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Waterfalls, spiderwebs, broken pinkies, broken glass, and snakes

Posted Jul 13 2010 9:40pm
Our summer this year has been a mixed bag. Not one where every day is different, but every 3 weeks, it takes a turn. We had a late cold spring, then 3 weeks of heavenly weather, then summer moved in on us with a vengeance. Follow that with 3 weeks of rain, and now we are really boiling with 80% PLUS humidity and temps in the mid to upper 90s. I feel like I need a machete to slice of a chunk of air to breathe. Seriously, I have thought about filling an air mask with ice to simulate a cool gasp of breath.

Saturday, after the RunnersWorld/Tatur poker run, and breakfast with 20 of our running friends, Dana and I hit the trails at Turkey Mountain for a few bonus miles. It was 93, and warm. Everything is so green. Normally, we have grass turning brown, and some of the more frail trees shedding leaves. But our trails are like running through a rain forest. All of the recent rain has all the streams flowing on the mountain, although a couple of dry days and that will end. This is one of the more impressive waterfalls on our trails. There are several out there, if you know where to look for them.
I tried to get Dana to come over to the edge so I could get an action shot--like her slipping on the slick-as-snot moss--and possibly cascading over the falls. Um....maybe not such a good idea.
Below the falls, we had a water crossing. There were no rocks to step over, and Dana entertained the idea of bush-whacking upstream or downstream, but when I mentioned all the chiggers waiting for her there, she forded the creek. And I was quick to follow. We had the trails all to ourselves this afternoon, and for most of the way, we were breaking spider webs. Dana usually runs out in front, which is perfect for me--except I am about 4 inches taller, so every now and then a well placed web catches my forehead. Nothing a good spiderweb stick can't handle though. This time of year, we always keep an eye out for snakes. There are plenty of snakes on our mountain--mostly non poisonous ones--but there are a few copperheads. All the snakes are fairly bashful and will leave you alone. We found this fellow laying on the trail maybe stalking a very small frog? It would have to be very small for this little guy to eat him. We stayed mostly on the trails that seemed to be less muddy, although we got our share. Dana evidently found a burr patch, and brought a good crop of porcupine eggs home. There is a newish trail on the west side that the mountain bike peeps have made. It connects a couple of pre-existing trails and makes for a 1/2 mile of twisting, winding, not too rooty, not too rocky single track. There is one particular section of this trail that is 150 yards of uphill, and for some reason, Dana likes to charge up full speed. (Never mind that I am still limping around on tender toes, and shot calves.) But on this run, she managed to kick a stump, and then take 2 or 3 recovery lunges before doing a full face plant. The last time she fell like this, she separated a rotator cuff and was out of commission for about 8 weeks. This time no bones were broken, but her right hand wrapped around her spiderweb stick, and her pinky finger rolled underneath it and she nearly separated it from the socket. She could move it, wiggle it, but the pinky and side of her hand was sore sore sore.
All in all, it was a good day on the trails, but we did cut our run a couple of miles short in order to get home so Dana could ice her hand.

We came in through our garage into our kitchen and were very surprised to find broken glass all over our kitchen floor. Somehow, the glass door to our oven had exploded. It is tempered safety glass, and when it breakes, it breaks into millions of tiny pieces, that take forever to sweep up.
Today is Tuesday, and we are still finding a piece here and there. The oven had not been left on--it had not been used in over a week. There were no signs of vandalism, nothing laying in the floor that would indicate the cats knocking something into the door. We are baffled. It's on my list of things to get fixed this week. That, and maybe to call Ghost Busters.

Last night, we got in a 4 mile power walk down the PAVED bike trail at the base of Turkey Mountain. It's always a few degrees cooler there since after 4:00, it is completely shaded. We saw not one, but two copperheads along the was as the darkness was setting in. The first one was dead--looked like a bicycle had ran over it. The second we almost did not see, and Dana nearly stepped on it. We were extra cautious the final mile of our walk! A word of caution--on warm evenings as it cools, snakes are on the move.
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