Sunday, June 30, 2013

Irony, Part II

Visit #803, Sunday 30 June 13, 4:20-7:10PM, 6.8 miles
Temps in the 80's, with dense fog, and extremely high humidity.

I titled this post, "Irony, Part II" because last week I walked the road from the park to the north end of Merimere Reservoir, while this week I worked my way backwards down the road from the Castle, completing a cleaning of the road.

I hadn't been up to the Castle in many weeks and thought the parking lot might be in real need of cleaning. I rode my bike up there on Sunday morning to confirm and get an idea of how much work would be involved, if any.

So I began by the playground and walked my way to the reservoir, up to the Halfway House, then up to the Castle. While the heat wasn't so bad, the greater than 90% humidity left me drenched. The conditions also brought out the gnats and mosquitoes; the bugs were worse than the sweating.

The humidity, combined with the cloudy skies, made it impossible to see Hubbard Park proper from the Castle.

Believe it or not, you're looking from the Castle parapet wall down toward the park, which is usually in view.

By the time I was done picking up trash around the Castle and the parking lot, I had filled my first bag.

Among the goodies I found were someone's dreams of winning the lottery. I'd guess it's still a dream for them.

On the short stretch of road from the Castle to the fork between East and West Peak, I'd filled another trash bag as well as found a bag of trash in the woods.

I walked down the road scanning both sides and swatting bugs at the same time.

By the time I reached the north end of Merimere Reservoir, where I turned around last week, I filled a third bag.

Heading toward the park, I found these tires dumped in the tall grass. I pulled them out and placed them roadside.

Back at the playground, I deposited my fourth bag.

Actually, I guess the past two weeks' sessions coincidentally worked out well, for the trails and the road should look pretty good for the July 4th holiday.

Enjoy the holiday!

Sunday, June 23, 2013


Visit #802, Sunday 23 June 13, 8:40-11:15AM, 4.25 miles.
Temps in the low 80's and sunny, with higher temps and humidity forecasted.

Some early morning hikers beat the heat, hiking the ridgeline to the Castle before 9AM.

I was on-call this week thus limited to my range, so I chose to walk the road to the north end of Merimere Reservoir and return, collecting trash on one side of the road at a time.

Outbound, I quickly filled one bag and, not wanting to leave a bag on the side of the road if I could help it, left my first bag albeit partially filled, at the water treatment plant. By the time I passed by on my return leg, the bag was collected by water department staff on site.

Some of the unusual items I found on the road Sunday were:



And at least 7 "nip" bottles of various flavors. 

Then I started finding more and more of these:

"Naturally Green". Oh, really? That's ironic; why did I keep finding them as litter? As I continued to pick up these pint sized waterbottles, a passerby explained they were left over from a fundraiser run for pancreatic cancer. Events like this are for a good cause, but the organizers should have greater restrictions placed upon themselves regarding policing up after their water stops, especially in such an environmentally sensitive area such as a reservoir.

On the return leg to the park, I came upon this hiker who pointed out this gate at the south end of the reservoir has been unlocked for years, allowing cars to drive up to the Halfway House. This hiker also pointed out that vegetation on the road to the Castle is encroaching into the roadway and in need of being trimmed back, which I observed myself before we met. Just an FYI to the Parks Department.

I reached the park and dropped off my second bag of trash. Good thing I dropped off the first bag at the water treatment plant as this bag was completely filled.

At this point I was under 2 hours time spent, so I walked an out-and-back of the road for the Soap Box Derby track and picked up trash.

I leave this week with a peaceful view of the road as it disappears toward the Castle.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Back In The Saddle

Visit #801, Saturday 15 June 13, 12:15-2:30PM, 3.5 miles.
Temps in the low 80's, sunny, dry, and pleasant.

After spending the last 6 days in the hospital, I didn't have the energy to execute any grand plans. I did however, have some painting promised from my last post which I wanted to complete.

There was some recently commissioned graffiti at the Halfway House which I wanted to "decommission".


I killed time while the paint dried by tidying up the area inside the Halfway House. Must've been a wild time or some cheap condoms. Either way, looks like they were prepared:

Rain from the past week dropped a number of trees or branches. I managed to move them without tools or drama:

Here's the rest of the tree:

Back over I-691, this branch fell across the trail. I watched the couple in the background confound their way over it and knew it had to be moved now, if I could. I wrestled it trailside.

When I started today's session, the gate across the Soap Box Derby Track was closed, and presumably locked. However, upon finishing my hike, I found the gate open, which it never is. Just an FYI to the Parks Department. Maybe the lock is gone?
(Addendum: I rode through the park on my bike Sunday morning and found the gate properly locked.)

Turns out I'm not the only one picking up trash in the park. While crossing the walkbridge over I-691, I met a woman who saw me picking up trash and she commented having picked up 6 cans last week. Good for her.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Slacking Off

Geez; what a slacker.

Uh, I had a little problem this week which precluded fulfilling my weekly duties.

I took a 6 day vacation at Mid-State Medical Center. I was diagnosed with a case of chronic Good Looks with a severe Charm infection. Both conditions were resistant to standard drug treatments. Doctors then tried a new, experimental drug called Realitycheck-oxane(ifyouthinkyourefunnyyouredreaming citrate).

Doctors prescribed the hospital smock as well to hide my physique effectively increasing the drugs' effects.

Results are promising, but I'm being cautioned they may only be temporary.

I should be back to normal by next week.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Beat The Heat

Visit #800, Sunday 2 June 13, 7:25-9:40AM. 4.4 miles.
Temps in the low 70's, high humidity, with both rising quickly. Sunny.

The trees formed a tunnel here which I found difficult to capture regardless of my camera settings. That means you'll have to check it out for yourself. I hope it's been partially due to my faithful pruning.

This early Sunday morning session was chosen to avoid the continuing oppressive heat of the past week.

I scoured all the trails below the Castle and judging by the amount of trash I collected, I'd say it was too hot and humid last week for the litter-prone. No complaints here.

I found some new painted graffiti at the Halfway House about which I hope to provide a detailed report next week.

You can see by the hazy sky the humidity was up. You can also barely make out on that stone "stool" some of the graffiti I referred to.

Heading west then over the I-691 walkbridge, I discovered someone spent their own money to hang American Flags from the fencing. I'll keep an eye on them.