Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Even after hundreds of trips up and down the trail, a previously unseen relic of railroad days catches my eye. Yesterday I spotted a ring post lurking in the trees and brush. It's on the inbound side along the horse farm in Lexington, nearly opposite the boardwalk entrance to Parker Meadow.
Landscapers have opened up the end of Hancock Avenue at the trail, removing trees, brush, and a rusty old barrier made of rails.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
I hardly ever see bicycle lights along the trail on account of only being out on fair days. By chance I saw both a headlight and a taillight this morning, both as I neared Mill Street. Even in full daylight, the new LED lamps are a great aid to being seen. I had no trouble picking out the dwindling red taillight when the rider was 200 yards ahead of me. The best bicycle lamp of my childhood -- powered by Raleigh's front-hub generator -- was dim and fragile by comparison.
Today: 4.5 miles. This year: 166.9 miles.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
There was a widespread brush fire in Arlington's Great Meadows on Friday, burning a large portion of the open area and threatening nearby houses. The Friends of Arlington's Great Meadows have a map of the burn (pdf). The taste of soot was still in the air today as my wife and I walked along the Minuteman Trail west of Fottler Avenue and then onto a short loop of the Great Meadows Trail (pdf).
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
I skated west from Lexington Center to Bedford Depot Park today, relying on Yury's report that the trail was clear enough for all activities. That's nearly so, undercut only by some sand and gravel at Bedford Street, followed by rotting ice across the path just west of there.
Today: 8 miles. This year: 15.7 miles.
I skated west from Hurd Field into Lexington yesterday and found the trail much clearer than I expected. There's some gravel at Fottler Avenue and some ice in the shadow of Maple Street. I turned back at the private driveway between Seasons Four and Woburn Street, where there was only a narrow strip of wet pavement surrounded by melting ice.
Arlington's all clear.
Yesterday: 5 miles.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
While the trail is nearly skateable, many ramps are still thick with ice. I stopped at Hurd Field with a spade this morning and cut a two-foot-wide slot through the ice on the ramp. The drainage and exposed pavement should make the remaining ice melt away much sooner than it would have. Once the trail dries out, I should bring a broom instead.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Sunshine and warmth raised my hopes that some part of the trail might be clear enough for skating. Full-width puddles, streams of runoff, and some scattered ice fields dashed those hopes for today. Even so, I walked from Thorndike Field down to Alewife Station and up to Arlington Center and found the trail quickly clearing. Online there are renewed plans for plowing in Lexington, although probably not until first the ice melts and later it snows again.
Last year a commenter remarked on some old signs in East Arlington that face away from the trail. One is east of the trail, roughly facing the end of Chandler Street and the other faces White Street to the west. The first has traces of lettering and the second is completely effaced. The top line might end in MPING. DUMPING FORBIDDEN is the best fit I could think of. My photo of the face was washed out by strong backlighting; you'll have to look for yourself.
Today: 2.7 miles walking. This year: 2.7 miles.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
The long-vacant Brattle Pharmacy, 1043 Mass. Ave. in Arlington, has a banner on the Brattle Street side announcing that Quad Cycles and Team Quad will soon be there. Much like their old location in Arlington Heights, they'll be just a couple of blocks off the Minuteman Trail at an access point with stairs. Either shoulder your bike or get off at Ryder Street instead.
Updates: Ted Packard reminds me there's a ramp from the trail to Washington Street, just 50 narrow, bumpy, semi-paved yards from Brattle Street. And after driving by from the other direction, I see there are posters advertising the new tenants on three sides of the building.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Even after plowing, the trail is a brighter white than your freshly-washed sheets.
Today: 0 miles. This year: 0 miles.