Shookies Pond, Wallingford Land Trust
January 16, 2015
Am I a jerk?
No, really. Am I?
Yeah, probably to some degree. If you’ve read my Wallingford Land Trust pages, you probably think I’m a jerk. I’m an observational editorialist with years of experience. If a trail or property is not worth your time, I’m going to tell you.
Of course I fully understand that these properties and trails are mostly maintained by wonderful volunteers – volunteers with other stuff to do. And I LOVE them all. And I certainly appreciate ALL land preservation and conservation.
And I love taking my boys to random little properties to walk short little trails. And finally, I love writing about those experiences.
I am not alone. Other blogs and websites exist, and most of you know that my friend Peter Marteka writes a weekly hiking column in the Courant. Another guy out there is the CT Explorer. He does some freelance writing for (at the least) the Record Journal papers. He, unlike me, is not a jerk.
He also has the ability to make a fairly crappy property sound pretty cool. Take, for instance, his article about Shookies Pond. Go read that. It’s nice.
You can stop reading my page now.
What? You’re still with me? Sigh. Okay, here goes…
I arrived at the trailhead with my two boys, who were initially excited that we’d be hiking along a train track. But first, we passed what is, sadly, all-too-common with Wallingford Land Trust trailhead signage:
I’m not blaming the land trust, as it’s impossible to keep up with the idiot vandals who like to destroy this sort of stuff. And since idiot vandals don’t read CTMQ, I’ll save my breath. I could have gone with the linked article’s way of describing this: “Signs on the trailhead kiosk had faded and were unreadable,” but as we’ve established, I’m a bit of a jerk.
The trail itself is a wide, straight path that parallels the tracks. Of course we had to check them out, as any right-minded little kids would want to do.
That was fun. Back to the trail and into a little dip across a worn plastic pipe connecting Shookies Pond to a trash-strewn culvert under the tracks.
Oops, I mean, “A few hundred feet into the trail, it dips down to cross the stream coming from Shookies Pond,” in Record Journal parlance.
I’m so bad at this.
We passed by Shookies Pond, which is not pretty. It sits below some houses and condos and probably nitrogen-polluted with golf course run-off, and is very small. All I want to know is why it’s called “Shookies Pond” and why its name isn’t a possessive.
After the pond, the trail sort of peters out and does a little lollipop loop through some brambles. The Tradition golf course is, literally, a few yards away from the trail at this point, adding to the ambiance. Some guys were on the course. On January 16th. Which is totally normal now.
Then we walked back to the car the same way we came with a whopping hike total of maybe half a mile.
At least Calvin found some ice to prance on.
Summation: There’s really no reason for you to hike this hike. I did it because I got on a “hike everything I can hike in Wallingford” kick because that’s the sort of thing that I do. And I rather enjoy doing stuff like that.
In my little world, this short little hike was a success because my little Calvin loved the little adventure of walking on train tracks. And Damian found some odd little things interesting along the way as well. Despite everything you just read, we had fun.
Which, really, is what it’s all about.