Things that buzz, circle, swarm (& occasionally hiss) are all dangers of the woods that trail runners come to expect. In small doses, I can handle. I’ve somehow even gotten used to yellow jackets – it’s inevitable that we’ll come across a nest a few times a year. But ground hornets are a different breed of buzzy things. Maybe it’s their size, their number, or how they seem to just come out of nowhere (ie, invisible holes in the ground). And they just circle their prey until they find the perfect landing spot.
Our Wednesday night run was at one of my favorite spots tonight – the North Chickamauga Gorge section of the Cumberland Trail. The trailhead is always crazy, but once you fight through the rednecks, miles of luscious singletrack await. And if you persevere, 5 miles down is a secluded swimming hole that is always a treat on a hot day.
Tonight however I had work waiting for me to finish, so I cut my run with the group short and headed back solo. I passed some latecomers that warned me of bees on the way back (Chris remembered I didn’t like them. That was an understatement.) I went a bit further down, and whoa, they were everywhere. I backtracked to wait it out a bit, but those suckers were not taking a break. Meanwhile, my anxiety was building – not a good thing during a stressful week. (insert full-on anxiety attack here.) Finally, 20 min later, the first fast guy was on his way back. Yeah!! We ended up doing a crazy bushwack around those flying devils. Crisis thankfully averted.
Of course I won’t avoid the trails… it’s the part I love most… the peace and the escape. But I just might have to cross the North Chick off my list until they hibernate again. (or someone goes out there with a flamethrower and destroys every last buzzing terror).