Today was the day that I have been dreading for the last 2 weeks. I knew that there would be days during this exercise routine that the cards would be stacked against me, and I would not want to go out. My head hurt, my neck hurt, heck… everything hurt. Top it off with a long day at work and some storms moving through the area, and you have the perfect mix of excuses to take a ‘rest day’. I really struggled with it for a few hours, but in the end, I decided to force myself to get out and hit the trail. Winning that mental battle was probably more important than overcoming the physical aches anyway. I mean seriously, it’s was only day 4. It’s way too early to give in.
For those of you that don’t live in Kearney Nebraska, let me tell you about the trail system that I referenced yesterday. After years of work, the City installed a trail that runs from Fort Kearney, about 10 miles outside of town, all the way through town, past Yanney Park, past campus and the golf course, and out to Cottonmill. I know that’s gibberish to outsiders, but suffice it to say that the trail is a quiet, traffic free ride around the edge of town, even getting a bit ‘woodsy’ in places. I live close to the trail, and have chosen it to handle the majority of my routes.
There is a stretch of trail just past Yanney Park that winds along the Canal through a mile long swath of classic Nebraska landscape. Trees lining the canal side, and tall grass on the other. I found myself smack in the middle of that portion of trail just before dusk. I was enjoying the sound of the canal and concentrating on keeping my speed up when out of the thick bush lunged a beast, directly into my path.
I jerked the bike sideways, more as a startled reaction than an intentional evasive maneuver. A quick assessment revealed that my assailant was a deer. I know what you are thinking. “Ha ha, Wallace yelped like a little girl because a silly old deer jumped out in front of him.” Well smarty pants, I’ll have you know that it was more of a manly grunt, something more akin to the battle cries you would imagine hearing during a scene of BraveHeart, and it was no ordinary deer. It was a Grizzly Deer. A huge, ferocious Ghetto Grizzly deer.
Oh sure, I can hear you now. “There is no such thing as Ghetto Grizzly Deer Wallace.” Well, doubting Thomas, I assure you that there are. You‘re probably the kind of person that doesn’t believe in Big Foot, Loch Ness, or unicorns, and enjoys stealing candy form little kids. Well open your eyes my friend. These animals are real and in some cases, they are out to get you. So give the poor kid his sucker back, and be quiet. I’m telling a story.
Well, back to the Grizzly Deer. He had handlebars hanging from his neck on a thick chain, obviously stripped from one of his previous victims. Reflectors dangled from his ears like earrings, further testament to his previous exploits. This was obviously a tough animal. As a matter of fact, I am almost certain that I saw an NRA bumper sticker just under his tail, which he so graciously raised high in the air revealing his butt to me in a very mocking fashion. He ran in front of me for a surprisingly long time, obviously sizing me up, before turning right and heading off into the field. I’m sure he did the math and realized that he had no chance of pulling off anything crazy with me. He thought it best to just moon me and ‘exit stage right’ before things got hairy. Smart deer. Save the crazy stuff for the guys on roller blades.
The last I saw of him he was headed for a thicket, where I am sure his friends were waiting to greet him with pats on the back and comments like; “That was awesome dude!”, “You totally got that guy!”, and “You should have seen his face!”. He was obviously and adolescent deer. One that needs a little more parental supervision.
Stupid teenage Ghetto Grizzly deer. I blame the rap music.
Well, aside from the attack by the bloodthirsty deer. The ride went well. I won a metal victory, and burned another 9 miles of rubber in the process.