Sunday, October 18, 2015

Village Creek Ghost Running With Snake Hunters

Rather than drive to Dallas to go to the last day of the State Fair of Texas I opted instead to do my usual Sunday thing by being a Ghost Runner in Arlington's Village Creek Natural Historical Area.

As you can see, the current chilly temperature, in the mid-70s, required extra outerwear so as to keep warm.

As I ran along in one of the most isolated locations in the Village Creek zone I came upon a young lady and her boyfriend acting all frazzled, looking intently for something. I figured their dog had run off.

I stopped and asked what they were looking for.

Snakes, was the reply. Snakes? Asked I. Yes, snakes, said the young lady. She told me further down the trail they had almost stepped on a real big snake. I told them they really had nothing much to fear, that I'd only seen a few rattlesnakes, water moccasins and copperheads in this park. That, and the temperature is so chilly cold-blooded snakes can't move too fast. So, no danger.

Later on my run with the Indian Ghosts I came upon the same couple again, still walking slow and intently watching where they were walking. I think they must have been visiting the Great State of Texas from somewhere up north or west, due to the irrational fear of snakes, which is a malady I suffered from when I first arrived in Texas. I remember just the walk to the end of the driveway to pick up the morning paper made me nervous, sure was I that snakes were lurking about.

All these years later I have only had a few encounters with venomous snakes. Those being a rattlesnake in Cedar Hills State Park, a copperhead, cottonmouth and water moccasin in Village Creek, a cottonmouth on the Horseshoe Trails on Lake Grapevine and a copperhead on the River Legacy mountain bike trail.

None of my venomous snake encounters have come even remotely close to me getting a snake bite, with the closest encounter being that rattlesnake on the DORBA Trail in Cedar Hills State Park. That rattlesnake was BIG, coiled up and rattling its tail right beside the trail. I heard the telltale rattle before I saw the snake. It was within striking distance as I zipped by, but it remained coiled and rattling and did not attempt to kill me.

I slept in way past my norm this morning, vertical well after the sun had arrived to do its daily lighting duty. I did not make it to my morning swim til around 8. The pool was cool due to the newly arrived cooler temperature, but even though the pool was cool it was still doable to have myself a mighty fine time seeking endorphins via water aerobics.

The running/jogging thing has really kicked in. It no longer feels awkward. It feels natural. And no aches or pains. Knock on wood. I did some bouts of running as fast as I could today. We'll see if that brings me aches and pains by tomorrow morning.  I suspect I will be pain free.....

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