Good Friday. The trail beckons.
Visit #1129, Good Friday, 30 March 18, 3:30-7:05PM, 4.5 miles.
Temps in the high 50's, cloudy, then light rain.
Visit #1130, Easter Sunday, 1 April 18, 1:25-5:00PM, 4.8 miles.
Temps in the 50's, partly sunny.
I was all set to go to work on Friday when, unbeknownst to me, we had off. BONUS!
Now I had an eight-hour day with nothing to do, so I chose to use part of that free time continuing to clear the trails from March's several nor-easters.
I set out under cloudy skies, hiking up to near Castle Craig, then turning right and hiking the Blue Trail high above Merimere Reservoir, packing my chainsaw.
Somewhere near the retention ponds, I found this trio of like-flavored nip bottles. I wonder whether they were savored all at once or on individual days?
BONUS! A working flashlight, no less, and in next to new condition. I'll add it to the various things I keep in my backpack, which I'll display later.
Before I began the long descent along the ridgeline, I took in the view east, of South Mountain and Meriden.
I then began encountering fallen trees, and clearing them from the trail.
Here I had two trees in quick succession. Don't put the saw away!
Ooops; no After picture here; just what I removed.
In the photo above, you can see the road in the background. It was about this time that it began to rain. A bonus, but an unwelcome one for sure. I would be walking the road back to the park with waning daylight and rain, but I continued to pick up litter as it would be a waste of my time otherwise.
Along the way, I would check the brownstone drainage pipes which catch water runoff and channel it into Merimere Reservoir, to see if there was any litter in them. First one I poke my head into and what do I find?
It seems our Jim Beam Red Stag drinker gets around.
I poke my head into the NEXT drainage pipe and...
Okay; they switched flavors but not brand...
So I poke my head into the NEXT drainage pipe and...
By now it became a guessing game as to what flavor nip bottle I would find.
I got thrown for a curve on the next drainage pipe.
And the last drainage pipe didn't disappoint, either.
So we know what they drink and we know their route. It will be interesting to see how long this continues.
I returned to an empty parking lot wet, but not drenched.
I went home and laid out the contents of my backpack to dry out.
Rather than wait until next week to finish my work clearing the trails, I decided to return on Easter Sunday in better weather, and make a go of clearing the remaining two trails.
The remaining trails parallel the road up to East/West Peak.
Enroute, I came upon the persistent Christian graffiti artist, who's fond of the King James version of the Bible. I documented their other work in this blog from September through November of 2017.
I hope to remove this next week.
Nearing the start of the next trail to be cleared, I came upon more graffiti, over other graffiti I'd previously painted over.
Here again, I found similar graffiti, in a nearby location, in November 2017. With the lengthening days, I might be able to take care of both pieces of graffiti by combining them with a mountain bike ride this week. Stay tuned.
Now, onto the trail. There was so much fallen material that I almost ran out of fuel for my chainsaw. It's all documented here so you don't think I'm a slacker.
Here's the largest tree of the day.
This trail ends at the same location as yesterday's trail, so I again walked the road back to the park, but under drier skies this time-BONUS!
I tossed it under the fence surrounding the water treatment plant, hopefully out of reach of sticky fingers and back into the hands of the water department on Monday.
Shortly after that, I was passed by a stream of dirt bikers and an ATV, heading toward the gate.
Just how did they plan to get the ATV around the gate at the end of the road? It was too far for me to see what was going on, so I later asked someone walking up the road-they told me the group actually lifted the ATV over the gate! I would presume they've done this before and it wasn't a case of sudden inspiration. The dirt bikes fit through the bollards, which inclines me to suggest installing a system of bollards much like those at the end of the walkbridge over I-691 (Perhaps use the funds in the Hubbard account?), especially since I recently saw some presumably inebriated Harley-Davidson rider try to fit his bike through the existing arrangement.
Better design (Walkbridge over I-691; image purloined from another blog.)
I returned to the parking lot which, in contrast to Friday's gloom and rain, was a mob scene.
I dropped off my bag of litter and called it a day. Due to all the cutting I did on Sunday, I ran out of time and gas to complete the last trail on my list. That will be next week's task.