I received an email from Alicia last week asking to join her on a midnight rendezvous at Afton State Park. How could I resist?
Running through the park-in the dark-at midnight-when most sane people are sleeping. An offer that was incredibly enticing.
John, Kevin, myself, Alicia, Tom, Pierre, Helen, Maria and Amy all met at the visitor center before midnight. We applied mosquito spray, donned headlamps and headed out into the dark woods. Fabulous!
As we were running the race course I noticed two bright, round lights just past a large tree. My first thought was that it must be John spooking me, as he had been running just up ahead. Eventually I voiced my find in the woods. "Look at those two lights, is that someone else out there or what is that?" It was the first of many, many deer, peering back at us as we were interrupting their nighttime rest.
A while later I saw Pierre and Kevin stop abruptly, I heard raised voices. As I walked up to them I saw what Pierre almost ran through. A HUGE circular web with a large spider attached to the middle. Creepy! Pierre could have had that web spread across his face.
We continued to run and as predicated, within 2.5 hours the thunderstorm began. Loud cracks of lighting with booms of thunder followed. There were a few very scary bolts of lighting that were loud, that had struck something out there and lit up the sky like the fireworks on the 4th of July.
It felt warm and humid during our run so the rain was actually welcomed. The storm we could have done without.
Eventfully we reached the lot and were welcomed by Nancy. She was at the park, early this morning, to begin a wonderful breakfast of grilled grass fed beef burgers for us! We changed out of our wet clothes - except Pierre who forgot dry clothes - and reminisced about our hours on the trail as we were drinking hot coffee and eating burgers, a mixture of salads, birthday cake for Tom and brownies for a second dessert.
A wonderful way to spend the dark dark hours; running with fabulous friends. I'm grateful to be a part of such a wonderful friendship.