Spring will not officially arrive for forty days, but yesterday I had spring fever. The temperature reached an unseasonably 70 degrees, so my husband and I went hiking in First Landing State Park.
We picnicked under loblolly pines and live oaks then headed for the trails. We chose one called Long Creek. Meandering uphill and down through cypress, pines, oaks and elms, it brought us to a stretch that hugged an inlet. Sunlight gleamed on the water; boaters trawled slowly through the no-wake zone. The sun was so warm, we removed our light jackets and tied them around our waists.
After an hour, we came to an intersection of trails and had to make a decision. We could continue on Long Creek, or we could take one of the other trails and head back toward the park entrance where we had left our car. The weather was too beautiful to end our excursion so quickly. I chose to continue the Long Creek trail.
There is a reason it is called Long Creek. After another half our with no end in sight, I wished we had taken one of the shorter routes. Finally, we came to another trail divide. We took a route that would lead us back to our car. Still, we had quite a distance to go. A family came up behind us. The dad was pulling a cart with a toddler inside.
“I’ll give you fifty bucks if you give me a ride back to my car.”
I must not have sounded desperate enough because the father chuckled and kept going. I wouldn’t have left poor George anyway. He had the keys.