A Spectacle to Behold – A Pair of Senior Sprinters

As I ran, I scouted out places where I could jump off the road and hide.   Why did I ignore that hunch…that premonition?

In preparation for this walk, just after we parked the car, I had said to my walk buddy, “Do we want to go down that road today?”  I even pointed down the lesser isolated road, “What about taking this one instead?”

“No, I want to go down this one,” she said.  “It’s more treed and if it rains, we won’t get as wet.”

Long and Isolated

Long and Isolated

Off we went down the dirt road where a small cluster of houses sit about 1 kilometer in from the open road.  After this tiny, isolated and very private community, the road winds another 7 kilometers to a well fenced, gated and expensive home on the waterfront.  The property is the end of the road and the owners are seldom present.

I shrugged off my uneasiness and decided not to let it spoil the walk.  I said to Dawn, “I’ve been having this period of heightened consciousness – or whatever it is.  Everything about nature is profoundly vibrant, alive and beautiful to me.”

“That’s cool.  And here I’ve been sad over the feeling of winter rains already beginning,” she said.

I thought of how, the night before, I had thrown open doors to greet the fresh, wet air.  As I took several deep breaths, relishing the cool sweetness, I looked over at my woodpile, golden in the outside light, stacked and ready for winter fires.

Life’s simplicity had been arousing intense feelings of gratitude for me.  I’d been wondering about these agreements we make before we incarnate.  I felt so blessed to have my very ordinary life that would likely bore the extraordinary out of others.IMG_0838

Dawn and I passed the handful of homes and looked for the small bog surrounded by huge cedar and fir trees. I said, “Someone told me that seeing that intense beauty is being in the zone.  I asked what being in the zone really meant.  He said it’s sharing the space and view with the Creator.  Seeing what Source sees.  I like that idea.”

As we wound our way through the rain forest, birds fussed over our presence while Dawn and I caught up on each others week.  The world spins around our weekly appointment.   Only family or an emergency are allowed to interrupt our walk.  Each of us relish the spiritual refreshment it provides.

After an hour, Dawn said, “I think it’s time to turn around.”  She’s a sprinter – wants to walk hard and fast for one hour.  Then it’s time to hit a restaurant.  I’m the opposite; more of a pacer.  I like a brisk walk, but will slow it down so I can walk for hours.

As we started back down the road, a car was coming our way.  The motor was working hard – whining and chugging up over the big hill not far from us.  My heart sank.  Obviously this was not a vehicle that would be driven by the owner of the expensive property.  Who would be out here in a vehicle?

We stepped off the road as a junky, dented and rusting white car approached.  Two men.  Their speed picked up on the straight stretch in front of us.  As they came within a few feet, the car slowed slightly and we saw two grubby looking, unshaven men in their twenties.  They passed with wide grins on their faces and, thankfully, kept going.

“That looks like trouble.” Dawn said.

“I don’t like the feeling I have.  Let’s walk faster.  If we hear the car coming back, let’s quickly hide somewhere.”

“Dammit!  I left the cell phone in the car!  I don’t even know if it’s charged,” she said.IMG_1291

We began running.  I saw deer trails veering off into the bush.  I watched for trees big enough to hide behind.  I looked at depressions where I could hunker down unseen.

I loathe running, but what comfort knowing my yoga, my exercises and my walks had paid off.  Pumped with adrenaline, my body was ready to carry me to safety.  My lungs were even operating well.  Not bad for a woman diagnosed with COPD.

I told Dawn as we ran, “If they come back and if it looks like they plan to do anything stupid, both of us HAVE to yell from the depths of bellies.  Make sure you go into your belly.  Let rip with the loudest yell you can muster.  It surprises attackers.  Those few seconds will give me a chance to get out of my backpack.   I can use it to hit them.  I’ve got my camera and my water bottle in there.”  Puff.  Puff. Puff.

One and a half kilometers loomed ahead before we’d reach the tiny community.  Would anyone hear us if we shouted?

“My hearing is bad,” Dawn said.  “Would you hear the car if it was coming back?”

“My senses are so keen right now, Dawn, I’d probably hear an owl fart!”

Finally we reached the falls.  A half kilometer to the houses.  On we ran.

Suddenly, as we were coming over a rise in the road, I spotted a white head of hair.  “Dawn!  Someone’s ahead of us.  Thank God.”  White hair meant another older person, but two young dudes would think twice of trying anything with three people!

We raced towards the woman.  Dawn recognized her, “Betty!  Do you live around here?”

Betty said, “What are YOU doing out here?  I just live through this trail and down on the other road.”

We quickly told Betty about our fright.  She’d seen the car, too, but she was amongst the houses when it went by her.  “There are some scary looking people who live in the bush in various places along this road.  But there’s no need to be frightened.  I walk along here alone all the time by myself.”

Yes, I thought, but your trail is near the little settlement and well away from this road.  Dawn and I had just been a couple of kilometers into nowhere!

After a few minutes of Dawn and Betty exchanging status reports on their artwork, Dawn and I carried on into the wee cluster of safety and onward to the car.

“Well!  That was an adventure!” Dawn said.

“Yah!  And now I’ll confess about my premonition.  I didn’t feel at ease about taking this road today.”

“Ah…that’s why you asked about which road to take.  I was sure I’d told you the plan.”

“Well, premonitions are a funny thing, Dawn.  I don’t ignore them, but here’s what I don’t know:  Was my premonition about meeting up with scary men or was the premonition about the fear we just experienced whether they were scary or not?”

Dawn said, “Whatever.  Who knows?  But one thing for sure…for a pair of 68 year olds who hate running, we just did one helluva good sprint.”

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10 thoughts on “A Spectacle to Behold – A Pair of Senior Sprinters

  1. oh my. here’s to good legs and lungs and please to listening to premonitions. because, seriously, two 68 year old, fit women are no match for two young men should they be angry and aggressive. Sorry, for a moment there, I put on my mom hat!

  2. So glad things turned out just fine. It reminds me of a time in Ohio when my two golden retrievers and I came out into a clearing to be surrounded by a pack of coyotes. I had the same feelings while walking our usual route in the woods that day, but ignored it. When I saw them I knew it was for real. I always thought the dogs would protect me, strangely they pressed against my sides and were shaking, looking to me for a decision.We back tracked a little into the woods and watched two deer come running out into the clearing from our right, another coyote chasing them, the pack followed the deer, we were not the target. Needless to say, we hurried our way back to the car which was still a few miles away. Do you know for sure if you would have cell service there where you were walking? Is there such a thing as walkie talkies or a hand held CB that would be hooked into the local police dispatcher? I am so glad that you were not walking alone, but still think someone should know where you guys are going and know when you are home safe.Where you are walking is beautiful but rather remote. Hugs to you Amy

    • Yes, we do have cell service in that area. There’s a fair number of people who live off the grid – “live off the land” folk – and those who are used to seeing them have no fear or qualms. We were under the false impression that no one except the property owner or other hikers parking at different spots used the road. Betty gave us a reality check – and rightly so. If we lived in or near that area, I know we’d have the same reaction.

      At the end of my road, a couple operate a rather funky, casual and very rural B&B. They’ve attracted a clientele that includes motorcyclists – Harleys mainly – and the couples on those bikes look pretty tough “no nonsense” – tats el al. The first time I heard four of those rumbling machines whiz by my place, I gulped. Now I’m used to them and actually feel good about having them around. After all, if there was something scary going on in the ‘Hood, I’d have no qualms calling on them for help.

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