I think I made it! I think the long, hot summer and especially July and August are in my rear view mirror. I expect there to be a couple more hot days or weeks, but I think the brutal, humid swamp-like season is o …. v …. e ….r!! And I made it! I now have about 9 1/2 – 10 months of manageable, tolerable and hopefully even sometimes beautiful weather ahead of me. I can breathe……
Saturday morning I went with the Louisiana Hiking Club to hike a trail at the Acadiana Park Nature Station near Lafayette. It started off bad when I parked at Academy in Lafayette. I parked over an enormous dead snake that stunk to high heaven. Then, we loaded into other vehicles and headed over to the trail.
The hike was definitely in the swamp, and there were huge spiders on spider webs all over the place. My hair and spider webs don’t mix. In fact, one spider seemed to want to dive in and make himself a permanent home when his web got stuck in my curls. He made a fast track toward the canopy of my curls. My girlfriend Katina was screaming at me to back up so maybe he’d come off. She’d tossed away her spider stick that she was using to move giant webs out of our way, so I was left with head shaking as my only weapon. He finally got caught on my trail mix bag, and I was able to hang him on a limb. It was a close call, and it wasn’t a tiny spider.
I pretty much decided that swamp trails should only be hiked in the dead of winter when the snakes and newts and spiders are sleeping. But I met some really cool people, and we had a great lunch at the Nature Center where we all shared about upcoming club events, hikes and even had a drawing for some fresh honey from one of the members. It turned out to be really fun.
I got home, washed the spider webs out of my hair and headed over to Strawberry Stadium for the first home game of the Southeastern Louisiana University football season. It was a ton of fun seeing folks that I haven’t seen since the end of last season, and we couldn’t have ordered better weather. I know I’ve acclimated down here. I grabbed my jacket at around halftime because I was getting cold. I looked at my phone to see the temperature, and it was 70 degrees. Ha! When I lived up north, I’d have been putting on shorts and fanning myself. I guess I’ll be a winter weenie along with the rest of these rednecks down here now. Lions won!! They are 2-0 now.
This morning I walked outside in my long-sleeved shirt and decided I’d do my run a little later and in the woods somewhere. I decided on Tickfaw State Park which is about 45 minutes away. I stopped at Trader Joe’s and stocked up for the week before I left so I could cook when I got home. I got some amazing looking organic multi-colored carrots. I can’t wait to eat these babies!
Trader Joe’s is ready for fall!
Tickfaw was beautiful. It was a little muddy, but the temperature was just right. I was supposed to run 4 miles this week, but we ran almost five. I stopped in the middle to do my daily meditation since it was so beautiful out. I heard a crow cawing at me. Crow is supposed to be the messenger from the spirit world, but I couldn’t understand a thing he was saying. If they want to give me a message, they are going to have to do it in English, I suppose. Anyway, it was nice to sit in nature and hear all the living things moving around me while I was still. I wish I could do that everyday.
It was a really fun weekend, and I had plenty of time for socializing and peace and quiet. I caught up with some friends today by phone, and I’m going to go to my meeting tonight and do some reading. I made a sort of “dirty rice” with grass-fed beef, brown rice, okra, garlic and onions sautéed in olive oil. That combined with my roasted carrots and rutabaga will give me a few meals to kick off the week. My stomach was a little upset this morning because of the junk I ate yesterday, but I’m feeling much better. Good quality protein and lots of fruits and vegetables are making me feel back to my self again.
As far as I’m concerned, it is now camping weather. Once the temps get below 70 or so at night, I can sleep outside. Next weekend I hope to get the tent out and go north. I won’t camp in the swamp until it’s colder. I have to do an 11-miler next weekend, so I may go to Bogue Chitto State Park where they have a 7-mile loop trail. It’s nice, and I could just do it once and pad it with 4 miles on the roads. It’s either that or I may go to the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Who knows where I might end up? If it’s raining, I may not go anywhere. Anyway, it’s fun to dream.
I hope y’all have a good week and enjoy the fall weather that is upon us.
P.S. These roasted carrots are divine.