another trail back down to the north end of the reservoir, forming a big loop.
For the most part, I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.
My project photographer was a little rusty off the start, and failed to take a Before shot. I just finished pushing the cut tree off the trail.
Reaching Castle Craig, we followed the road to another trail that would lead us back down to the north end of Merimere Reservoir.
At the trailhead, we found this stenciled graffiti. I searched all the gang and hate group symbol databases and could not find a match. Closest I found was the Aryan Brotherhood, but it's not close enough to warrant an association. I'm puzzled as to why someone would bother to carry the stencil as well as to put the mark where we found it.
The trail head was a few steps away. We turned right and went in pursuit of more fallen trees.
Done on the trails, Paul and I walked back to my car and took our litter bag with us.
Walking toward I-691 and the last tree for the week, I spotted some new graffiti which I'll hopefully take care of in the near future. While not part of the park but on the highway side of the fence, it's visible and close enough to be an eyesore. Funny thing though; it's obscured by brush as you drive on I-691 east and not really visible. Must have been painted by newbies.
Back to the last tree of the week.
Here you can see the tree resting on the cable guardrail.
But there was still more unfinished business. I returned to Hubbard Park via mountain bike on Sunday to get in some miles, cover that graffiti, and check one more trail in Hubbard Park for storm damage. The mountain bike comes in handy because I can cover a lot of ground quickly.
Enroute to the graffiti site, I discovered the Meriden Traffic Department replaced the stolen sign directing to East/West Peak.
Well, I expected Sign v2.0 to be more of a theft-resistant design. Instead, it looks like a duplicate waiting to meet the same fate. I don't think "different color" qualifies. It doesn't even have tamper-proof mounting bolts. I don't hold out much hope for v2.0 to last long either. Stay tuned.
Here's a closer, last look at the graffiti symbol.
High winds and colder temps made painting over it difficult, but I got the job done.
I left the scene and inspected the last trail, only to find a good number of trees to be cleared from this remaining trail. More unfinished business. 'Til next week...