Sunday, January 21, 2018

Tree: 1, Peter: 1

Hubbard Park was teeming with people on Sunday, enjoying a January Thaw day, which in case you didn't know, is an actual meteorlogical phenomenon. Click on the link to read about it. The playscape and the trails/road around Merimere Reservoir were also being used by people seeking treatment for cabin fever.

Visit #1119, Sunday 21 January 18, 10:40AM-1:40PM, 6.2 miles.
Temps in the mid-40's, sunny.

From the photo above, it's obvious there was skating on Mirror Lake on Sunday. It was the first time in more than 10 years. Kinda didn't match the barren ground, though.

It looked like fun, but I had a fight to finish with a fallen tree on the Blue Trail just below West Peak. The tree went the distance with me and my chainsaw last week. I ran out of fuel and failed to reopen the trail.

As I started out on the trail behind the bank of daffodils, I was surprised to find a newly fallen tree.

In last week's post I complained that it was either my poor chainsaw sharpening skills or the type of wood I was cutting that caused me such anguish. Here was my chance to test my skills against a different type of wood; freshly fallen oak vs. some dead tree of unknown type.

It was a beautiful, square cut and my chain traveled through it like a colonoscopy prep. If you've done one, you're laughing.

The curly shavings were a thing of beauty. Now my chainsaw was rockin'. Wonder how it will fare on my real adversary, which awaits near West Peak.

At the walkbridge over I-691, I found this empty pack of cigarettes and had a chuckle.

You see, on the back it reads, "Respect For The Earth" but I guess that only pertains to an all-natural product. As far as what the smoker does with the box, no respect is required!

I hiked over I-691 and up to the Blue Trail. At the trail intersection I came upon my Find of the Week.

This fully intact Under Armour Draft waterbottle with high tech, complicated flip top spout. Partially frozen contents, with a foam head. I was tempted to try it but who knows what kind of cruel joke could be inside? I opened it up and the tea tag popped out.

It's not my style but maybe I'll reserve it Hubbard Park use only as that's where I found it.

Now let's get to that obstinate tree and that grudge match.

If you recall last week, I had a problem working around the tree due to all the cold, standing water. I vowed to solve that problem this week and was hoping to test my fix. But Mother Nature was having none of it and froze the water so I didn't have to worry about wet feet. But just in case it was liquid underneath, I rigged up anyway.

Yessiree; trash bags and my Stabilicers to hold them in place.

The bell rang and the rematch was on. I completed the first cut I started last week, and dropped the far end of the tree.

But here my chainsaw was making that mealy dust instead of the chips on that oak tree back at the park. Clearly, the type of wood matters.

Now I had to finish the second cut I started last week, and get that sucka' on the ground.

I was successful, but burned through a lot of gas, and made another pile of dust. You can see on the left of the photo I started a third cut; even though the tree was on the ground the trail still was not clear. I managed a fourth cut to separate a small section, but it was too heavy to move alone.

Fortunately, along came a couple passersby who were more than willing to help me roll it out of the way. Now the trail is reopened, but not to my satisfaction.

Again, I ran out of gas before completing the job. This fight isn't over...

I hiked up to West Peak to check for litter and enjoy the views.

Looking south toward Broad Brook Reservoir.

And west toward Mt. Southington. You can clearly see the ski runs.

I walked the road until I picked up the Blue Trail, then made my way past the Halfway House, down to Merimere Reservoir, and back to the park. Enroute I came along Season of the Missing Glove 2018, Contestant #1. Or for the semantically inclined or anal retentive, Missing Mitten.

By the time I returned to the parking lot, there was a lot more activity in Hubbard Park, such as these people walking the road around the reservoir.

According to the definition of January Thaw, people won't be enjoying the weather for long as we'll return to cold temps by the end of the week.

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