A quick trip to Southern Pines, NC this weekend brought me back out to the Weymouth Woods area. A nice, flat, sandy trail network about a half a mile from the in-laws' house. I set out around 10:30 am for a very warm and muggy 9 miles. The heat hit me about 3 miles in, on one of the "climbs"... I think it was mainly dehydration at work so I stopped for a water fountain and loaded up on fluid.
A mile more down the trail I came across a 2 foot snake in the trail. I grabbed a sturdy stick and tried to urge him out of the trail. He did move in his time but not before bowing up, flattening his neck and loudly hissing back at me. A ninja snake if I have ever seen one. So I moved along and got out of his way.
After another 2 miles I reached the boggy areas of the network again. This is where all of the flies were, the big biting flies... I swallowed a few and was coughing one up when I came around a turn, verbally cursing the flies. I looked up and saw a middle aged man on the trail in front of me. I saw that he was walking with a staff and a pack. Since I was coughing loudly I assumed that would make him aware of my presence.
The single track here made it difficult to pass so I slowed down... waiting for him to acknowledge my presence. As I reached a couple of strides from him I noticed he was listening to an Ipod... surprise, surprise... Just about this time he realized there was something within "striking distance" of him. He stopped, turned toward the "threat" and prepared for battle. His stance wide, holding the staff in classic fighting position... staring at me in a menacing yet foolish manner. I gently held my left hand up and met his gaze. I passed by him, leaving him to think about the situation. After a few seconds and strides passed I heard his words chase after me.
"You should get a bell," he blared with embarrassment.
"...or maybe just an Ipod," I harked back to him.
What a character. Well, I finished up my run... headed back to the in-laws and eventually spent the rest of the day driving home and sleeping; not simultaneously. Upon arriving home I was so inspired by the day's events that I just had to watch 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon'.