Tuesday, June 9, 2015

A Day In The Forest

Awake. 5 a.m. on a Saturday morning. And nearly 12 hours later, we called it a day. A day in the forest.

Saturday, I was Cliff's personal SAG support as he ran a 60K (37.2 miles). It was a trail race through the Francis Marion National Forest.

Yep, right in there with the snakes, yellow flies, poison ivy and a couple of good ole redneck boys wondering why the heck all those people were out there running around in their neck of the woods.

Cliff had been looking forward to this race since he volunteered last year....riding the route on his mountain bike checking on the runners. When the race began Saturday morning, the temperature was in the 70's and by early afternoon had risen to 90 degrees. It was a hot one, y'all. As Cliff ran from point to point, I drove to meet him and offered him fluids or food and moral support, clean socks and dry shoes, and not the least of all.....a foot massage. I had a lot of duties. And towards the end, I was there for a quick little break for him to sit inside his air-conditioned vehicle. I spent the major part of 12 hours in his Jeep.

Finally, late that evening, Cliff received his little gold medallion showing that he is a 60k'er. I'm so proud of him! That little gold medallion represents more than that....it represents tenacity, pure grit and determination and a realized dream. God love him, Cliff has lofty goals. And just as he doesn't accept the words no or I can't from you, he doesn't accept it of himself, either.  He's gonna be sore and tired and sore and worn out for a day or so. And by the time he has recouped from this adventure, he will probably be planning his next one. In fact, I'm sure of it.

So, wanna know what I did all those hours, in addition to SAGing?

1) I started a new John Grisham book.....Gray Mountain. Grisham is probably my all time favorite author. And Sycamore Row is probably my all time favorite of his books. It was awesome. Go read it! And then let me know how you liked it.

2) I took many pictures. Some of Cliff and some of wild flowers that I've never seen before, especially in the forest and one of a yellow fly. Oh, wait........OMG! I wish I had taken one of the tick that I found on me Sunday morning......well, maybe not. We just don't want to go there, ok! It was disgusting and I freaked a little because I could not remember how people tell you to get them off without leaving their head imbedded in your skin. So, I grabbed the rubbing alcohol and a Q-tip. I began dousing him in hopes that he would suffocate or something. Nothing! The little sucker wouldn't come out.

Cliff said: Just pull him off.
I said:       I can't, I just can't! His head will stay in my skin. I might get Lyme disease!
Cliff said: I've pulled a million ticks off me. Just do it.
I said:       I can't, you do it. (And, he did! Gross!)

OMG! That creeped me out. Who knows if it's head is still under my skin. But, if in a few weeks I start complaining of not feeling well and have flu-like symptoms.....remind me of the tick! For real!

Here he comes....

.....and there he goes.

Where he stops....
(You can barely see him, but that's Cliff down at the end of the trail.)

.....nobody knows.

Wild Phlox


A little bee having a swig...

Horse Nettle

I don't know what this is, but maybe one of you do and can share it with me.
(Edited to say that I sent this to a blogger who knows about flowers and he thinks it is a Pickerelweed. They grow along ponds and in ditches, which is where I saw it. Thanks Jim of jfowlerphotography.com!)

Butterfly Milkweed

There's just so much beauty in the forest, if you take the time to look for it. But, don't wander around too long without bug spray or you'll get bit by one of these....

...a deer fly...we also call them yellow flies...
.....or TICKS!



  1. Both of you do a great job of staying in shape and challenging yourselves! Way to go.

    Your mystery blue blossom looks like the wild lupine we have growing up here. Could lupines survive in our wildly diverse climates?

    1. Well Mama Pea, after doing a little googling after your comment, it does appear to be some sort of lupine. However, I found someone that shoots wildflowers and orchids from our forests around here and have asked him to take a look at my flower to confirm it. I'll let you know when I hear back from him. Thanks for your keen eye! Oh wait, did you know that the lupine is in the Pea family?

  2. What an accomplishment! I'm very impressed! And what a great encourager you are! Clean socks and a foot massage...awesome.

    Yuck on the tick! They creep me out, too!

    1. Thank you, Betsy! He's got another big adventure coming up in August. You'll have to look for that post, when I write it. I will be kayaking beside him as he swims 4 miles in Lake Waccamaw. He'll also ride the bike, run and kayak in the same race. Yikes! That will be an all day'er, too. Yeah, that tick was a definite creeper! Cliff found one later on his ankle. Ha! And I declare, I may have gotten a red bug or two. The things we do for our husbands!

  3. Love love your pics. keep em comin

    1. Thanks Darlene. I've been following you on Facebook....for some reason, I can't get posts from Wordpress. It's weird! But please know, I'm reading your posts on Facebook.

  4. Great photos and congrats to Cliff!

    I love Grisham books - Sycamore Row was great. One of my favorites was The Last Juror. I even loved Playing For Pizza.

    1. Thanks Carol! And I didn't know you were a Grisham fan. Like minds! Ha!

  5. I have so much respect for people who push themselves like that . . . not only the run, but the humidity and the heat, oh my! Thanks for sharing your Saturday with us and for the cool photos:)

    1. Thank you, Connie! Yes, heat and humidity are formidable factors that one needs to consider when doing races here.

  6. Congrats to Cliff, my husband is similar. So sorry for the tick, ewww. I hate finding one on me.

    1. Thanks, Rebecca! Yep, ticks are ewww!

  7. You are so supportive! No wonder you son pushes himself to be the best he can be. loved the wild flowers.