History, Nature, Pleasant Trails … and Spiders

Appomattox Court House National Park. 1700 acres. 8 trails. Lots of history. Lots of nature. And lots of spider webs.

Monday, I finished hiking every trail at the ACH Park. Not a huge deal, but pretty cool to say I’ve done it. There are 8 trails and probably about 14 or more miles. I had recently traversed the trails north of the Appomattox River. So for Monday, I stopped at the most southern trail head (at the North Carolina Monument parking lot) and walked the rest.

I walked through the last battle field before the surrender, the field where Lee sat under an Apple tree awaiting response from Grant, the historic trail, the surrender fields, the artillery stations, and amongst the buildings of the court house as well. I saw Lee’s last spot where he met with the generals, the trail that Grant rode going to McLean House (location of surrender), farm houses/log cabins, the oldest standing prizery in Virginia, cemeteries (confederate, church, family, and slave ones), crossed the Appomattox River – twice, and more.

There was nature galore … hard wood trees filtering the sunlight, birds and crickets making music, a turtle on the trail, bugs crawling on the ground below me, fields of grass waving from the breeze, and lots of spider webs.

Yes, spider webs. Some of these trails do not get hiked very often. As I pressed forth, there was the occasional bold arachnid that had spread a web across the trail path. Did they think they were getting a big prey? Most of what they did was just catch me off guard and make me squirm from the sticky substance in my face and in my hair. I would get a stick and start to wave it in front of me … like a Don Quixote charging unseen dragons or a wild crazy man dancing to unheard music.

Life is like this. We go through our journey observing the beauty and the wonder of life. We are enjoying pleasantries. We seem to be in a pretty good rhythm in life … and then splat … something of great annoyance or discomfort comes along our path. I’m not talking of the big things … like dead ends, disasters, storms, or wilderness … I am talking the little annoyances.

We squirm, we get distracted, we start our “get it off me” gyrations.

Besides the immediate dance routine, we can respond in several ways (to the spiders and to life’s annoyances).

  • We could have turned around as to not face anymore annoyances. Running back for safer and more comfortable settings. Be the quitter.
  • We can stop, whine, complain, and demand others to clear the trails of life from such annoyances. Acting like entitled little snots … or just pretend to be Millennials (just kidding, don’t be such a snowflake).
    We can march on and hit the webs head on. Ignoring them but also not doing anything about them.
    Or we can work towards a solution. Get a branch, wave it in front of you. In my case, I stuck the branch through a front strap loop (trek pole loop) on my Osprey backpack, tucked the end into my belt, and let it just hang out in front of me like a carrot on a stick in front of my face. This allowed me to walk hands free and less work. I was reading as I walked, so this enabled me to read and enjoy the walk without the constant fear of stickiness.

I looked pretty funny, but it worked.

How do you respond to life’s little annoyances?

Have a blessed day.

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