My mind was racing. What was that?
In an instant I saw and I knew.
I was excited as the path was gravel, dirt, mud, and rock in areas. It also included wood plank and cement bridges. Trails were surrounded by lush green foliage, trees, vines all manner of nature providing overhead cover as well as beauty to behold. The dense forest muffled sounds from the surrounding environment. It was complete nature immersion.
I started out strong and in the silence of nature. I did not turn on my normal running music. I poised myself to take in all that Lefleur had to offer.
Catching my stride (read- turtle pace of jogging) I was deep in concentration and connection; perhaps too deep. I heard a rustling in the trees about 15 feet ahead and to my left. To say it startled me would be an understatement. Then zip. A large animal body leaped across my trail. By this time I had advanced a few feet so this huge animal body was just ahead of me.
Snap, crackle, leap- across my trail. In the moment it dawned on me that was one big ass deer!
Amazing! It was right there in front of me! Just me and a deer- and well, a bazillion other animals and bugs.
After this close encounter with fast moving unpredictable nature, I began to feel quite vulnerable. Instead of tuning into nature and finding a zen/bliss state I was completely and with every fiber of my being aware of the possibility of other creatures that could be in this forest with me.
Fear of snakes in the overhanging vegetation or slithering across the path began to creep me out. Instead of a nature induced running bliss I slogged through this jungle on high alert watching for slithering, buzzing, crawling, leaping anythings.