Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hiking to the Rockbridge... or, "Gee, mom can sure run!"

Our last day in Ohio, we went to a sight we hadn't hiked to before, the rock bridge... located aptly enough, in Rockbridge. It was supposed to be 3/4 of a mile from the parking area to the bridge, taking the shorter of two loops.
The intrepid hiker twins forged ahead, leaving Mr C and I huffing along behind. I am amazed at how quickly one loses tone and endurance when walking is cut back from almost daily, to once a week or so. A few of the points in the trail were... steep. (huff hufff huff). Mr C soon got ahead of me as I stopped to catch my breath take pictures of interesting flora along the path. The path wended its way along the side of a pasture through fifteen foot high ragweed, which was just bursting into full bloom, and then into deep, shady woods. It was uphill every step of the way, in both directions.
So Mr C calls back to me, "Watch out, there is a hornets nest here by the trail! YEOW I just got stung by a hornet!"
So I stopped. I was fifteen or twenty yards from the nest. The hornets in Ohio build big paper nests, like deformed basketballs. This one was cantaloup sized, and not two feet off the trail.
Tom moved on ahead.
I stood very still several minutes, then detoured around the trail, giving the hornets nest a very wide berth. Hornets don't much seem to care whether you are trying to avoid them. They don't even care that you have stayed far from their nest... at least as far as one can get on a steep rocky hillside in the woods. They came after me for even daring to be within sight of their nest!
I will never be able to tease Chris about his fear of wasps again.... I screamed like a little girl and RAN, feeling them tangling in my hair as I swatted wildly around my head, running full tilt, pell mell down the steep trail towards the already stung Mr C. (Shhhh, I didn't say down the trail... It was up the trail... uphill all the way, both directions!)
I mentioned heavy woods and steep hillsides already didn't I? You know, these trees are supported by these pesky things referred to as roots. The path is choked with roots. The roots are all that keep the dirt from washing down the steep paths into the creek at the bottom.
The roots also make it really difficult to stay upright when running shrieking through the forest swatting at ones head, pursued by hornets. Especially when you hit the mud on the trail next to the footbridge.
 I did a lovely trip slip flip slide right into the mud at the end of the bridge.  I was flat on my back in the muck. Tom stomped the hornet that I slapped from my hair.  The rest of the (flock? crew? pursuers?) gave up and went back to guarding the trail.

Took me a minute to get up.
I was covered in mucky mud from shoulders to toes... looking every bit like I may of slid into second base on a close call in a rainstorm.

We hiked on to the rock bridge, where Dan and Sam waited. They hadn't seen the hornets nest at all. I got several pictures of the bridge... a natural expanse of rock spanning a creek, forming a rock bridge that people are actually allowed to USE.

We took the longer loop back from the bridge, and warned other hikers we encountered that they might prefer the longer route to the bridge... even if it was even more uphill all the way than the shorter route.

I am fine, no broken bones or other injuries, other than sore muscles from my muddy impact. Too bad the twins missed seeing the sprint... I bet they have never seen Mom run!

I was going to post pictures of the rock bridge, but it blends so perfectly with the sides of the gully it spans, you cannot tell by the pictures that there is even a bridge there.

1 comment:

Mom said...

When you told me to be sure to read your blog you did NOT warn me to use the "necessary room" first!!!!!! I'm sure it wasnt' all that funny 'at the time'. Glad you are home safely.